No Time to Market Your Small Business?


Photography Business Institute
Photography Business Institute

You’d love to market your business, or maybe you know you need to, but you just don’t have time. It’s that monkey on your back. Instead of marketing, you’re too busy invoicing, doing paperwork, manning the phones, answering email and well just running your business and juggling it all.

Here’s a challenge.

Spend a week (or even just a few days) writing down how you spend your time. I did this experiment for a week and it blew me away how many times I’m distracted and how many things I do in my day-to-day work that DON’T MAKE MY COMPANY MONEY!

Here are a few things to look for:

How much time do you spend helping people who never do business with you or clients whose orders are so small they are hardly worth your time?

How much time do you spend working with your best clients?

How much time do you spend being reactive and not proactive? Instead of planning and executing on a plan, you’re reacting to whatever fire or fast ball gets thrown at you today.

How much time do you spend with social media each day? Twitter/ Facebook / Linked In? And how many clients do you get from these tools?

Do you answer email all day long or only at certain times a day?

How much time do you spend a day talking on the phone to clients?

How much time do you spend in person with clients a day?

What things do you do each day that take the most ouf of you? You know what I’m talking about…those things that make your brain hurt to think about them. They may be fulfilling, or they may not. But they take up a lot of your brain power.

How much time do you spend doing activities you really love versus things you have to do as a business owner? Is it 50/50 or is it 80/20?

How much time do you spend working on administrative tasks (filing, invoicing, cleaning, answering phones, etc)?

How much time do you spend making strategic decisions for your business….like thinking about your prices, how you will get clients in the door, working on new marketing materials, hiring / firing employees, how you’ll grow your business, where you want your business to be in 2011, what skills you need to learn, etc.

After you’ve made your list for a few days, go through and put a $ sign next to each activity you do that makes your business money. Whether it be money today, money tomorrow or money next quarter. You know if it makes you money. Invoicing does not make you money. Meeting with clients does.

Then go through and put a 🙂 next to those activities you do that make you happy or your clients happy. While they may not make you money, they are essential to your happiness or keeping your clients happy.

Then go through and put a 🙁 next to things you hate doing and or take a lot of time in your day. These are items you should look at outsourcing to someone else. Maybe you trade with a mom who loves what you do and has some free time and an accounting background. Think creatively how you can get these items off your list so that you have more time to spend on $ and 🙂 items!

Finally, go through and put a star next to items that impact the future of your business….like business planning, strategic thinking, pricing, education, promotional planning, marketing, etc. Make sure you schedule time each week (at least 2 hours) to work on these activities. It’s the key to moving your business forward.

Let us know if this helps you get organized and find more time in your day to do the things that help you grow your business!


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