We all have the same 24 hours in a day.
So they like to say.
However, when you're knee deep in shipping orders, or buried under dozens of emails from customers, wholesalers and suppliers -- this cliche is anything but helpful.
They key to finding the time to spend on value-added activities, like Marketing or Sales for your business has nothing to do with optimizing your time.
You find time by shifting your priorities.
I posted a quote today on my Instagram account for my fashion line that resonated with many people.
"Time has a wonderful way of showing us what really matters" - Margaret Peters
or, put differently (by another cliche), "The grass is greener where you water it."
Save for the standard obligations and extenuating circumstances, if you really want to make something happen (I.e. grow your wholesale channel), you better be focusing on growing your wholesale channel.
The simplest advice is always the best.
So, where are your priorities in your business?
Grab a notebook + a pen, and write down how you spent your time today during your work day.
Highlight or underline any activities that were revenue generating activities, such as sending out a newsletter, posting on social media etc.
What does your list look like? Any surprises?
I can tell you what I did today - so you can see where my priorities were (spoiler alert, my priority isn't on marketing right now... you'll see why).
TIME + DAY ANALYSIS
- Packed and shipped 20 orders for my fashion line (employee that works this day is no longer with the company, so I'm filling in as shipper + receiver)
- Answered customer service emails including helping a customer find the right size
- Posted two photos on Instagram
- Drafted content for a consulting client
- Ate lunch while listening to a podcast on website conversion rate optimization
- Hour long phone call with an accounting firm
- Categorized transactions in Quickbooks
- Ran payroll and wrote pay cheques.
- Call with another brand's CEO about my experience at a Trade show.
- Tried to find someone to build a trade show wall for us. Still looking.
- Reviewed marketing materials for print.
- Spoke to printer.
- Made a tensor bandage out of leftover fabric in the studio for my wrist that I sprained on the weekend playing soccer.
- Spoke to Property Management because the heat went off in the building for hours.
When I look at this list, it definitely speaks to the administrative burden of running a small startup.
My priorities right now are improving the way our accounting is done, making sure employees are paid and 'stopping the bleeding' so-to-speak from an employee leaving our company.
However, my priorities mid-March will shift to:
- Growing our wholesale presence
- Setting our marketing and design plan for the next 6 months
- Mapping out our content strategy
On Hiring Out
There are definitely tasks that I can outsource (and will so that about half my day can be more productive).
And yes, there IS a cost to it.
But there is also an opportunity cost of NOT doing, and NOT focusing on your business priorities that isn't often counted by entrepreneurs.
What if you don't pitch to those 10 editors this week? What if those 3 bloggers don't write reviews about your products next month?
I fully support outsourcing (or insourcing) tasks that someone else can do just as good, if not better than you.
As an entrepreneur, you need to live in your zone of genius. This is where you will thrive, and the space that will make every day feel like a joy.
I have hired a new employee who has strong skills in graphics (so she can take that off my plate). She's also going to be managing customer service + fulfilment on the days I'm on the hook for it. Once she's started and trained in a few weeks, my priorities can shift.
What are your priorities in your business right now? Are you spending time focusing on your priorities or not?
Leave a comment below, I'd love to hear what's going on in your business.
Wishing you much abundance + retail bliss,