How busy are you? Do you have so much on your plate that the list of things to do never gets any smaller, yet your business isn’t growing at the rate you expect? Are you suffering the fate of the ‘busy fool’?
If you’re looking to accelerate business growth, without simply piling more things on your ‘to do’ list, here are five things to cut down or stop doing altogether:
- Do less planning. Sometimes we get so caught up with planning that we never get started. Recently, it became clear a client was holding back on contacting some prospects because they wanted to get a suite of marketing initiatives in place first. Consequently, nothing was happening and the new business pipeline was drying up. We kick-started the activity by getting phone calls underway to a first tranche of prospects while the marketing campaign was still being developed. The result? The pipeline is already building before the full campaign kicks off.
- Stop doing your own bookkeeping. While it’s important to keep your eye on cash flow and ‘know your numbers’, that doesn’t mean you need to do your own bookkeeping. It’s surprising how long some business owners hang on to this task as their business grows. This is not a good use of your time. Start by getting professional support with someone who will implement an online bookkeeping/accounts package.
- Outsource your administrative activity. As the business grows, your role needs to grow with it (or ahead of it). The earlier you recognise that your role is growing beyond administrative and support activities, the quicker you release your talents to focus on more valuable tasks. Therefore, start to accelerate business growth by delegating more to your team and perhaps bringing in a virtual assistant.
- Cut back on managing your people’s work. Most of your team will do a better job without you micro-managing them. You need to ensure they’re trained, developed, coached and supported, and you need to set standards and provide leadership, but stop second guessing, checking, criticising, and even stepping in and doing things yourself. If your team isn’t delivering against their goals, a good business adviser will help you recruit and develop a high-performing team.
- Focus less on finding new customers. Growth comes in various guises and not all of it involves winning new business. Your existing customers represent a highly valuable source of growth – both in revenue and profitability. Look at selling additional services, expand your reach to new parts of existing customers, review your pricing and look at your costs of providing your products and services to existing customers.
Underlying these five actions is the idea that you’ll be more effective doing a smaller number of things that fit your experience and skills – and doing them well – rather than spreading your efforts too thin. And with you, the business owner, being more effective, you generate valuable momentum across the business. That’s the path to real growth.
Here at Henchards, we can help you cut back to accelerate forward. Find out how.