Benjamin Franklin once said, “Time is money.” As small business owners, you all know that too well. Every aspect of running a business takes time; from the creative thinking process of your ideas to the practical uses that come from those ideas. Most of the time, you play many different roles, from the accountant to the account representative, to your very own coffee fetcher. Have you ever sat back and contemplated, “How much is my time worth?” If so, here are a couple of marketing strategies to consider when organizing your time:
- Identify your end consumerAs business owners, when we identify the individual or group of people that will be using our product or service from the beginning, we can better tailor a product or service to meet the needs of our consumer. Ask yourself, “What are the needs and wants of my consumer and how will I address those needs and wants?” Be very specific. For example, if I were writing a search engine optimized blog for a lung doctor, I might send out an optimized article about lung cancer. By doing this, I create value for my end consumer. Specificity is key when considering who you are marketing to.
- Networking in your sphere of influenceThe people that you work with on a day to day basis play a key role in the success of your business. Outside of your consumers, these people include vendors, your employees, and other support staff. Ask yourself, are you the type of person people want to work with? Look at yourself from the other’s person’s perspective. The people that work with you on a regular basis can be your biggest source of referrals. And join your local BNI chapter.
- . Make a listAt the beginning of your week take a few moments to make a list of all that needs to be accomplished by weeks end, and then a second more specific list of daily “to do” items. Place these items in to three categories, most important, very important, and least important. Within each category, assign each item a number, one being the highest priority, and each item after that your lowest priority, such as clerical and administrative functions. Remember the big picture when creating your list: that your money making tasks, your marketing and sales calls should be your top priority. No matter what our businesses, none of us are in it for just the fun of it. We need to make a living.
- Beware the Time SuckScanning your inbox should not be #1,2 or 3 on your list unless you are waiting for a very time sensitive email, so watch your time when you open your email box and try hard not to fall down that dark hole of emailing until the end of the day. Same goes with Social Media unless you’re using it to market your business, and if so, check out MarketMeSuite.com A great tool originally created by Twitter (MarketMeTweet), MMS automates and schedules your tweets, blog releases, Facebook and YouTube updates, freeing you up to run your business. It has a lot of other cool features as well. Now if I could only find the time to learn how to use them….
- Delegate to internsHave you ever considered taking in an intern? It’s a win-win situation. The intern is able to get hands on experience and you get free or low cost labor. Delegate all the filing, clerical, and easy administrative work to the intern. For example, if you need someone who knows how to use Quickbooks, get an accounting major for an intern. If you’re looking for someone to help you put together a marketing project, contact the marketing club, etc. etc. Your local college or university is a great wealth of free and low cost labor. Look at their online bulletin boards and or place an add on Craigslist looking for an intern. Internweb is a great resource on all that is interns. http://www.internweb.com/
Often times that intern will prove to be your next employee.
Time is money. It’s also your time, and once it’s gone you can’t get it back!!