It’s a good idea to allocate a different focus for different days of the week, such as client days, development days and admin days. Client days speak for themselves, while development days are spent on marketing, following up with prospects and working on new products and services. Admin days are for catching up on bookkeeping, filing and maintaining systems. You could schedule client days for Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, development day could be Wednesday, while admin day could be Friday.
Take the principle of batching one step further
Think about your entire year in terms of batching. The first step would be to schedule in holidays you’ll be taking. In my case, I schedule school holidays for the entire school year as I know that my productivity will be reduced substantially! This also allows me to stay abreast of tax deadlines in spite of being distracted during those times. I also schedule in any upcoming conferences to ensure that all family commitments are taken care of.
Next I look at things on a weekly level. How would I like my week to look? The principle of batching can be applied to each day. Why not pick certain days for certain tasks? As mentioned earlier, you could designate Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays to client work and meetings. Your clients don’t need you to be available every single day. You can set your own agenda and be unavailable for certain days of the week so that you can work on developing and marketing your business. Sometimes it’s tough to stick to this but you can set boundaries and your clients will follow.
If you can get this happening, you now have two whole days to assign to other important tasks. I have scheduled a business development day and an admin day into my week. If I do not allocate specific time to these tasks they just never get done.
Business development days are devoted to creating marketing campaigns, developing new marketing materials, attending networking events, following up on leads, developing new products and services i.e. anything associated with growing the business.
Imagine if you devoted an entire day each week to follow up with prospects, clients and joint venture partners. That’s about 48 days of follow up per year, excluding holiday periods. Do you think you would increase your client base this way? Absolutely. Following up is one of the most underrated tasks, but it’s invaluable in increasing your profits. Most businesses do not follow up, which means they’re leaving business on the table for someone else. Don’t let that be you. Spend one day per week focusing on your follow up process, writing new marketing materials and so on.
Business development is super important, because without it you’re just spinning your wheels and not getting very far. I would rather spend time growing and improving my business every day but at least if I schedule one day a week, I’m giving it a fighting chance to prosper. Who says you don’t have time to get things done? It’s just about being more efficient and focused with your time.
For me, Fridays are dedicated to admin because my bookkeeper happens to be in my office on Fridays working on my books. I also use some of my Fridays to follow up with prospects, joint venture partners, touch base briefly with clients, network with prospects and write proposals.
This way, I maintain regular contact with prospects, partners and clients so that I never feel awkward following up. I utilise my Customer Relationship Management System (CRM) to assist with this process.
As you can see, you can tailor the batching principle however you like. This works so well for me that I call Fridays “follow up Friday” because it rolls off the tongue so easily!
Now to you. Are you nurturing your business by spending enough time developing new products/services and brainstorming ideas? The time spent can only enhance your business. Imagine if you allocated an entire day per week. What could you achieve in that time?
Set yourself up for the day
I can hear your protests now – you’re just too busy to sit down and tackle these things and you’ll get interrupted anyway! However, if you’re really determined, you can set yourself up for the day and minimise distractions. Turn off your phone, shut down email and stop social networking! Set yourself a timeframe to progress as much as you can on that project, generate ideas or even just sit and think…yes, just sit and think! You can deliver amazing ideas and concepts just by giving yourself time to think.
You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve by allocating a theme to particular days. If you spend two days per week on business development and admin, you’re already making the most of 96 days in a year. You’ll be growing your business while keeping your paperwork, admin and bookkeeping under control. And of course, the other three days of the week are devoted to supporting your existing clients.
Your achievements will be remarkable. If on the other hand, you continue “fitting in” marketing wherever you can, I can assure you, you will not achieve much. Therefore, I dare you to try planning the rest of the year to include business development and admin days.
It will be interesting to see what you can achieve in just 12 weeks! If you see that you’ve achieved more than ever before, you can then plan for 2011, confident in the knowledge that you’ve turned over a new leaf!
P.S. Want to learn more about how to find the time to grow your business?
And do you struggle to get things done in your day? Are you super busy keeping up with all the “busy” work in your business? And what about those projects you’ve been dying to implement but can’t find the time?
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