Now that I’ve run a successful digital marketing agency for several years, I’ve learned to manage my time in a way that makes my business work more efficiently. I now have streamlined processes that make sense for my business—but it wasn’t always so easy. As the head of an agency, I quickly learned I needed an effective schedule to help my business grow.
It can be difficult to manage your time with all the responsibilities of running and owning a business. How do you prioritize and organize your tasks?
Save Yourself the Trouble
Sometimes the business owners we talk with have a difficult time adjusting to the demands of an expanding business. They get used to having direct control over every task, but they can’t keep up as the amount of work grows.
To examine this, let’s consider the 80/20 rule:
As a business owner, the most profitable and important tasks you have to make up only 20% of your to-do list. You need to prioritize those tasks. If you don’t, you could be wasting your time with tasks that make little difference in how well your company performs.
Instead of trying to do everything, delegate the other 80%. You can outsource, or hire employees and form a team. Find people you can pay to help take responsibilities off your shoulders that hinder your productivity. You can again apply the 80/20 rule a little regarding how you prioritize your remaining responsibilities. With it, you can create a mindset to help you and your business move forward to success.
3 Ways for Business Owners to Apply the 80/20 Rule to Their Productivity
Check out these tips for managing your time as a business owner:
1. Focus on Outbound Marketing at the Start
Especially in the beginning, while you work toward establishing your business, you should spend 80% of your time on outbound marketing, as opposed to inbound. Invest efforts into cold emailing, calling, networking, and doing whatever else you can to get paying clients. Your goal is to start earning money to gain revenue for your business. Facing rejection and disciplining yourself to prospects feel difficult at the beginning, but this method pays off.
2. Do RGAs more than Anything Else
As you progress, you should spend 80% of your time doing RGAs (Revenue Generating Activities). That means activities that directly generate revenue.
These can include making direct offers to prospects or running ad campaigns for clients. You can also write a blog post. Explore ideas to draw in new sources of revenue.
3. Pay Attention to Your Daily Schedule
Take a look at your daily schedule. If you haven’t been trained on how to make an effective plan for your day as a business owner, then 80% of your schedule is most likely a waste of time.
Too many new business owners spend their time tinkering with efforts to get a perfect website or designing an eye-catching logo. They decide to make a podcast, build a YouTube channel, or write a blog. They talk to people about all the details of their awesome new agency. Meanwhile… they aren’t actually making any money! That defeats the purpose of running a business!
They don’t realize what actually matters: the 20% of their tasks they haven’t considered. I’m talking about prospective client work. This is the work that actually moves the needle for their business. Instead of bumbling around like these guys, work to earn revenue. Schedule certain tasks for specific times, so you always have a clear plan. Of course, certain administrative tasks do need to happen. Schedule them in a way that helps your business grow—Or find yourself a virtual assistant. For example, in terms of an average workweek, you could use your Monday for meetings, administration, and inbound.
Spend the rest of the week prospecting and doing client work that generates revenue. As the head of an agency, remember that you should spend at least 80% of your time taking care of responsibilities that only you can do.
One agency owner I know spends little time with the everyday tasks that make his business run. He outsources those items so he can provide vision and direction. He takes his responsibilities seriously of developing relationships with key clients and training his department heads. This method helps his business to grow more quickly, function more efficiently, and draw in more revenue than if he tried to accomplish all the tasks by himself.
It takes some practice but learning how to manage a schedule as a professional will give you the most from your efforts. Don’t make the mistake of trying to establish these habits later and miss out on the benefits you could gain from the beginning.
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