As an entrepreneur, you need to stay on top of your projects. If you don’t you will drop the ball, miss deadlines, disappoint clients and potentially lose them. You need to stay focused and hearn how to effectively manage your projects.
What can you do to:
Hit your targets
If you’re ready to get a handle on your tasks and to get focused so you’re not feeling so overwhelmed and so you feel — and are — more accomplished, let’s go.
First things first:
Grab a pen or pencil
OR open a document on your computer — whatever your planning tool of choice your plan and ideas down on paper. I’ve found it can be helpful to use sticky notes to plan out your road map. I recommend writing with a marker you can easily read from afar, using multiple colors for sticky notes or markers for categorization, and writing on the top of the note so you can tear off the nonadhesive part to prevent curling.
If you don’t write down what you want to accomplish, you will miss deadlines, forget projects or miss steps. Also, writing items down makes them seem more doable and achievable because you’re taking them out of your head where they grow in power and looking at them on paper and you can see, they aren’t as overwhelming as you’d imagined.
How To Effectively Manage Your Projects
Let’s get planning.
As mentioned write down all the big goals you want to achieve
Write down the steps and resources you need to achieve them
Write down the deadlines
Write down all the other engagements that could potentially interfere with these projects (you need to plan for them, though)
Write down your outside of work responsibilities like family and friends
Make note of which items are high priority and which are time-sensitive and which have a loose deadline
Look at your calendar and make blocks of time for each of the projects
Stick to your plan. It doesn’t help you to do this exercise only to toss it aside a day or week later.
Before you leave your office at the end of the day, mark off the items you’ve completed, carry others forward and plan for your next day. Planning for your day before you leave the office means you will sit down to work and already have a plan — it is a great time saver. If the past year has taught us nothing it’s that you need to be flexible with your plans but you do need to have a plan!
Are you a sales person? Trick question. If you’re in business, you ARE a sales person whether you call yourself one or not. Swimming pool contractors, dog groomers, writers — all sales people. If they weren’t they wouldn’t be in business. How to make a sale is something we talk with our coaching clients about all the time.
What is eye-opening for many of our clients is that with the right attitude, sales are easy. Sales, in fact, don’t have to feel like sales calls when you know you’re addressing a pain point and know that you are offering high quality solutions. Believe in yourself and what you do and you will be authentic.
How To Make A Sale
Here are tips to encourage prospects to listen to you or to call you back.
Answer your phone during working hours. If calls always go to voice mail or if a prospect has to wade through a menu, they will give up.
Answer the phone with a smile in your voice — it shows.
When you leave a message, speak clearly, remind the person of who you are and why you’re calling and leave your phone number and email.
Be succinct when you leave a voice mail. You don’t need to go over all your points. Instead, leave the message and wait for their call bacl. Don’t use all their voice mail space.
Don’t feel you need to name drop to make an impression. Be yourself — that will mean more than a star-studded client list.
Wrap up the call in the timeframe you’d promised.
End the call with a call to action — I’ll follow up with you in five days, for example.
Did we mention, listen? The best way to make a sale is to listen to what the prospect truly needs — it may be different than what you think it is.
Entrepreneurs need to be productive and effective with how they spend their time. Finding how to be more productive when creating business content is one way a business owner can cut time and potentially save money. If you don’t want to, or aren’t ready yet, to outsource content creation we have come up with ways in which you can be more effective and efficient when creating content.
How To Be More Productive When Creating Business Content
Write in batches. If you find you have an hour or two (we know, that might be funny) then create batches of content then. Don’t think you’re going to write one blog post a week and that you only do that one post. If you can find time to do more writing – batch writing – do that.
Keep an idea notebook. Ideas will come to you when you’re least expecting them. Have a way to keep track of them. Write them down. Record them and send them as a message to yourself.
Do you blog about holidays or do you have a product or service that lends itself to a holiday? If so, create your promotion calendar and add all your potential blog post topics there – an editorial calendar will be your best friend.
Don’t get bogged down from writing by having to research. Set up a separate time for writing and a separate time for research. When you’re in the middle of a blog post and have to stop to research, chances are you will not get back to the post.
Create a process that you can use again and again. Make a template for your blog posts then use a “fill in the blank” style when you are struck with a brilliant idea.
Repurpose old content. Look at your old content and see if it can be repurposed and rewritten with updates.
Schedule a specific time for blogging – don’t just hope it will happen.
If you need help with outsourcing your blogging and content creation, reach out to use, we can help. If you need insight and deeper advice on your blogging and content creation, let’s jump on a call.
When you’re striking out on your own and giving your employer your two-week notice to become the boss, it’s a wonderful feeling! Perhaps you’ve retired or been downsized and you think there is no time like the present to become an entrepreneur. Have you ever wondered what the benefits of being the boss are? There are many. Keep in mind, though, there are also drawbacks you may not have considered.
We will share the good and the bad that comes with being the boss and reasons you may want to be your own boss.
The Benefits Of Being The Boss
You’re the boss. What you say is what goes. You have to answer to your clients, but you don’t have someone breathing down your neck making sure you make quota. Keep in mind, though, if you’re not motivated and can’t take the initiative you will likely not succeed in your own business.
What goes right is your success, what goes wrong is your fault. Along with the good comes the bad. You’re on the line for it all. You won’t be riding on the success of your team (unless you already have one) the successes and failures will be because of your efforts. Keep in mind, though, a failure is simply an experiment — if something didn’t work, course correct and try it again.
Your schedule is your own. Want to take Fridays off? Go ahead! Want to go golfing on a Tuesday morning? Why not! When you own a business you don’t have to clock in at a specific time nor are you expected to be at your desk for eight hours. This may also mean you have too much freedom and may miss deadlines or always feel under a crunch because you’ve had too many tee times or coffee dates. You will have flexibility, but remember you also have a business to run, and probably bills to pay.
The sky is the limit on your earnings. If you were working for a salary, what you were paid is what you were paid. When you own your own business, the sky is the limit on your earnings. You can work as hard as you want and see rewards in the growth of your bank account. If you’re planning to grow, though you may need a team behind you and you should plan for growth and have an infrastructure in place to accommodate that growth.
One of the drawbacks or challenges that many new entrepreneurs face is working alone. It can be daunting to realize you’re responsible for it all. You’re the boss. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in your entrepreneurial journey?
When you’re entrepreneur, you can’t operate with a “do as I say, not as I do” mindset. You must be as accountable to yourself, your business and your employees as they are to you. Leaders must be accountable in order to demand that from staff, vendors and others with whom they interact.
How can you lead with accountability?
Think about whether you have been clear in actions and deeds.
Are the deliverables you promised being delivered on time and in the state in which you promised them?
Have you clearly stated to the principles involved what the business impact or consequence of actions will be — whether good or bad.
Do you follow up and follow through?
Do you apologize when you’ve been in the wrong?
Today, employees and vendors have myriad choices of business owners with whom to work and interact. Make certain you are that employer or vendor or service or product provider of choice. Be accountable. Be authentic in all of your dealings. Watch your business soar when you are an “open book.”
We know, though, there is a delicate balance a leader walks between being a leader and being just one of the guys. It’s important for you to set the tone of the office and business environment. Balance your approach of being a strategic leader and being an approachable manager and your employees, staff and vendors will see that you are accountable and someone in whom they can place their trust.
Do you find yourself in a struggle with being a leader and being a manager? They are two very different styles of being a business owner. If you’re looking to grow your business in 2017, drop me an email and let’s schedule a time to talk about how coaching might help your business move to the next level of success.