Busyness is not business. Being busy doesn’t necessarily mean your business is thriving. There’s plenty to keep you busy, occupied and distracted in business from the real business of exchanging value for cash.
If you’re not earning as much as you want to in business, look first at minimising your efforts. Doing less can free up time to increase your income while simultaneously granting you the time and perspective to steer your business in the direction you choose.
Here are the key pillars to work less while earning more.
1. Work on, rather than in, your business
Do: Schedule in half a day every week or fortnight to single-mindedly focus on business development.
During this time, create boundaries, turn off devices, disconnect the wifi if you have to. Focus on just one thing at a time – whether creating a new, high-value product such as a training course, compiling a new, more efficient system, writing a staff manual or job description, or researching a product or market.
Do: Post a large, yearly planner on your office wall. Note all special events and courses you intend to run and when your key marketing actions will need to happen. (For more: The art of the pre-sell).
2. Automate your distribution
Do: If you blog regularly, set up an RSS-driven email campaign to automatically send new blog posts to your email subscribers.
Do: Use Hootsuite! Hootsuite enables you to manage, update, monitor and schedule all your social media channels from the one place. Schedule social media updates and links to your blog posts, key web pages and upcoming events and courses either manually once a week, or using the nifty ‘bulk upload’ function.
Do: Embed ‘click to tweet’ links on your articles and blog posts to encourage readers to share snippets of your writing and link to your site. Don’t forget to include your Twitter tag (@YogaReach) so that people can more easily follow you on Twitter.
Do: Link your Facebook business page to your Twitter account so that your Facebook updates are automatically tweeted. Avoid doing this the other way round – many Facebook users don’t understand #hashtalk nor do they care to.
3. Grow your following
Modern marketing focuses on growing a social media and email subscriber following with whom to converse, inform, survey, entertain and sell to. To do this, you’ll need to produce regular content, whether blog posts, articles, white papers, videos, or podcasts. Having an opinion and perspective, supported by your unique experience and expertise, will differentiate you from others and build your reputation, while attracting people who share your values and opinions and are, therefore, more likely to buy from you.
Having an online ‘tribe’ means that each marketing campaign starts with people who are already interested in your business, rather than attempting to attract and sell to strangers.
Do: Spend 10-15 minutes every day updating your social media channels and responding to social media followers.
Do: Seek to convert social media followers into email subscribers.
Do: Include your email subscriber offer in all your business advertising, entreating people to join your list in exchange for a freebie that is relevant, valuable and useful to them.
4. Use templates
Do: Compose a comprehensive answer for frequently asked questions which can be used as a template to email individuals.
Do: Compose a telephone script for standard inquiries relating to costs, terms and conditions.
Do: Add essential information regarding your opening hours, costs and contact details to your automated E-News welcome message.
5. Avoid social media-mania
Making frequent comparisons in business can kill self-confidence and, hence, your ability to effectively sell and market your business. If you’re wasting time closely watching your competitors online in the name of ‘research’, it’s time to quit.
Do: Commit to logging off Facebook immediately after updating your page.
Do: Have a digital detox each weekend or evening and take in a movie or go out to dinner (with your phone left at home).
Do: For the social media addicted, use the free Screen Time tool to block Facebook and YouTube during specified hours.
6. Automate feedback
Do: Make it easy for clients to give you feedback by using a tool such as Survey Monkey. Create a follow-up for clients to send a few days after their purchase. Avoid putting people off with a long questionnaire – concentrate on collecting only the most important information.
Do: Schedule in a regular session to compile and review feedback, then use this to make a list of things to do.
No doubt you started your business powered by DIY, begging, borrowing and barter. At some point, it will be necessary to outsource so you can concentrate on what you do best. DIY solutions also communicate to clients that you don’t really value your business – so why should they pay premium prices?
Small business owners require diverse skills, but there’s plenty of specialised tasks that you should leave to the experts, as well as spades of admin work that could be easily outsourced.
Do: Spend your time on tasks that result in income and increase your long-term business development.
Do: Create manuals for repetitious tasks to pass on to someone else.
Do: Write job descriptions for roles that you are ready to drop. Spend time interviewing and following up with possible candidates and trust that someone else doing things differently than you is not necessarily a bad thing.