When starting out on any business venture most people start out alone. They have an idea and enough desire to make something happen but usually not enough capital to effectively execute their plan.
.... Sound familiar?
Starting out this way requires that you wear the many hats involved in running your business. Yes you get to call yourself the owner, however, you also become the manager, the bookkeeper, the web developer, the head of marketing & advertising, accounts payable, accounts receivable, PR, human resources, the office support team, receptionist, admin assistant and whatever else you can think of that's required to promote your business and make sure things run smoothly.
This approach almost never works. Chances are, you started your business because you found something you were good at, and that's fantastic! However, it takes an incredibly focused individual to effectively manage the day to day tasks required to maintain their business, without a business partner or team, and still find time to grow it. Wearing all the hats yourself is not the answer and even though you think you may be the exception, most people are the rule. Don't get discouraged ... the first step to overcoming any obstacle is identifying what that obstacle is.
When running a business you need to focus on 1 thing and 1 thing only:
PROFIT PRODUCING ACTIVES
As a business owner this is the ONLY thing that matters. If your company isn't generating any profit ... well, I think you know where I'm going with that.
There are 2 reasons people choose to become business owners; to have more time and more money. If you are wasting time doing things that are not producing any income then you aren't doing what you originally set out to do.
That being said, your first order of business is to write down everything you do on a daily basis. Notice that I didn't say everything you do for your business on a daily basis as we aren't there yet. I can almost promise you that by doing this you will learn that you don't spend as much time on your business as you may think.
*** To get the most accurate idea of how you spend your time, try tracking your daily activities for one week. I suggest a week because for the first three days you will try to prove me wrong by being very productive. After the first couple of days you will fall back into your normal habits.
Once you have identified how much time you actually spend on your business you can start looking at ways to increase your productivity during those hours. Eliminating all of the other things in your life that distract you and cause you to spend less time on your business is up to you to manage. You can apply some of the things talked about in this section to all areas of your life in order to help you with time and task management.
In the time you spend on your business identify exactly what you spend that time doing. From there, organize these activities in 2 categories:
The 80% that leads to 20% of the results
The 20% that leads to 80% of the results
Most of you just had a lightbulb go off in your head. This is one of the simplest most undervalued rules that separate some of the most successful businesses and people from the "wannabe" businesses and people.
Now that you have completed the steps above think about this:
If you simply focused all of your time and energy on the 20% that leads to 80% of the results for just one week, what would your business look like?
Would neglecting the other 80% of the activities you normally spend your time on have a negative effect on the outcome? Probably not; However, by spending your time on the 20% even just for a few days you have probably produced 10x more results than you normally would. I am not suggesting that you ignore everything in your business that only generates 20% of the results. Sometimes there are some pretty important tasks in that 80% that are imperative for you to run a compliant business, depending on your industry. I am merely suggesting that you put a system in place that allows you the freedom to spend your time in the profit points of your business without getting caught up in the administrative tasks that you should be delegating to someone else.
YOU ARE THE OWNER OF YOUR BUSINESS ... Don't get caught up in management in the early stages when you may not be able to delegate these tasks, especially when it can be avoided simply by changing the way you allocate your time.