Guest blogger and Time Management Coach Dave Navarro shares information about how to make more profitable use of your time.
When you're in business for yourself, there's no one looking over your shoulder to make sure you're spending "work" time working... or focused on the best (and fastest) ways to increase your income. And that affects your bottom line every day, because anything that slows down your follow-through on revenue-generating actions leads to a smaller payoff at the end of the month.
If you want to increase your earnings without taking the "slow road," then you need to make sure that these three all-too-common reasons for slow business growth don't apply to you...
Reason #1 - You're not specific enough about your tasks.
Too often we set vague goals such as "Make $1000 in sales in the next 30 days." There's nothing wrong with a goal like that, though, provided it serves as the starting point for specific, actionable and measurable tasks for reaching that goal.
In other words, you've got to break out the step-by-step to get to the finish line, complete with how long each step should take. If you don't do this, then how can you expect to ever finish? How will you know what to do first?
"Finding affiliates to promote my product" is vague and less than actionable. There's no clear start/finish point, and no way to schedule this in when your day is already packed with priorities.
On the other hand, "Spend 60 minutes finding & contacting 5 prospective affiliates per day" is something you can schedule in. And as with anything else, what gets scheduled, gets done. And "having an idea what to do next" doesn't make you money ... but taking action does.
Reason #2 - You're not setting specific business hours (and filling them).
Sure, you got into business for yourself so you could have flexibility with your work schedule, but are you too flexible? If your approach to building your business is "whenever I get a chance to," you have zero control over how fast your profits grow. Who knows when you'll get to building your business? Who knows when you'll get projects done?
If you want to grow as quickly as possible, you have to set real business hours ahead of time, so that you can show up and do the work you need to in order to unlock the cashflow you're looking for.
As a coach, I've observed that people who have trouble setting business hours do so because they are fuzzy on what to do next to build their business. But if you've done what we just talked about - broken your project down into tasks, and estimated how long each task will take - you'll know what to do with every one of those business hours.
Think about it - if you know that X number of hours will get you a result, you'll be more motivated to clear your schedule and make it happen.
Reason #3 - You're not holding yourself accountable.
This is a big killer of cashflow for way too many smart business owners. They set their personal business goals, and then they keep them to themselves. But then life gets in the way, and they don't work hard to make sure they are keeping up with the income goals they set for themselves.
That's where keeping acountable comes in. If you've set your tasks up, and you've set your business hours in place, it's easy to look at every day and ask yourself if you've followed through. And if you blow it, you can get yourself back on track immediately, rather than waiting until the end of the month and saying "I wish I'd taken more action."
Even better is to publicly keep accountable via personal friends, or on a discussion forum. It's a known fact that we tend to work harder to meet public goals than we do to chase after our private ones. You would do well to use this form of leverage on yourself.
Where Do You Measure Up?
Take a look at what you've done with the last month of your business and ask yourself which one(s) of these three reasons applies to you and is slowing you down. Then decide to take action to fix it - not tomorrow, not the next day, but today, no matter what.
Do it now - you'll thank yourself for it!
Dave Navarro is the "Time Management Coach of Choice" for 5-Figure-A-Month online marketers. For more solid tips on how to immediately increase your sales (without increasing your workload), read more at www.betterfasternow.com or try a sample from his "30 Hours a Day" time management program: www.your30hourday.com