with Simplicity Expert, A.Michelle Blakeley
Progressive and forward-thinking entrepreneurs and small business owners know their time is valuable and they use it wisely. With concentrated effort, they set aside time to work on activities and projects that are revenue generating, increase sales opportunities or further develop their business.
Multi-tasking serves a purpose when necessary, but to truly accomplish your objectives, you need focus and dedicated time to take directed and strategic action. Leveraged time and energy can be just what the doctor ordered to shift your business in results-oriented direction. Take notes from these business owners:
Create a clear and concise project or mission statement. Identify the team that will execute the mission and hold a 30-minute meeting to convey your mission statement and the roles and responsibilities of the team. Answer questions to validate that the team understands the mission and their role in accomplishing the team goal. Laura Lee Rose, http://www.lauraleerose.com
Writing for our own blog or for others. Either way it will get you social signals and links. Or review analytics and Webmaster Tools. While I may not be able to get a ton done in an hour, I can collect the data to make decisions when I have more time or make quick tweaks (redirect broken site pages, refresh images, etc.) Dave Davies @beanstalkseo
Research, outline and write a blog entry. I can research, outline and write a powerful blog article in 60 minutes, if I find a topic I find interesting and inspiring. I love blogging on issues of law for my website or similarly related websites as a guest blogger because establishing myself as a legal authority is important and advances many of my company’s business objectives and it’s is a fun exercise that always stimulates my mind. Matthew Reischer, Esq, @lawyerreview
I try to set aside 60 minutes two to three times per week to work on business development, enhancement or outreach. I follow up with leads, I contact potential partners or other cool businesses I come across, send thank you notes and even check in with former clients who I haven’t heard from in a while. Because these types of communications aren’t tied to a scope or statement of work, they can fall far down on the to-do list if you don’t make them a priority. It really is the small things that make a huge impact. Shemiah R. Williams, @shemiahw
For each day of the week create an alliteration for an activity that relates to a major area of your business or career. Spend at least one hour in that area just for that day. For example, Thirsty Thursday: This is “close the deal” sales day. Thursday is all about direct contact with current prospects to get the deal closed. Remember the line from Glengarry Glen Ross, “Coffee is for closers.” Same idea here – only I reward myself with a Margarita when I close a deal on Thursday. Or, Who do you Know Wednesday? Who do I need to meet that can either book me or connect me with a potential booking, such as a potential client, speakers bureau, local clubs and associations who book speakers, gamification platforms and gurus, or potential sponsors. Monica Cornetti, @monicacornetti
In 60 minutes you can find someone to user-test your product and see your business through someone else’s eyes. That 60-minute experience can provide you with six months worth of product improvement. If you’re a restaurant you can take food samples to the streets, if you’re a car salesman you can bring in a few people to test-drive your newest model. It’s like a 60-minute consultation. We used to have a Captcha enabled to login to our product. After a user-test we learned that the Captcha was super disruptive and frustrating and that told us that we were probably losing clients from it. We would have never figured that out on our own. So if you want to advance your product forward, quickly, user-test! Jim Belosic, http://www.shortstack.com
I can reach out to 4-5 possible partnership opportunities and explain our company’s value proposition. If I have a solid 60 minutes, I can identify the target and send an email, call or reach out via LinkedIn. I usually receive 1 out of 10 response. While that may not seem like much, it can yield quite strong revenue growth and ultimately growth in partnerships. Deborah Sweeney, @deborahsweeney
Do a task that will get you the most rewards or benefits such as confirming an appointment, promoting a product or service, or meeting with a client or vendor. Prioritize the most important or urgent tasks you need to work on and complete those. Map out a to-do for the day and stick to it. Use time management skills to avoid getting bogged down in small tasks like checking emails or social media. Focus on customer service. Respond to client or vendor complaints. Thank recurring customers and get testimonials from satisfied customers. Ensure all former and current customers are satisfied customers. Then sell them additional products and services. Update your calendar to keep track of tasks and appointments. Set reminders to help you stay on track so you don’t miss important dates. Harrine Freeman, @harrine
Add revenue, reduce cost. In one hour, I can add a revenue stream and find an area to reduce a resource cost (money, time, materials). Can you? Donald Glacy, Omnific Advertising
I am a Career Management Coach and I can write a quarterly newsletter in 60 minutes… a major marketing tool for me. Bettina Seidman, http://www.seidbet.com
The best way to move your business forward, and help it accomplish an objective with 60 minutes is to define daily, weekly and monthly an objective goal. When you have an analytic metric of objective goals with a follow-through strategy that foresees a clarification of what you are setting out for each and every day. The first 60 minutes of the day should be spent to build upon a strategic management calendar. This would help with operational maintenance throughout the day. When the business has a set goal, and the parochial spectrum of high regards in expectancy are defined, the business activities can be easily accomplished. Parisnicole Payton, @thepnpagency
Wrap up 5-6 client emails using text expander and succinct replies. Close at least one prospective customer with a short phone call. Write 2 new ideas for moving your content strategy moving forward fromdoing the above. Drink a cup of freshly brewed tea while being a rockstar business owner! Farnoosh Brock, Prolific Living Inc.
Upload 3 new solo travel packages after finalizing copy and resizing photos. Read and respond to new emails and/or forward/delegate follow-up to others. Check overnight news feeds as to new solo travel deals, luxury offerings for those traveling alone and seniors’ specials. A management tool for effectiveness pre-Internet was never touch a paper twice. That meant read, respond, delegate all new correspondence on first review rather than just move paper around your desk. That is even more important in the Information Age. Elizabeth Avery, @SoloTrekker4U
Focus on relationships. That means I make sure my team has the tools, the inspiration, the resources, the guidance, the answers and ultimately, the freedom they need to deliver the best work possible to our clients. People think you need to spend hours in meetings, but you’d be surprised what can be accomplished in 5 to 7 minutes of truly focused, rapid-fire 1:1 conversation with smart, motivated team members. Instead of ‘doing,’ I can accomplish more by spending 60 minutes ’empowering’ individuals. Elizabeth Zaborowska, @BhavaCom
Eat your frog. Stop wasting energy putting off the thing you don’t want to do. Mark Twain once said, “If you eat a frog first thing in the morning, nothing else will seem that bad for the rest of the day.” So every morning, before you check your social media or read your emails, pick your most difficult task of the day – your frog – and get it done. If you can’t eat the whole frog, set a timer for 30 minutes and eat a frog leg. Do as much as you can in the time you allot and feel good about getting some of it done. Anne Grady, Author
Minimize interruptions. It has been estimated that each interruption wastes between 10 to 15 minutes, including time to re-engage in the task we were doing before we were interrupted. If we save 30 minutes a day, the time it takes for two or three interruptions, that’s the equivalent of having an extra 22 days a year. Imagine what you could do with 22 days! Who is the worst culprit when it comes to interruptions? You are. Drifting thoughts, multitasking, constantly checking email and texts, and staying glued to social media are your biggest time wasters. Turn off your new mail alert, turn off your technology, and focus on the task at hand. Managing interruptions from others is the next step. This is often difficult because you may have already trained friends, family, and coworkers that it’s okay to interrupt you. If you want them to stop, you have to retrain them. For some of us, especially people-pleasers, that’s hard to do. You’re worth your time, too. The world will not end if you let people know that every day, you need an hour or two of uninterrupted time. Anne Grady, Author
Respond to 6 media inquiries, which helps promote my company. Connect with 10 new people on social media to build relationships that grow my career, bring new opportunities or bring in new clients. Write 10 Facebook Page posts. Julia Angelen Joy, @JuliaAngelenPR
In 60 minutes a day I submit material to two blogs and post them throughout my social networks. I use my blog to network and build relationships and feeding others with good insight is one way to keep your relationships alive and out of the grave. Derrick Hayes, @encouragement4u
In 30 minutes you can: Complete an expense report, download some software upgrades and reboot your computer, your phone AND your tablet, research a new client and set up a document for a pitch or introduction, clean out your purse and briefcase, restocking necessities like highlighters, USB connectors and noting what you still need, such as emergency cash, research and order gifts for the next gift giving occasion on your calendar, update your bio and see if you still look like your headshot or recharge with a one mile walk, but not to the ice cream stand. Joanne Cleaver, @jycleaver
What can YOU do in 60 minutes to re-focus on activities of business productivity and growth?