What are your income-producing activities (IPAs)? How much time are you spending on them? Entrepreneurs have to wear many hats when they start out – especially if it’s a one-person show. Jack of all trades, master of none? Better become jack of all trades, master of “one.” That trade is sales and marketing.
Bogged down with trainings, calls, team meetings, customer orders, putting out fires, and that pesky dirty desk? According to Sue Clement of SueClement.com, salespeople spend less than 30 percent of their time producing sales. What are they doing 70 percent of the time?
Ms. Clement says: Adopt the 60-30-10 rule. Spend 60 percent of your time marketing, 30 percent on customer service and product development, and 10 percent on administration. As an online entrepreneur, I am telling you to spend 70 percent to 80 percent of your time on IPAs – especially if you are new.
You need eyeballs on your sites, plain and simple. Spend time on driving traffic or learning how to drive traffic. If you only have four hours per day to work on your business, spend three of those hours on marketing and sales. That is the only way to survive. But with your large to-do list, how do you accomplish that?
The answer is simple. Adopt the United States Marine Corps maxim: Do It, Delegate It, or Delete It. I will also add Defer It. Why not follow one of the most feared military forces that has ever walked the Earth?
Most online entrepreneurs fail because they spend most of their time not making sales. When I speak with my team members, they say they spend 30 minutes on IPAs and the rest of the day on crap. Understand that marketing brings in the sales. Sales are the lifeblood of your business. No sales, you die. Please spend the most time on IPAs.
I understand that you have a to-do list. In fact, every time-management book tells you to make one. But 70 percent to 80 percent of your time should be focused on generating leads. If you are new, spend some of that time on how to generate leads. Do lead generation first. Marketing is your cornerstone. Don’t drop the ball on this.
Hit your to-do list after your marketing activities. There will always be fires to put out; that is part of the grind. No one promised an easy road. If they did, they lied. When it comes to those nagging things on the list, work with the attitude of “good, better, best.”
Work on the best thing that will help you produce more sales. Sales keep you in business, so say to yourself, “Do It, Do it, Do It!” or “IPAs, IPAs, IPAs!” If you find that you can’t do everything on your list it is time to…
Hey, lone soldier, it’s OK to pass on the mundane, grinding stuff to someone who is more qualified than you to handle it. Successful businesses run on a system, and when you grow, you will need delegation. Having professionals handle your bookkeeping, taxes, insurance, or investments frees up time to you to get back to your income-producing activities.
Hire a personal assistant to pick up the kids, get the mail, proofread your websites, set up appointments, or schedule meetings. Can’t afford a personal assistant now? Hire your kids or outsource to sites like Fiverr, oDesk, or Elance.
Partner with other online entrepreneurs and share the workload. Just make sure that there is clear communication on what one another’s duties are. Author Dave Ramsey once told me that the only ship that doesn’t sail is a partnership. If you can’t delegate It…
Emails, phone calls, and cleaning your desk – defer these thing until your marketing is done. Deferring task can be tricky. Be careful that you are not avoiding anything that will overwhelm you later. Deferring means that it is not important now; you will complete it later.
For example, checking and answering your emails every hour is a waste of time. In my years online and as a real estate agent, I have never missed a sale because I didn’t check my emails. Schedule a time to check and answer, then move on.
“Time chunking” will help you free up time for marketing. Schedule your phone calls, emails, and chats for a certain time. Plus, don’t become a slave to technology. Your phone, tablet, and computer have you conditioned to jump at every ring tone. Stop that. Do It, Delegate It, or Defer It, but there are things you need to do…
There are some things that should just be deleted: TV, the news, the everyday webinars, trainings, and sales calls. Only go to the webinars that will help you get better in marketing. Watching every shiny new object is a time-killer. Delete spreading gossip and joining in on the pity party of failed gurus and companies.
Delete everything that you know is stealing your time. Delete the busyness that you fill your day with so you can feel that you did something.
Implement Do, Delegate, Defer, and Delete. Focus on your income-producing activities!
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Photo cred: Realtytimes.com