There is nothing I love more than a good strategic plan. A carefully considered quarterly or yearly action plan can really help propel your business forward and put you on the path for success. But even the most dedicated business owners have only 24 hours in a day to get it all done. But the really successful ones have a few secrets. And today, I am going to share a few things that you can do to get a leg up on the competition and reach your goals faster than you might think is possible.
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I am always surprised to find out how many business owners don’t take the time to hire an assistant. Maybe you think that you don’t have enough work to keep them busy, or maybe you just don’t think you need the help. But in my experience, a personal assistant is a real game-changer in terms of productivity and focus. Imagine having someone to coordinate your travel plans, scan in files and create a filing system, update your blog and social media accounts, schedule meetings, and help coordinate times that work for multiple attendees. Imagine coming in in the morning and having your inbox screened and the junk mail deleted. Your calendar is already set up and your to-do list is ready for the day. The possibilities are endless. Your assistant can call the credit card company when an issue arises or schedule the repair tech to work on your computer while you are out with a client. Having an assistant will allow you to focus on the things that matter most in your business.
I was recently talking to a business owner who had to block his calendar for the next two weeks as the company moved offices. When I pushed him a little on the details, he went on to explain that there were boxes to pack and then he had to move them across town to their new location, and it was going to take up the better part of the next two weeks. I challenged him to spend the money to hire a moving company to do it for him. Because having him be out of the business for two weeks, missing important meetings and sales opportunities, would cost him much more than the cost of a moving company. In general, if it costs less than $25 dollars an hour to outsource it, it is probably worth paying someone else to do it.
Email can be a huge time-waster. We have all gotten caught up in our inboxes and found ourselves spending way too much time wading through the junk mail and back and forth conversations. If you want to get out of your inbox and start working on your goals, begin by setting expectations of when others can expect to get a reply from you. Remember the faster your response, the more emails you will get. I would also caution against using your inbox as a to-do list. Use a different program or, if you are old school, a notebook to keep track of your tasks for the day. This will prevent you from getting caught up in other emails that aren’t important to your bottom line.
Once you start prioritizing your time and focusing on creating real value and growth for your business, you will be amazed at how much more time you can find to do the things that matter most.
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