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Marketing Today

Prepare for growth effectively

What if your business doubled &

and I do mean doubled &

overnight? Sure, you&

d have twice your sales and twice your profits. You&

d also have double your employees, customers, locations, vendors, etc.

The simple truth is that your actual product or service is almost an afterthought compared to the many tasks and systems required to run a business. Many people start businesses because they enjoy making the product or providing the service and end up putting in longer and longer days and falling further and further behind. It&

s what Michael Gerber calls &

working in your business instead of on your business.&

How can you regain control of your time and start moving forward instead of treading water?

It&

s very easy.

Begin by examining every process and function in your business and eliminate anything that is not essential. Be as objective as possible. You may just find yourself spending a significant amount of time on insignificant tasks. Lose those and you&

ll recapture both time and energy.

Divide the essential items into strategic and tactical. Strategic items affect the direction and focus of your business in general and include marketing, planning, networking, etc. Tactical items affect portions of your business, such as payroll, accounts payable, inventory, estimating, etc. As the owner, you must focus on the strategic items just like the captain of a ship focuses on getting the ship where it needs to be. Decide who in your business can best handle the tactical items and delegate them accordingly.

Eliminate your nonessential tasks and functions and properly delegate the rest and you may well surprise yourself with the many hours you save each week.

So how will you use all the time you gain?

One idea might be to tackle any long-term goals you may have been putting off. One method of doing this that I&

ve seen work uses the following four steps:

First, break the goal down into simple steps that you can accomplish on a weekly basis.

Second, forget about the goal and focus solely on the step you&

re currently taking. The step you took last week is over and no longer matters. The step you&

ll take next hasn&

t arrived yet and does not yet matter to you.

Third, do each step as it comes up. If you find yourself hitting a wall, simply divide each step in two and slow down. If you find yourself inspired to move faster, double up your steps each week. Accelerate or decelerate as needed. Just keep moving forward no matter what.

The fourth and final step is in many ways the most critical. Before undertaking each step, decide how you will reward yourself for accomplishing it. This reward need not be expensive nor time-consuming. It must, however, be both creative and meaningful. For example, if you go out to dinner frequently, don&

t reward yourself by going out to dinner. Read a book, see a sunset, go for a hike &

what you do is not important. What is important is that you program yourself to associate joy and taking care of yourself with accomplishing the things that really matter to you.

People have told me that they&

ve shaved as much as 15 to 25 hours from their weekly schedules. I can&

t guarantee how much time you&

ll manage to save each week. That said, every minute saved is a minute gained. How will you use it?

Imagine that you&

ve eliminated needless tasks, categorized and delegated your essential tasks, and are making measurable progress toward your long-term goals. Now how does the prospect of doubling your business sound?

Maybe you don&

t want to double your business. Maybe you want to have more time for family, friends, volunteer organizations, a second enterprise, traveling, or pampering yourself. It&

s up to you because it&

s your time. If there is one thing that unites all of us, it&

s that none of us has forever.

Need additional help with your marketing or any aspect of your business? If so, please e-mail me to set up a free 30-minute consultation with no obligation whatsoever.

As always, I look forward to your questions and comments. You may e-mail me at anthony@coachanthony.com.

is a local business consultant with over 19 years of business and marketing experience. He lives in Ashland with his wife Robyn, son Logan, and their three dogs.