This is the hardest thing for business owners of small businesses to learn. Usually this comes at a cost. What I’m talking about is not so much your hours of operation, but how you schedule yourself within your operation. You know, like when you do payroll, when you work the floor yourself (if you even do that anymore), when you are training staff, training yourself, when you are scheduling appointments, business meetings, lunches, family, etc…
Now I know that one of the biggest objections to this line of thinking is, “I must do business when my customers need my business”, or something like this. This is again, you having your business run you. Firefighters, ambulances, hospitals, these are right now unschedulables and I’m sure there are many other businesses that are response businesses…is yours? Is your business a response business? Lead wise, for real time leads, there are processes to put you in control of your business or you have staff to handle this. This is not to challenge your business processes but to have you really think about who is in control of your business. Let me take a real estate agent for example:
Most successful Realtors are very scheduled even though most of the public would think of them as a responder business…you know, someone says I wanna see this house today and the agent is dumping the family to show a home. Your super agents and up and coming super agents are very scheduled. They have specific hours each day that they are prospecting, specific hours that they are following up on messages and emails, hours that they have scheduled in the office, hours that they have scheduled to show and/or list homes. They are super because they are consistent. Consistent. Consistent. Not only are they scheduled, but they provide a schedule to their clients. When they will be available for calls, when they reply when they are not able to answer, and as any good sales person, they tell the customer what is next and when. Not simple, but planned. Regulated and monitored with the ability to adjust when the adjustment is long term and maintains the structure of consistency and structure.
If you are in sales, do you have your time structured? If you own a beauty salon, do you have time set aside for prospecting? Follow ups on last weeks clients to see how things are going? If you are a contractor, do you have time set up for project inspections and client updates each week? Do you have time scheduled with your staff and clients for staged walk-throughs?
If its not scheduled its at risk of being forgotten and lost to the other “things” that come up. So please review your business and ask, “Do I run my business or does my business run me?”
What are the important things needed to ensure you have business next week, month, and year? Prospecting, Quality Reviews, Referrals, newsletters, phone time, door knocking, training, lunch? Do you have these scheduled? And if not, are you running your day and business by reaction only?