4 Smart Business Decisions to Improve Focus, Time & Profits
Over the past few weeks I’ve had time to reflect on how 2015 went down and in doing so I was able to pin point four, seemingly small business decisions I made that resulted in a better work focus, more free time and an improved income. Today I want to share with you these simple ideas and how they improved my work & life.
By no means are these “new ideas” I dreamt up myself, far from it! It’s probable that you’ve heard it all before but haven’t actually put them into practice or (like me), you couldn’t see the benefits so didn’t bother. If this is you, I hope that this post is just the inspiration you need.
Decision 1 // Do the Work
The first and most important decision I made was that I was going to devote myself to doing the work. For me, that meant//
- Waking up each morning and creating beautiful things regardless of whether I had clients or not.
- Devoting myself to learning new things related to my work.
- And giving 200% to my clients so they could focus on doing their work.
I was over feeling insecure and comparing my work to others. That behavior had gotten me nowhere in the past and I felt it was time to really start backing myself and JUST DO ME.
As a result of taking a different approach, I had a very different outcome to previous years where I was literally scratching for clients. For the first time ever I found myself booked out for most of 2015 through repeat customers and word of mouth referrals. More of that please!
Decision 2 // One Client at a time!
You see, I’ve bitten off more than I can chew on more than one occasion working with up to 4 clients at any given time. And while some people are in their element under such pressure, I’ve found that my best work happens when I’m not under the pump. I enjoy having the space and time to let ideas mature. I also enjoy and benefit from a relaxed working environment.
When I was taking on every (and any!) job that came my way, I was more likely to make rash decisions. I was also stressed out and that stress more often than not, transferred into my home (utter chaos!). So, choosing to work with just one client at a time has done wonders for both my work and life.
My clients get my full and undivided attention which makes them feel supported and cared for resulting in repeat customers and word of mouth referrals. And my family gets to see me at my best more often – the stress-free version – plus, because my workload has decreased, I get to spend a whole lot more time with them.
Decision 3 // Streamline
I used to do repetitive tasks like client on-boarding on the fly – Yip, a huge time-suck!
I knew I needed to streamline (and possibly semi-automate) these tedious tasks I just hadn’t really taken the time to work it through (O.K. Yes! I was procrastinating). So since I had now committed to “doing the work”, it was time to get on with it.
So starting with my services, I mapped out each and every step from the time a potential client hit the “buy now” button, to the time the service was delivered. When I got the information down in front of me on a single sheet of paper, it was so much easier to see what steps were missing or which ones could be consolidated. My intention was to simplify my process for the end user while finding the pieces that could be automated or consolidated.
There are a few touch points that I still have to tend to personally, but taking the time to really work out a reliable system has had many benefits //
- Smoother process for me and my clients
- More time to focus on my work
- More quality time with my fams
I’m yet to find a solution for content creation and marketing that will help me whip up great content and market effectively with little fuss (if you know of something, let me know!)
Decision 4 // REAL Boundaries
As much as I wish I could say, “I’ve always set good boundaries”, where my work is concerned… I can’t. There was a time when I thought running a business meant running myself into the ground! I was that girl who tended to each and every query in real time.
You’ve probably experienced the fine line between work and life yourself. You know, stealing hours here and there to reply to emails and putting the kids to bed while the sun’s still up so you can put the finishing touches on that project in peace (they don’t fall for it, believe me!).
One thing leads to another and next thing you know, your clients think you don’t actually sleep and start getting annoyed when you don’t respond within the hour. The truth be told, I wore my dedication like a badge of honor! However, the time soon came where it became obvious that something had to give. And I sure as hell am glad it did!
Although I still trip up occasionally, I am so much better than I used to be. My computer goes on after the kids have been dropped at school and goes off before they return. If there’s something that needs my attention outside of this time or I didn’t quite finish off something that day, then it just means I have to burn the midnight oil once the kids are in bed (which is 8pm if you’re wondering). The point is, setting REAL boundaries helped me to be more present in both my work and with my family.
Take caution where seemingly insignificant business decisions are concerned because they can sometimes have a huge impact!
I didn’t intentionally set out to get more focused on my work or to create more time or to make more money. In fact, one of my decisions is counter-intuitive or some might say, a little risque!
The motive behind my business decisions was simply, TO DO BETTER. And I actually believe now (through writing this), I’ve accomplished that.
MY RALLY CRY
You don’t need to make big, huge, scary business decisions or set big, huge, insurmountable mountains of goals. It’s o.kay to want something, seemingly small like “to do better”. Sometimes, it’s the small ones, made out of the desire to do better, that have the biggest impact.
It might sound broad and is hardly specific – I know – but if you apply it to each and everything you do from here on in, you will reach that peak… undoubtedly.
Let’ start some accountability around this…
So, if you’re keen to play tell me in the comments below, what areas of your business you’re going to commit to doing better in. I’ll be here to cheer you on… that’s a promise!
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