It is inevitable.
It happens to us all, just as our homes fill up with junk; we find that our minds and our businesses get clogged up with irrelevant KPI’s and half finished marketing tactics throughout the year taking up your precious time and resources that could be much better spent on your businesses core profit drivers, however, we become so invested in these side projects that we lose sight of our business objectives.
Unlike our homes, very few entrepreneurs take time out from their everyday business activities to clear out all of these projects, leaving what little resources they have tied up with unimportant and counter productive tasks.
I used to be the number one culprit of this, jumping on every shiny new marketing tool that I could find, regardless of whether it fit the needs of my business or my clients. I would try it for 6 weeks or less before becoming distracted and jumping on to the next thing. Over the years, this builds up to the point where you feel like you are spinning a hundred different plates trying to keep your business going, but you can also see that your business is not going anywhere.
Just when all my plates were wobbling and my business (and my sanity) felt like it was on the verge of collapse, I discovered a simple concept that revolutionised how I viewed my business and my priorities. It saved me over 60 hours per week in wasted work, rescued my flagging bottom line and now I have refined and coach fellow entrepreneurs on it, it is something that my clients give me the best feedback on.
Introducing the SOAP principle
Cleaning up your business and removing all the ‘junk’ that you carry around with you extends far beyond what a blog post can address but by following the details below, this spring, you can begin to recognise and release parts of your daily schedule that are inefficient and are draining your mental energy, leaving you to concentrate on what you need to do to really grow your business.
Simplify: This is easier said than done, we are often so engrained in our daily routine it can be difficult to observe where you can streamline the work that you do and remove any aspects that are not directly improving your business. Mentors and partners are fantastic for this but if you do not have any to hand, ask yourself, ‘what part of this task can I remove and keep the same result?’ You will be surprised at how much of your everyday tasks are completely worthless with regards to making you money.
Outsource: You make sales at no other time than when someone gives you money. This elusive obvious concept is forgotten by most entrepreneurs in the quest to grow their business. This means that they get stuck doing tasks that take them away from putting them in a position to receive more money. Having a fully fledged SEO campaign is fantastic, except when you are spending 40 hours a week tweaking your website keywords and building links. You do not get paid for your SEO efforts, and those 40 hours would be better spent working with your clients and making you money. Refusing to pass off non profit tasks is costing you more money than you are saving. If you charge $100/hour, then your SEO campaign has cost you $4000, where you could have outsourced the entire thing for a few hundred while you go out and make more money. Where can you pass off your non profit tasks and make money by doing it?
Automate: Humans are creatures of habit. We get used to doing the same thing over and over until it becomes unconscious. These are usually the very tasks that, with a little effort and lateral thinking, you can have partly or entirely automated, freeing up your time to, you guessed it, make more money! Are you one of those people who sends out bulk emails using outlook and manually types in 10+ email addresses to a daily report every day, did you know that for around $5 you can get a programmer to write you a script that does that all automatically for you? In fact, 90% of reports can usually be automated with just a little bit of developer knowhow. Would it be worth paying someone a one off $50 fee to write you a macro that automatically creates that report that you spend 2hours a day on?
Processes: No matter what your process is there is a way to streamline and improve it to be more efficient. Getting caught up with the business junk blinds us to identifying these processes, but when you allow yourself to take a step back and get objective about your objectives then you can stop letting your business run away from you and start enjoying the freedom of running your business.
Whether you are looking to make more money or take more time for yourself, use SOAP to spring clean your business and plug the profit holes in your model and free up your trapped resources and put them to work for you.
If you are ready to spring clean your business quickly and effectively in 2013 then get in touch for more details at www.thestartupsuperstar.com