Spring is a perfect time to clean your home, but it’s also a great opportunity to spring clean your business. We’re not talking about scrubbing the floors – we’re talking about clearing the clutter out of your company and making it more efficient and systematized. For this blog, we’re featuring Growth Coach Dean Bogues – Coach Dean – who owns The Growth Coach of Austin. Here’s what he had to say:
Small businesses can plateau or stall when the owner spends too much time being a technician and not enough time working on business growth and revenue generation. Since you can’t make more time, you have to learn to cut back on low-level tasks and drive change in what you do. Your business will not grow if you don’t shift your mindset.
Here is a recipe for reducing clutter:
- Make a two column list. The headings are “Clutter” on the left column and “Remedy” on the right column.
- In the “Clutter” column, list the tasks, activities, and efforts that are a waste of your time and talents. This is clutter, stuff, or low-value activities.
- In the “Remedy” column, write down the corresponding action you will take for each clutter item over the next 90 days to: a) not do it; b) delegate or outsource it; c) delay it; or d) destroy or redesign it.
- Merge this action plan you just created into your to-do list or whatever time management system you use. If you don’t use a time management system, that needs to change too.
Here are some of the clutter-reducing activities Dean’s clients have implemented:
Reduce time spent on email: Too many business owners spend too much time re-reading emails and not taking immediate action on them. Remedy: Set regular intervals of time during each day to “attack” email as opposed to letting it drive your time. Process each email once by: a) responding or taking action; b) deleting it; c) turning it into a future to-do list item; d) delegating it; e) filing it; or f) unsubscribing from it. If you receive 100 emails per day and you re-read half of them taking 30 seconds each, that eats up 25 minutes per day or over 2 hours per week. What revenue generating activity can you accomplish with 2 more hours each week?
Outsource payroll: Handling payroll takes about half a day every two weeks. Remedy: Outsource it to a payroll processor. The cost of this service is far outweighed by the return provided by using the 4 hours for business development activities.
Delegate scheduling: Working out the schedule for your team can cost several hours every day. Is this something you, the owner, have to handle? Hire an operations manager. The first reaction that many business owners have to this is: “I can’t afford to do this.” The reality is that they can’t afford NOT to do it if they want to grow their business.
Cut distractions: It’s easy to get distracted with social media, email links and news. This can eat up several hours a day. Remedy: Don’t do it anymore or limit the time.
Assign time to focus on leads and growth: Once you’ve freed up time using the strategies above, join quality networking groups that have a track record of providing referrals. Seek referrals from existing clients. Create alliances with other business owners who market to the same targets. Hire a web services company to optimize lead generation via the web and social media. You should also double the time spent on converting prospects to customers and dedicate additional time to focus on adding additional services or products to sell to your existing customers.
Dean Bogues opened his Growth Coach business eight years ago after pivoting from a long corporate career where he held multiple executive leadership roles with Valence Technology, Dell, American Power Conversion, and Hewlett-Packard. Bogues is a motivating, team oriented leader known for outstanding skills in building new organizations and developing top performers through challenge, empowerment, coaching, mentoring, and reward.