Here is a great article on how to work more productively, courtesy of Terry Dean of My Marketing Coach.
The motto of my coaching business is Earn More, Work Less, and Enjoy Life! This is something every business owner wants, but they often feel it's too difficult to achieve.
Too many of us have been programmed by the employee mindset of working hours for dollars. Employees get paid by the number of hours they put in. Entrepreneurs get paid based on the value they create for others...whether they're actively working or not.
Here are 7 practical steps to begin on the road to earning more by working less.
#1 - Hire a Personal Assistant
Quit trying to be a one man (or woman) show. Even if you're currently a small business of just one person (such as a home business, life coach, or real estate agent), you can't do it all yourself.
Hire someone to help you with the routine tasks of answering emails and phone calls. Have them do secretarial work. Figure out what parts of your current work can easily be handled by someone else. Either hand it to a staff member or outsource it.
#2 - Eliminate the Time Vampires
Quit wasting your time. That short call you had to answer became a 30-minute delay. The email you once answered for a non-client has produced 10 additional emails and help requests from the same person ... who still hasn't purchased. That individual who stopped by your office for a quick word with you is still here after one hour.
Try putting an egg timer on your desk and remind yourself every call or contact needs to get to the point within the next 3 minutes.
#3 - Quit Working On Your Weaknesses
We're told to acknowledge and work on our weaknesses to be a well rounded person. Forget about it! Acknowledge your weaknesses, but quit trying to work on them. Build a team and hand off responsibilities where you're weak.
Concentrate on your strengths and giftings. You do what you do best. Hire out the rest. If you're horrible at writing, hire a copywriter. If you don't like administrative paperwork, hand it off to someone else who's qualified.
#4 - Raise Your Prices
I've helped many businesses develop their unique client focus. In a few cases, they were one of the lowest cost options. Yet this is NOT the unique client focus I prefer to have. It's the most difficult one to build a business on.
I'd much rather see you use one of the other 17 ways to develop your uniqueness in the marketplace. You'll often find that by raising your prices and focusing on a more upscale market segment, you'll eliminate many of the time consuming problems of your business.
#5 - Work One Less Day a Week
If you want to make more money, work one less day a week. It sounds crazy, but it has been proven time and time again. If you're currently working 6 days a week, drop to 5. If you're working 5 days, drop to 4. By removing one day from your schedule, you'll be forced to focus more on the days you're working. You cut the garbage out and get down to business. You'll quickly find that a lot of the things you used to think were essential weren't needed at all.
#6 - Take Time to Plan
Plan the schedule for your next day in the last 5 minutes of the day. Plan your schedule for next week on the last ten minutes of your last day of the week. Take out one day every quarter to plan the next 90 days for your business. This is only a small investment each day, but it pays huge dividends for what you accomplish. Of course you can purchase a time management course, but this is the simple basis of planning your time.
Decide on the essentials that must be done in the coming period. And always plan time to work on your business instead of just in your business.
#7 - Hire a Coach
It's so easy to keep following the status quo. I'm sure you've heard that one definition for insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. If you want to earn more while working less, you have to make some changes.
And the absolute best way to make these changes is bring in someone from the outside. They have a different viewpoint and experiences in helping other entrepreneurs just like you. A good business coach knows how to ask the right questions to help you discover exactly how to transform your business into a profitable business instead of just a low paying job.
Terry Dean is the president of MyMarketingCoach. Discover the 10 Key Strategies Any Business Owner Can Use to Earn More, Work Less, and Enjoy Life in a special free report by going to My Marketing Coach.