By Howard Lewinter
The downfall of most small businesses is organization and time. It’s about not putting the right priorities in the right place at the right time. It’s always doing busy work so there isn’t time or enough time to do the important things that can make a business more successful and profitable.
There are only 24 hours in the day. No matter what you, as a CEO, business owner or entrepreneur, do to be more effective with time management there is still only so much time. You can’t change it. You can’t get it back. Once the time is gone, it’s gone.
To be more effective and strategic with your time what you need to consider is how you are going to use that time.
One of the ways you can do that is to write yourself a schedule once a week. On the calendar make a list of everything you need to do that is already scheduled. That will tell you what you are committed to.
Then when you accomplish that, on a daily basis sit down with a blank piece of paper in front of you (or on a computer screen) and start writing anything that comes to your mind that will help to move your business forward. Set a specific amount of time in which to complete your list. For example, 20 minutes each day in the morning. This is time for you to just think about your business. To reflect on what you really want from your business and how to make it all happen.
When you are done with that, allow time to look at your daily calendar (for example, 10 minutes) and fill in your goals and plans for the day. Do a 5 minute check-in with yourself and your calendar at lunch or around 12 Noon to reset your day and what you need to accomplish.
Every day before you go home, look at your calendar once again to see what you accomplished, what you didn’t accomplish and at what you need to accomplish the next day. The things you didn’t get done, determine where they fit on your calendar.
The things you didn’t finish on a particular day, why didn’t you finish them? Were they really a business priority? Did they help to grow your business and generate revenue? Were they busy work? Or were they something that was unpleasant – so you did everything possible, conscious or unconscious, to avoid and, not get it done?
Think about what business is really about. It’s about you and your company meeting the needs of others. You provide goods and services for whatever those needs happen to be.
But if you are not using your time correctly you will not be as successful as you want to be. Nor will you be able to service your customers and clients as well as you would like to.
Ask yourself this question: What is the most important thing in your business that you need time for?
Answer: To create prospects. Finding people who need what you have and will want to do business with you.
It’s quite simple. You can’t have a dinner party unless you go to the grocery store to shop for food. You can’t do business unless you’ve made the time to prospect for new business.
Maybe you’re fortunate, the business has done well, and you have a staff of people at your company. You’ve got a sales team, a marketing department, accounting and customer service people. If that’s the case, then you also need to look at how they manage their time in regards to productivity and revenue.
There is a formula to successful business. But you can’t work that formula unless you understand it; unless you have the appropriate time to manage it.
So let’s get rid of those time wasters. Let’s delegate. Let’s find time to think, prioritize and organize.
Let’s use time more efficiently to be more successful.
Howard Lewinter guides, focuses and advises CEOs, presidents and business owners to greater business success and profit throughout the United States. Visit Howard’s website and blog at Talk Business With Howard. Follow Howard on Twitter: @HowardLewinter.