What to focus on when you got too much business
Many businesses are starting to recover from the crisis and getting back to work. And with the upswing, entrepreneurs try to do as much business as possible in these unpredictable times. Which is a great thing to do. But these days, I often hear the question: “What should I focus on when I have too much business?”
The focus dilemma of being successful
It seems like a weird question to ask especially after a pandemic that wiped out many companies. You should consider yourself lucky if you drown in business, right? Well, that is a double-sided sword.
Whenever business runs over you, we all have a tendency of getting right into it, hands-on working off the orders. And in general, there is nothing to say against that. However, what is the downside of this?
One of the strategic core functions of an entrepreneur is to make sure that sales keeps coming in. If you focus on executing orders more than on generating new ones, what will happen after some time? Yes, exactly! At one point in time, you will have processed all orders, but no new ones are coming in. And that is a very dangerous place to be in.
The danger of being trapped in exhaustion
I meet many entrepreneurs that feel like they need a rest after having processed many business requests. And I understand where this feeling comes from. We all get exhausted at times when we work a lot.
However, the underestimated component of “having a break” is that you lose momentum. All this positive, productive energy that you built up will be gone when you come back from your break. You will start from scratch again. And this requires even more work, which will feel like a rat race. You never have a chance to win because you are always one step behind, right?
Ways out of the exhaustion trap
Being always one step behind feels really bad. You feel like you have no control over your life because you constantly try to catch up. So, is that the way it has to be? No, not at all.
There are ways to break out of this pattern. Here is how you get ahead of things:
- Focus on what matters most. Yes, you need to process orders. You need to execute on your sales promises otherwise you will damage your reputation and ruin any future business. So definitely don’t drop the ball here! But think about ways to be more efficient. Create templates for repetitive tasks, store important information easily accessible. Think about ways to facilitate your work process. There is always a way to improve efficiency in what you do.
- Plan in time for marketing and sales. You cannot just drop marketing and sales entirely. When you accept orders, you need to keep space for sales conversations and marketing activities. Ideally, do these actions in the early morning. You cannot control how your day will be going and which emergencies you must handle. Thus, make these important tasks first thing in the morning.
- Identify your bottlenecks. Find out where you lose most of your time in a day in activities that are not money generating. Are you scheduling in client meetings all day long? Or maybe, you are working on your website or sales funnels yourself? Do you do the research on current topics for your next blog post yourself? Are you pre-qualifying your prospects yourself? These are all activities that take up your time but don’t need to be done by you. Identify which tasks you are doing right now that you should not be doing.
- Solve your bottlenecks: Once you know your bottlenecks, you need to solve them. Hire people to support you. Freelancers, Virtual Assistants, own staff. Delegate tasks and let them deal with the execution. This will free up time for you immediately. You should plan in some time for handover and training but consider this as an investment in your recovery and continued business growth.
- Start being more strategic. In order to stay on top of things you need to know what is going on in your company. Are you working with the right clients? Do you charge the right value for your services? Are you on risk because you depend heavily on certain individual customers? These topics are often forgotten when a lot of business is coming in. But you need to keep an eye on it. Maybe you are working more than ever before you are not earning your worth. If you are fully booked, you are in a great position to pick your customers and to charge your worth. And if they don’t want to work with you then, great! You have more time left for your other customers who do pay your worth. Look at the numbers in your business and make strategic decisions where to move forward.
- Review regularly. If you are super busy in your business, you need to force yourself to do review loops. Many wrong business decisions (often due to indecisiveness) are made because the business is going well and there was no need to investigate your spending more closely. However, often businesses dump money on actions that don’t generate any return on invest. Just because your business is doing fine, you should not get careless about your spending. Track your returns and if investments don’t generate returns, get out there. Look at where your customers come from and keep fostering these channels. Figuring out what works while you have a stable business can be key to surviving future bad times.
Remember: Busy is not focused
Having a lot of things to do does not always mean that you are investing your time wisely. Remember, you are the entrepreneur and you are in charge of making sure that the machine keeps running. If you stop, everything else will stop as well – unless you have a team in place that will keep it going.
So, focus your energy on the really important things: Marketing, sales and delivery. Outsource or delegate the rest. Next week more on how to delegate efficiently. Stay tuned.
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