After personally coaching hundreds of people on how to grow their business, I find this recurring problem:
People simply are not spending enough time doing the right things... it’s no wonder their business isn’t growing.
What are the right things to do? This is what I’ll explore in this blog post.
As a foundation, it’s best to first familiarize yourself with The 7 Disciplines of Authentic Business. Those are my recommended “right things to do” to grow your business.
But how much time should you be spending with each “discipline”?
Go down the following list one-by-one, and see if you have these things scheduled into your calendar. If not, schedule enough time to do these things so that your business can grow!
1. Joyful Productivity
Start your time management with scheduling in your self-care. I make sure I’m never working more than 2 hours at a time because I can easily burn out.
If you looked at my calendar you would find that I always have 90-120 minute chunks of work, with breaks in between such as walking the dog, taking a nap, or having a meal. (You can find my schedule in the Intro to Authentic Business course. I can also walk you through my current schedule if you ask on any of my Bonus Q&A calls.)
Part of joyful productivity is keeping your inbox from overflowing. I spend 1.5 hours per workday clearing my emails and miscellaneous tasks. I recommend at least 1 hour per day.
2. Consistent Content
I recommend spending at least 1 hour a week, preferably more, to create original content, or to repurpose (edit and re-share) previous content.
Writing and Videos are my recommended content formats.
Content is so important to me that I spend 90 minutes Monday through Friday (yes -- 7.5 hours per week) to create and distribute content.
3. Paid Distribution
If you’re not running ads to distribute your content, it’s likely that it’s not reaching enough people to grow your business.
I recommend spending a minimum of $30 per month on Facebook Ads.
You’ll probably need 30-60 minutes a week to create and manage your ads, and maybe 2-3 hours a week if you’re just learning how to do it.
If you prefer to outsource it, I recommend www.JaceHR.com
If you don’t want to run ads, then the other primary way I recommend for getting the word out about your business (and your content) is to create simple collaborations.
I do not recommend co-creating products/events/programs with other people unless you’re very savvy with collaborations. Please start with simple collaborations -- promotional partners who spread the word about your content and offerings.
I recommend doing at least 1 collaboration per month. I personally aim to do 2 monthly.
Each collaboration can take about 4 hours per month --
To learn how to find collaborators and work with them, take my course: Simple Collaborations & Authentic JV’s.
If you prefer to outsource the research & outreach, contact www.JaceHR.com
5. Audience Research
There’s a good chance that, like most business owners, you don’t understand your potential clients well enough to do good marketing. You probably never learned how to conduct market research conversations, so it’s no surprise if your marketing and content doesn’t work as well as it could.
I recommend doing at least 1 “fan interview” every month. Personally I try to do one every week. Even though I already have a pretty good understanding of my audience, I keep it up as a discipline to stay in touch and notice any changes in my market and the wants of my audience.
Each fan interview can take about 2 hours per month:
To learn more, read The 7 Disciplines of Authentic Business -- look at the 5th discipline.
To have someone do the outreach for your fan interviews, contact www.JaceHR.com
6. Offer Rhythm
Yet another frequently missing piece is that you are probably not consistently announcing your products/services. I find that about 80% of the clients I work with aren’t doing this consistently enough.
If so, then no wonder people aren’t signing up to work with you, or aren’t referring you enough business.
Spend at least 1 hour every 2 weeks to write an announcement/invitation to your audience about some product or service of yours.
7. Client Feedback
Lastly, are you spending the time to gather and analyze the feedback from your clients? This is how you can keep improving your services and products.
I recommend at least 3 hours every 3 months:
The above 7 items will take about 10 hours per week if done efficiently. When learning how to do these things, you may want to budget 15-20 hours per week. You also need to add in the time you spend with clients and product development (e.g. course creation) and other admin.
Many business owners are really just “playing” their business, not really running a business. They may spend many hours a week consuming content about business/marketing, but they’re not spending enough time doing the actual recommended actions.
Have an honest audit of your schedule, the time you spend, and ask yourself: am I spending enough time doing the right things?
George Kao is a Marketing Coach for small business owners, especially solopreneurs such as Coaches and Mentors. He focuses on ethical & effective ways to grow one's platform and build true livelihood.
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