The fastest way to shorten your to do list


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute


If you’re like me, your to do list is longer than your arm some days (most days). Deciding what to tackle first may be the biggest challenge you face in your small business. It’s overwhelming to know where to start. It’s tempting (and easy) to start with the small things that don’t require a lot of brainpower. But often those small things are low value. What I mean by low value is that their impact on customer satisfaction is minimal.

Next time you’re tempted to respond to that inquiry email from an advertising rep, the sponsorship request from a group you have no tie to, upload new images to Facebook or peruse the forum you’ve neglected for the last few weeks, ask yourself how these activities increase your clients’ satisfaction with you. Then take those things and move them off your list. Instead focus on the clients who are waiting on a return call or email or for their order to be processed. Spend a little time on the client who has a special occasion coming up that you could surprise them by remembering. Dig in to your list of clients who usually come in once a year who haven’t been in yet this year you could be reaching out to. Spend less time on the lower value items and more time on the high value activities that will truly thrill your clients.

At the end of the day our #1 goal as small business owners should be thrilling our clients. Without happy customers, you’ll keep spinning your wheels trying to find new clients to replace those who are dissatisfied. And you’ll have to focus harder on attracting new clients to your business with creative marketing efforts because you don’t have happy clients singing your praises and sending you referrals.

If you’re just keeping busy with the small things, crossing things off your to do list that don’t really matter, when are the big things getting done? Sure you feel like you accomplished something. You were busy, right? But what was the value to your business of completing those things on your list?

Consider dividing your to do list into high value versus low value activities and make sure you are giving enough attention to the high value things. These are the activities that will make your business leap forward instead of limping along.

Why Networking with Other Businesses is a Must for Photographers

The business world loves the term networking. While it can be thrown around as a buzzword, when you break it down, it simply means making connections and building relationships. While networking is a part of many jobs, it is essential for professional photographers...

The Portrait Photographer’s Guide to Keeping Up With Trends

Who remembers the boom of selective coloring in the early 2000s? Everywhere you looked, you'd see black and white images but for a pop of red in the subject's shoes or a vivid, bright bouquet colored by hand with colored pencils. Trends come and go in all creative...