There’s never any shortage of good ideas or good activities to pursue for managing your business. The hard part is figuring out how to allocate your most valuable resources – time and money – so what we’re really talking about here is prioritization.
Without knowing you, your business, your financial situation or your goals, I can’t tell you to spend more or less time doing social media, attending events or servicing your clients. Everyone’s priorities are different and our priorities frequently change. But regardless of your specific situation, this three-step process can help you find the right answers for your business:
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As with most strategic decisions, asking “why” is a good place to start. In this specific case, I’d make a list of all of the activities you’re engaging in. For each activity, write down why you’re doing it, what you hope to accomplish by it and what purpose it serves in your business and your life.
Look at what you’re hoping to accomplish with these activities and the purpose they serve. Is there anything in that list that doesn’t belong? Anything missing? Which are the most important to you? Which matter the least? A decision matrix can help you make these assessments.
Starting with the most important items from Step 2, evaluate how well each specific activity that supports what you’re trying to accomplish is working. Is it moving you closer to what you hope to accomplish? Are you doing it as efficiently or effectively as possible? Is there anything you’re doing in one activity that you could leverage to support your efforts in another? Are there any relationships you can leverage to maximize your efficiency? Is the balance between your personal, professional and financial priorities where you want it to be?
Now the hard part begins – learning to say “no.” Use your understanding of what’s most important for you and your business right now – what you’re trying to accomplish and the purpose it serves – to guide where you put your energy and how you spend your time.
Then start letting go of the activities that serve less-important purposes. Always look for the most efficient and effective ways to focus on your high-priority items!
About Judy Herrmann
Judy Herrmann of Herrmann + Starke, www.HSstudio.com, creates distinctive imagery for advertising, editorial and corporate clients. Her work has won recognition from Graphis, Communication Arts, Lurzer’s Archive and numerous award annuals. A past ASMP National president and recipient of the United Nations’ IPC Leadership Award, she was recently named one of Rangefinder Magazine’s “11 Photographers You Should Know.” Her energetic and inspiring seminars on digital photography and smart business practices have helped thousands of creatives compete more effectively. Through one-on-one consultations and her blog, www.2goodthings.com, she helps people grow creatively satisfying and financially rewarding businesses. Herrmann + Starke
Headshot Photograph © Mike Starke
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