Its that time of the year. Spring-cleaning is the mot du jour and entrepreneurs are no exception. Other than cleaning out the clutter in your physical workspace as well as your virtual one (read: email, software, systems), organizing and managing your time is a vital component that many struggle with. Whether you have a team or are going solo, being an entrepreneur means many work hours in the mix and if you do not know how to best utilize your time to get the maximum work done, then you are already falling behind. And we all know time is money!
Maintain focus for group productivity
Working with a team? Always have the big picture in mind. Can meetings and scheduling be handled differently? Then do it! Technology today accommodates geographical differences so no matter where you are, irrespective of time zone, being physically present to get the job done is not always necessary. There are many dial-in conference systems available that will allow all your members to get on a call and accomplish their goals. Appoint a capable team lead to drive the conversation, stay on point with the agenda, keep pleasantries to a minimum and always remember to end with a run through of who is responsible for what and the next steps that follow. Use scheduling software so people are aware that your time is important to you and will only schedule calls when you are available, and only through the software that you specify.
Delegate the specialized areas
Not every entrepreneur knows how to successfully run all facets of their business. And that is okay. You might be a star accountant and not know anything about logistics. You could be the best local journalist but have no clue about law and order. Leave out the specialized fields to the folks that are qualified for it. Delegate what you don’t know because learning every single one of these functions will eat up way more of your time than you are willing to concede. Hire a lawyer for legal disputes. Consult an accountant for your taxes. Turn to an IT company for tech support. You cannot hold on to every aspect of your business so learn to let go in order to grow. Let them focus on their areas of expertise so you can focus on yours – which is to grow your business, make sound financial decisions and be a successful entrepreneur.
Marketing can be the elusive miracle
Putting out the word takes time. Creating an online presence takes time. So if that time is a scarce commodity in your line of work then get the help you need. Nobody can succeed without marketing – whether that is a word of mouth referral or a high-end print and electronic campaign. It would be a needle in a haystack situation to find any business today that does not have a web presence. Even the handyman and locksmith have websites now! So find someone else to handle the marketing, the social media, the websites and blogs that will help power up your business. Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean knowing how to do everything. It means knowing how to do what you know and having the wherewithal to have the rest addressed.
When its all you
There are certainly a few things that you cannot remove yourself from completely and those include your email and notes, your phone calls, instances where you must be physically present to give a speech or accept an award. But there is still help. Prioritize your emails so only the urgent calls to action are tended to first. Engage a virtual assistant or an answering service that can redirect your calls at the appropriate times. If you have ideas you work with then either dictate into your phone and have it transcribed later or write it into your handy book/phone notes for review. Nothing can substitute you at an event but should a last minute emergency arise then always have a second in command that can make that appearance on your behalf. But if you manage your time well and organize your work efficiently then we shall hope that day never comes around!