If the old English phrase “you can always tell a cobbler by his shoes” hits a little too close to home – don’t worry; you’re not alone. Most sole practitioners and small business owners are so busy attending to their clients' or customers’ needs that they never devote the time they know they should to building their own business. If this is a problem area for you, it’s your lucky day! Below are five things you can do every week that won’t take up too much of your time and will help you build your business. With a little bit of effort each day, you can feel reassured that you are not only working for your business, but you’re also working on your business.
Monday: It’s time for some networking! Check your LinkedIn account first thing in the morning, and accept invitations to connect with everyone who you feel is a match. Extend invitations to those that LinkedIn suggests to you. After that, go to “endorsements” and spend about ten minutes endorsing people you can vouch for. Now you can tackle your daily tasks knowing you’ve already spent time building your business.
Tuesday: Today is your personal day! Every Tuesday, keep your lunch hour free from clients, co-workers, friends, etc. Use this time to reflect and reconnect with yourself. Your business-building task for the day? You are going to go to your website and make ONE CHANGE and send it to your webmaster (or do it yourself for the tech savvy).
Wednesday: Ready to reach out to new potential clients or customers? During the morning, give yourself 45 minutes to review, either online or in hard copy, your local business newspaper. Find ONE person or business in there to cold call. When you make the phone call (no emails–we're getting personal here) allow yourself to be free from expectations about the outcome of that call.
Thursday: More networking is in store for today! Take some time to find and subscribe to three FREE business networking email lists that have free events in your city. Look through past emails or upcoming event notifications and choose one networking event to attend per week. Put it on your calendar and go. No expectations for outcomes permitted. Even if you aren’t signed up for new event lists, make sure you use Thursday to peruse these free networking events and sign up for one. Remember to take extra business cards!
Friday: Catch up with clients today! Some of the best business comes from referrals. Make sure you’re taking the time to cultivate long-term relationships and use Fridays to meet someone from your existing client roster for lunch. (You'll have to invite them earlier in the week of course.) Your treat. Ask what you could be doing to better serve them, and ask if they would give you a testimonial for your website. If they say “Yes” (which they will), you've got next Tuesday’s website change covered.
That’s it! Just five easy-to-implement tasks that will help you spend a little time each day growing your business. And, if some of these tasks aren’t applicable to your business, substitute others that are. The point is to spend a small amount of work each day on more than just “doing the work.”
What are your thoughts about this topic? Were these tips helpful? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below!