Your time is your most valuable asset, but most people treat it as a cheap commodity.
If you were to keep a record of all your business activities, how many of those are nonproductive, nonstrategic, yet time-consuming and energy-draining?
Most entrepreneurs fail to focus on strategising, managing, and working on their company’s growth.
They micro-manage too much such that they never have time to macro-manage. This ends up with them spending time, money, effort in a lacklustre way.
They try to put out fires but never seem to be able to fully extinguish them. All of these lead to a high opportunity cost.
Your resources are depleting, not being put to good use. Your business is not working hard enough for you. You are stuck.
As a result, they miss out on valuable opportunities to grow and expand their business. If you’re failing to strategise, you’re probably using your time, money or effort in the wrong ways.
You are probably stuck.
But here is how you can get unstuck.
Allocate Your Resources Strategically – Money
You need to be able to make the best use of your money.
The concept of highest and best use is deceptively easy. Just use your money to the maximum potential.
Sounds simple? But how?
Use your resources to make the biggest impact. Your budget should bring you the best results, at the lowest costs. If you want to make the most out of your money, you need to be using it for some quality marketing.
Your marketing strategy needs to be disciplined and consistent.
Invest in Quality.
It is essential to invest in the help that you need?
Do you need a better website to allow your brand to give your visitors a better first-impression?
Do you need a new software to better manage your company’s workflow and paperwork?
All of these are long-term thinking that can help you get the best value for your money.
Having a long-term approach also gives you better partnerships, opportunities and better-quality clients that can pay off in the long run. You might be able to get a good business deal from your partners and have more chances to network and branch out. This is the power of joint ventures.
You might have repeated clients more often, with an increasing volume of purchases, due to your willingness to invest in customer service and improving a customer’s experiences.
All of these are costs but are costs that can be paid off.
However, some business owners remain impatient and expect instantaneous results.
This puts them at a severe disadvantage.
Quality and long-term time frame is an easier competition and landscape to compete in.
Research The Competition
You need to keep yourself updated on the industry needs.
- Do other rival firms use social media or email to stay in touch with their customers?
- Does your landing page look out of date? Does it have any expired links?
- Are you ranking way below your competitors in search engines? How far below are you ranking?
- Are you focusing your efforts in the same channels as your competitors?
Researching on a competitor is so easy, whether it’s through SEO or social media.
Context will reward you with the information and decision – do you want to play catch up, or do you want to do things differently to stand out. If it is working out for your rival and competitors, make it work for you.
Learn from their mistakes.
Avoid what was not working for them, unless you are confident you can put a new spin into things.
Allocate Your Resources Strategically – Time
- What is your time currently worth?
- What do you want it to be worth?
- How much time do you have?
- How much time can you have?
- How much time do you need?
Replying to e-mails is a task, and as with any other task, you should schedule time for completing it.
But most people commit the fatal error of e-mail continuously throughout the day. It does not matter what they’re in the middle of, they are glued to their inbox and screens, and instantly reply, check, read and clear their emails. This is made worse when individuals are engrossed in the email marketing campaign process.
What many people view as instantaneous and constant access is actually a constant diversion and distraction – it is time wastage.
Learn to harness your most important resource – your time – most of the time.
If you were to view your time expenditure like your income expenditure, you will realise how much time we waste on average.
You would change the way you spend your time.
The Art of Leveraging
Time is by far your greatest asset.
Which is why you shouldn’t waste it on unimportant things when you could be investing it in strategy. Every minute you waste, you waste an opportunity to create a business that serves you, not the other way around.
In my experience, success in the business world is much less about what you have, and rather, what you do with what you have.
The secret to successful time management is simple – spend time producing the greatest, long-term, strategic pay off possible.
For example, have you considered delegating your company’s email marketing campaign to an external firm?
If you want to find out how you can use an average skill set and make it great by optimising your time, your relationships, opportunities, expenses and priorities, the best-use concept of time management is for you.
Best-use Time Concept
The concept of ‘best-use’ is ridiculously obvious – use your time to its maximum potential.
Despite it being common sense, it’s a common failing in business.
For most business owners, the trouble lies in not knowing what the most effective, best-use activities are in the first place. Even though they think that what they’re doing is effective, it isn’t.
If you are questioning how you partition your time and wondering if this applies to you too, then it definitely does. Unless you know you have created a business that facilitates the best-use concept, you’re not there yet.
Break down your critical tasks into subcategories.
- Marketing will need you to take photos, research for analytics and statistics, build landing pages and ensure that your ads run smoothly.
- Sales involving cold calling, emails, in-person meetings and steps to initiate a client’s onboarding process.
- Content requires writing, research and uploading. It also requires checks, proofreading and rounds of optimisation.
Discover, within those tasks, the relevancy and importance of each tasks.
Will you be able to complete those tasks yourself? Will you be able to do so efficiently? Is it the bes use of your time?
If the task is neither relevant nor the best use of your time, then it is an inefficient use of your time.
Delegate, or completely remove your inefficiencies. While it might be annoying or an expense to delegate, the opportunity cost of not doing so is much greater.
With your time locked down doing irrelevant tasks that you may lack a passion for or are incompetent at, you’re strangling your business.
If you don’t have the money to delegate low-level tasks and improve your inefficiencies, then not only are you clearly not focused on strategy, but you’re not leveraging other people’s inefficiencies, either.
The Art of Time Blocking
“Discipline equals Freedom”– Jocko Willink
The more you uphold your own commitments, the more, paradoxically, freedom will be created in your life.
Ultimately, you will end up with fewer distractions, fewer diversions, and less disappointment. Time blocking is a way to achieve that end goal.
Time block is the art of scheduling various activities into blocks of time which you adhere and commit to, on a religious level. With time blocking, your priorities are accounted for, and your day is planned in advance. Your surroundings are controlled and set up in a way where distractions are minimised.
You get things done.
Time blocking is effective because it is a simple concept. Instead of being manipulated by your day and what transpires, you manipulate your day to suit your needs.
Time is blocked for emails, meetings, personal time. In an era where we are instantly connected, we are also instantly distracted. Notifications on our phones that take us away from important work are everywhere.
We get tied to the instant gratification of responding to messages, checking your latest post for likes and comments. All of these translate to a monumental waste of time.
Like everything else, responding to emails and replying to social media takes time. If you see this as a task that has time blocked out for it, it no longer becomes a distraction, but a task.
There are many apps to help with time blocking. But for some others who have tried and failed with the method, you can consider the follow option – time multiplication.
The Art of Time Multiplication
Time multiplication is a different concept from time blocking but is still similar as it is a strategy that is introduced that is related to time management.
This concept was introduced by Rory Vaden in a TEDTalk.
Rather than asking “What is the most important thing that I should complete today?”, Rory proposes that we should be asking, “What’s the most important thing I can do today that would make tomorrow better?”
In other words, by thinking about how should we NOT spend our time every day, we can free up our hours in the future. Do not spend time on things that are least urgent and important.
The same logic works for running your business. It is an investment-approach to think about things.
Rory argues that time management is emotional, and that our feelings of worry, guilt, procrastination and fear, along with frustration and motivations, will dicdate how we spend our time and how we clear our to-do lists.
Perhaps more accurately, time management is really about self-management. All things being equal, you want to focus less on time and more on efficiency, yet there is an unfortunate limitation to efficiency when time management is in the picture.
Hence, time management has to extend beyond just time; it is really about self-management or efficiency managements.
- Must I be the one who do this?
- Can someone else do it better than me?
- Must I do it now?
- Is there someone else in a better position, with more time and resources, to do it for me?
The Art of Allocating Your Resources Strategically – Effort
As a business owner, you do not want to play the small game and end up becoming a bottleneck for your business workflow.
How Do I Avoid Being the Bottleneck?
You want to be able to transit from working on a business, to another. Instead of transiting between one task to another.
When you work on your business, the business begin to work harder for you.
Avoid bottlenecks by delegating tasks. You can do that by leaving tasks for your employees or teams to complete. Alternatively, you can always hire external help and engage firms to help your company with projects or campaigns. Outsourcing has its own benefits too.
Slowly but surely, your systems and workflow will make the low-level tasks less of a problem. Your employees will be able to complete the miscellaneous and time-consuming manual labour, while absorbing the responsibilities that you used to have.
Ultimately, you should be left with only the best-use activities to take up your day.
To achieve that, you need to make a subtle change in your thinking.
Work on Your Business, Not In It.
Working on your business, not in it is not just a catchy phrase. It will allow you in time to be in a position where your business works harder for you than you work for it.
And that is to not work in your business. Start working on yours.
Working on the business means being strategic enough to divide your attention.
Be involved in activities that can help you grow your business, ones which you have to truly be present for.
There are many key aspects that fall under that category. It could be marketing, sales, planning for events. These are big money-makers that can churn income for you and your company in the future. And that should be the role they fulfil – paving the road for the future.
And not being your largest energy drainers.
Build Your Digital Marketing Fundamentals
To cut through the distractions, avoid the noise, start building up your marketing foundation. Like any stable building, you need a good foundation and pillars to support the infrastructure.
Digital marketing is no different.
Strengthen your business funnelling system allows you to have better quality leads and more frequent recurring leads. Build each aspect of your digital presence, from blogs to social media to your website. Learn about the marketing options that you can explore.
Rather than being a process-driven guide that walks you through everything step by step, they are pillars you can continually utilise, optimise and innovate with that will ensure your business works for you, rather than having you work for your business. You can then wait at the end of the funnel to build a human-to-human relationship with your client.
Digital marketing is no easy feat to accomplish. Training an intern or staff to undertake this responsibility is not impossible but requires time and effort that smaller companies may not be able to afford. Hence, is such situations, it may be better to engage a one-stop-shop for your digital marketing needs.
The Art of Delegation
Applying that concept to digital marketing, each effort you spend on hiring an external digital marketing firm creates more opportunities (and time) for you to pursue your traditional marketing campaigns and needs.
Delegating or automating a task can bring you more time for you to focus on other aspects of your business. This may include meeting clients, hosting events, greeting partners, discussing a partnership. Once again, the ‘best-use’ of your time.
Suppose one of your least favourite activities is emailing. Email marketing is a dreaded task for you, but one that nonetheless needs to be completed.
What do you do?
You can find someone who has no issue with typing in front of a computer and spends so much time with the keyword that it is an extended part of his limbs.
To him/her, there might be much worse tasks than interacting with a computer. So, while your new salesperson is busy crossing names off his excel sheet of prospects, you can focus on a task which calls for your presence and effort.
Delegating does not need to be a demeaning process. Delegating is about finding people who can complete the task that you need to do but are unable to find the time to. You pay for their services and reward them for their work, which could end up being a beneficial win-win for both parties.
You will be unable to be everywhere and anywhere.
If you do try to, you end up being nowhere, as you find yourself spread too thin. Delegate tasks that you can afford to delegate.
For example, there may be marketing channels that you wish to explore, while still carrying on with your company’s day-to-day activities. These marketing campaigns can be outsourced or passed onto other digital marketing agencies. This will allow your marketing campaign to run parallel, alongside the same timeline as your company’s regular workload.
Not only does this help unburden your employee’s workload, hiring an external party for your digital marketing needs will also prevent your employee’s time from being taken up from managing and executing these campaigns.
Time, energy and opportunity costs are precious and costly assets. Don’t waste any of these when you could be investing them in your strategy and for your future.
Strategy begins with true resource management, putting everything to the best use.
Let us help you buy time, build opportunities for future-you.