How to Work Less and Achieve More Growth in Your Business

Are you struggling with entrepreneurial overwhelm? It’s a wall that most, if not all, business owners face at some point. Did you know that you can achieve greater success and business efficiency by actually doing less?

The secret is to identify the tasks that result in the highest-value results for your business, focusing the majority of your attention on those tasks while finding a way to focus less on the other tasks.

 

Here’s a five-step system to working less while achieving more growth in your business.


Step 1: Identify your “20%”.

The Pareto principle (AKA “80/20 principle”) states that 80% of our results come from 20% of our efforts. So the first step is to identify those 20% of tasks that drive the 80% of revenue for your business.

Which of the tasks you complete on a daily basis result in the most revenue? It might be making sales calls or meeting with prospects. It might be focusing more of your energy on the 20% of clients who pay you the most money or attracting more clients like them.

In order to identify this 20%, you might have to take stock of your day with a time tracker like Toggl Look through your tracked time and see which tasks are those that truly drove results for your business that week.

Alternatively, you can also download a free productivity template that I’ve created and still use myself to stay focused on my 20%.

 

Step 2: Eliminate unnecessary tasks.

As business owners, we face constant interruptions like questions from staff, emails, and texts that often does very little in terms of growing your business. How much of this is really necessary?

The truth is, certain tasks do nothing at all for your business except take your attention away from high-value tasks.

Take stock of your daily routine and identify which of these tasks can be completely eliminated from your schedule––tasks which bring no value to your business.

For things like checking emails or your business’s social media pages for new comments or inquiries, instead of jumping to your phone every time a notification comes up, it’s best to block off one or two chunks in a day to complete these tasks or delegate the responsibility to an assistant.  This can help you stay focused on the task at hand, so you can become more effective.

If the problem is that your staff or clients seem to ask you the same questions again and again, focus on creating a more effective onboarding system, like recording short videos demonstrating the answers or processes they’re asking about.

You can also have your team create a document with frequently asked questions and answers which will eliminate the time you spend answering these redundant questions.

 

Step 3: Automate tasks.

There are many tools that you can use to automate redundant tasks, like lead capture and automatic followups with leads and clients.

One example of this would be automatically following up with leads when they submit a contact form or inquiry form on your website.

You want to use an email marketing software that allow you to create a response that is sent automatically to any lead who submits a form on your website. You can use basic email service providers (ESP) like SendGrid, aWeber and MailChimp or you can choose intelligent marketing automation like Active Campaign.

What won me over to Active Campaign is it lets you send follow-up emails that adapts to your customers’ behavior, so you send the perfect message at the perfect time. You’ll have happier customers and higher lead conversions. And it doesn’t require a huge learning curve like some other platforms.

The automatic, immediate response helps to convert more leads into clients (studies show that the more quickly you respond to a lead, the more likely they are to convert)––but it takes care of this process instantly and automatically!

If you’d like to receive a free marketing automation assessment sign up for a 30-minute discovery coaching call with me.

Step 4: Delegate the rest.

Delegation might seem like a scary step to take if you’re a solopreneur, but hiring staff is necessary to scale your business and take your income to the next level. Identify the low-value tasks that keep your business running and cannot be eliminated or automated.

Some examples might be data entry, responding to simple emails, and answering questions that come through your business’s social media pages. Then find a way to outsource these tasks, even if only for 5 to 10 hours per week to start off.

You don’t have to start off with a full-timer. An affordable virtual assistant can help you with certain tasks that will free you up to make a greater impact on the 20% of activities that generates 80% of your business.


Step 5: Observe and adjust.

Going through this process involves a lot of growth, evaluation, and reevaluation. What works and what doesn’t?

For best results, evaluate your business efficiency and revenue four weeks after implementing this system and see where you stand. Making incremental progress each week can add up to transformative change at the end of each quarter and year.

 

QUESTION: What is your best tip that has helped you work less and achieve more in your business? Share your comments and questions below:

How to Create Right Action Plans

Create Right Action Plans

Create Right Action Plans

How do you know whether or not you created the right action plans that will help you achieve your business goals most effectively? That’s this week’s question submitted by Stacy from Atlanta, GA.

Reality is, if you’re pursuing a new goal that you’ve never achieved before, you just won’t know what you don’t know.
You could certainly move forward on pure intuition while trying to piece together bits of tips from various free content you’ve found. However, I don’t recommend doing that.

Trial and error always ends up being way more time consuming. And for most people, it usually leads to making costly mistakes.  It’s an age old truth.


There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”  Proverbs 14:12 

 

The risk of prolonged lack of progress and costly mistakes, for many people leads them to give up which means the death of their dreams.

I don’t want to see “death of a dream” happen to you. So, let’s dive right into this week’s episode to help you:

Create Right Action Plans to Achieve Your Business Goals

 

 

 

 

 

Hiring Tips for Small Business Owners – Q&A Episode

how-to-hire-to-grow-your-small-business

 

Hiring Tips for Small Business Owners

If you’re looking for great hiring tips, sales and marketing strategies then you’re in the right place! Growing a business is always full of new challenges at every stage of growth.  The good news is you don’t need to struggle with these challenges alone.

My Q&A episodes is a free resource I offer to help you get quick wins you need to boost your sales, productivity and profits.

If you’d like to submit your question simply leave me a voice message here.

Here’s what you want to say in your voice or comment message:

1. Your name
2. City and state you’re from.
3. Your question. (what is the result you want to achieve, your challenge?)
4. Your website url (OPTIONAL, but this will help me give you better feedback based on learning what business you’re in)

I’ll share my tips and advice in response. Be sure to share this great free resource with your friends!

This week’s question comes from Jeremy Robinson who asks great questions like: who to hire? … how to define his company’s organizational structure? … who to hire first? … how to define roles clearly and more.
You may be ready to hire additional full time employees to grow your team, but keep in mind if you are a solopreneur these same hiring tips also apply to you too!  If you’re a self employed business owner, taking your business to the next level needs to include hiring part time or full time freelancers / virtual assistants.

Watch the video episode here:

Listen to the audio here:

 

 

Grab the free resource mentioned in this episode:

Productivity Template

QUESTION: What is one strategy you will commit to implementing that I shared in this Q&A episode? I want to hear from you!  Share your comments and questions below.

4 Secrets to Staying Focused

When you are dedicating yourself to achieving a specific goal, you must promise yourself to use the time you’ve blocked off for in ONLY working toward that goal.

Has this ever happened to you? You’ve blocked off time to work on that big project but you find yourself unmotivated, confused and generally unfocused?  You’re trying to remember if your son or daughter has a ride home from school, dreading an afternoon meeting or what you’ll eat for dinner tonight. 

Some call it ricochet rabbit–your mind is “Bing,”Bing”,”Bing” all over the place and pretty much everywhere but on your project.  Instead, the cursor blinks on your blank computer screen and feels like a mocking purgatory.

1–First, take a deep breath.  Know this is perfectly normal, everyone feels this way at some point. 

2–Make a list of everything that needs to be done for this project to be complete. If it’s a new product, the product has to be created, marketing materials need to be produced and the right audience needs to know about it.  What’s your role?  Do you need to research the product so you can write a fact sheet or a brochure?  Write down everything that needs to get done for that project then rank them in the order they should occur.  If you’re familiar with mind mapping this is a great technique to use for clustering all the associated tasks. 

Break the project down into individual tasks and then break those into smaller, bite size chunks. For example, you need to write a brochure–who’s the audience for the brochure?  What should it highlight?  If you’re introducing a new product for dentists for example, look at the key benefits of the product–will it save them time?  Does it make an activity easier?  What’s in it for them? 

3-Set a timer–at eggtimer.com you can set a timer on your computer that will alert you when your allotted time is up. Or, you can set the timer on your cell phone.  Tell yourself for the next 30 minutes, you’ll truly focus on the task at hand.  When your mind wanders–and it will!–bring it back by reminding yourself of your time limit. 

4–Shut out distractions for the duration of the time you commit to focusing on the project at hand.  That means close the door.  Turn off your emails, pagers, cell phone and land lines. Have a snack and drink at your desk so you don’t feel the need to get up for that.  If you have staff, tell key people you are not to be interrupted for the duration of your project slot. 

Here’s my own favorite “gotta get focused” trick.  I drink 2-4 cups of Ginkgo Clarity tea (double bagged of course).  Either this herbal concoction is really effective or my mind just convinces me I’m more focused because of it.  Hmmmmm…?

I hope you will start implementing some of my tricks for staying focused.  If you feel overwhelmed and need help prioritizing,  I’m never more than a phone call away! (215) 292-4947. For more great business growth tips subscribe at http://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com

QUESTION: How do you get focused when you’ve got too much to do? Please share your comments below:

About Yoon Cannon: Top business coach Yoon Cannon has helped thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants and sales teams achieve dramatic results in growing your business. Over the past 20 years Yoon has started 4 successful companies and sold 3 of them. She offers fresh insights as a seasoned business growth expert. Yoon delivers proven process for your sales, marketing and management development.  Grab free valuable gifts and resources at http://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com  To book Yoon to speak at your next event email: [email protected] To schedule a complimentary business coaching consultation call (215) 292-4947. 

© Copyright 2016

Taming Email Overload for Busy Entrepreneurs

Mary got to the office early one morning determined to tackle her end of the month reports early. It was quiet because she was the only one there. Pleased with herself, she logged onto her computer and thought she’d check her inbox “for just a second.” After all, she had a whole hour to get a head start. In her email there were a couple of items she could respond to quickly, so she did. Oh, here was one that was urgent.

Before she knew it, an hour had passed and her coworkers were filing in and she still hadn’t started her reports.

How much time do you spend a day on email? How many times a day do you check it? If you’re like many Americans, you check it throughout the day and respond accordingly.

Technology is supposed to make us more efficient but if you don’t manage it, you risk being managed by it. I can attest to this as email overload is one of those ugly monsters that can easily come back as an unexpected time suck in my own calendar.

Here are 3 ways that have helped me tame email overload in my busy schedule:

1–Eliminate bells, chimes and other sounds that alert you every time a new email comes in. This simple action will reduce your distraction levels.

2–Check email at designated times. If you check your email only 3 times a day–say at 9:30, 1:00 and 4:00, instead of every few minutes you’ll increase your productivity. Research shows that every distraction takes you an average of 24 minutes to get back to your task. So, if you’re writing a report and you check your email 5 times in an hour, well, you won’t get far on your report.

3–Delete your email once you’ve dealt with it. A clean inbox will allow your brain to focus better.

4 — Unsubscribe to all those newsletters you rarely read or are no longer interested in. Of course, I know that does not include my award winning Biz Growth Tips newsletter!  🙂

5 — Get a high quality spam filter. I use Spam Assassin where I can adjust the settings for filtering out spam. I can also go in and blacklist specific email addresses that might still get through as well as white list specific email addresses I want to be sure not to miss.

6 — Adjust frequency settings. If you’re in multiple Linkedin groups like I am you don’t want to get the discussion news every day. I adjust all of my group settings to send me the news on a weekly basis. This really cut down on a lot of mail right there.

7 — Re-route your mail. If there are emails you don’t read every day, but you don’t want to unsubscribe (like those Linkedin Group discussions) you can reroute specific emails to go straight to a separate mail folders that live on the left column of your inbox. (or depending on what mail server you use just another place other than your main inbox location)

8 — Get another email address. If you have large amounts of emails that you want to reference for later reading or your someday reading consider getting a completely different email address — like a gmail address. That way your brain can focus on skimming only those emails you deem as important daily emails to read. This is another strategy that has cut my main inbox dramatically!

QUESTION: What other strategies have helped you tame your email overload? Please share your ideas in the comment box below.

About Yoon Cannon: Top business coach Yoon Cannon has helped thousands of small business owners, entrepreneurs, coaches, consultants and sales teams achieve dramatic results in growing your business. Over the past 20 years Yoon has started 4 successful companies and sold 3 of them. She offers fresh insights as a seasoned business growth expert. Yoon delivers proven process for your sales, marketing and management development.  Grab free valuable gifts and resources at http://www.ParamountBusinessCoach.com  To book Yoon to speak at your next event email: [email protected] To schedule a complimentary business coaching consultation call (215) 292-4947. 

 

© Copyright 2016