In many of our businesses, August is a slow month. People take their final opportunities to goof off while the weather is warm and our kids are yet to start school.
Before the post-Labor Day rush back to work, pick one (or more if you’re especially ambitious) of these strategies to implement to before things pick back up in September.
1.) Adopt a modern marketing strategy. Distill your customer/prospect interactions into digital form as often as possible. Whether it’s video, audio, written, or a combination of all three, modern digital marketing allows us to create a repository of content that will benefit your target customers WITHOUT you having to be present. This opportunity for leveraging your knowledge is the most significant shift in marketing that there has ever been.
2.) Create checklists to “know what success looks like.” Why? You and I can work 24/7 since there’s no longer a definition of a proper work day. Without checklists, small business owners have a very, very hard time of knowing when they’re on-the-clock and when they’re not. Create a realistic daily checklist, and once you’re done, you can allow yourself to leave work feeling great.
3.) Create a “not doing” list. In addition to the must-do checklist in #2, create a list of things you could be doing but chose not to do right now. Why? 2 reasons –
a.) It forces you to reconcile the best use of your time right now. By knowing what you’re not doing, you’re telling yourself that the things you ARE doing are the most important and high-value items.
b.) A “not doing” list helps assuage that gnawing feeling of “what am I forgetting?” Until you empty your head – so to speak – on a list, you’ll miss things.
4.) Use the checklists from #2 to create a series of systems for others to follow. Think to yourself, “If I was a brand-new person working in my business, what would I need to do step-by-step to complete this task/project?” Why is this important? All of us are subject to the Curse of Knowledge; we know our businesses so well that we think to ourselves, “Doesn’t everyone know this?” Nope, they don’t. These step-by-step systems will prevent employee/contractor issues in the future since they’ll know what’s expected of them.
5.) Create a company organizational chart, but create the chart based on roles, and not on people. Spell out each respective function in your business and – even if it’s currently just you – put the name of each person responsible for that function. For example, if one of your company’s roles is Accounts Payable, designate that role as a position on your organizational chart and write the person’s name. Why is this important? Most people don’t realize how many hats they’re wearing until it’s spelled out visually. When it’s time to grow, confidently hand the least-important roles to staff/contractors using the systems from #4 and checklists from #2.
What other ways have you created systems to help your business development efforts? What did I leave off of this list?