If my business coaching clients could claim I preach about something, tops on the list would be scheduling in at least 4 hours per week to work ON your business… What they sometimes forget is that I have my own businesses where I need to do the same thing.
Not unlike my clients however, sometimes more “important” things come up. When I do take the time to work ON instead of IN one of my businesses nothing is more energizing! Let me explain…
As a mechanical engineer I come from the world of, “put in your hours and get your paycheck.” It’s a fairly well established quid pro quo in the professional world. It’s the hallmark of a “job.” What makes owning a business different is that you have the ability to destroy that paradigm. As a matter of fact, the more you work ON your business the less you’ll have to work IN it. The key to this is one simple word – LEVERAGE.
Working ON your business is defined as the time you spend creating leverage in your business. Leverage is doing ever more with ever less and falls into 2 primary categories for business owners.
- Team Members
Everything you can leverage in a business comes down to one of those 2 areas. Either you hire someone to do something so you don’t have to, or you create a procedure, script, or checklist to pass along knowledge so other people can use it. Software, and technology in general, would be a systematized solution.
Today I started an Auto-Responder Email Campaign that got me giddy with excitement about leveraging my business. If you’re not familiar with an auto-responder it’s simply a series of automated email responses to an inquiry. So if you go to a website and it says, “Enter your email address to learn how to make a guaranteed $1 million in the next 30 days”, most likely they’re putting you on an auto-responder. No one is personally responding to your request, even though the goal is to make you feel like it’s very personal. Reference my blog on conversational marketing.
The website owner wrote a series of emails days, weeks, or months ago that automatically market to you to build a relationship. The beauty of this is that you can build a direct, relevant, and personal relationship simultaneously with dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people.
Mailchimp.com, Aweber.com, ConstantContact.com, or InfusionSoft.com automatically send those emails to potential clients at pre-scheduled intervals. The emails will discuss your products or services for which they requested more details. Like a great website will generate customers around the clock, this is all done while you sleep or lounge at the beach.
An auto-responder email campaign is just one simple example of a System that helps you leverage yourself however, can you see why this gets me so excited? While I’m out cruising around the country on my motorcycle, I’m automatically building relationships and creating future clients by walking them through my “sales process” in exactly the way I want to.
Now if you come from the online world of sales and marketing, this blog is laughably outdated. Auto-responders have been around for years after all. However, in the brick-and-mortar world of small business do you know how many businesses I’ve encountered that use auto-responders as part of their on or offline marketing? None. Sure, everyone has a website these days, but very few business owners know how to fully engage the power of the web. Do you?
Since the vast majority (probably over 95%) of people who visit your website leave without taking any action, think how much business you’re missing by not actively engaging visitors. With a well-written auto-responder campaign you become THE expert in the visitor’s mind and he stops shopping around. You become a trusted advisor and friend. It really is that powerful.
This is why working ON your business is so important. It’s regularly dedicating time to leverage your operations by replacing a Person or System with work you would otherwise have to do.
One last thought as you wipe the spittle from your lips because you’ve been frothing at the mouth with excitement… When determining what work in your business requires a human or systematize solution, the simple answer is EVERYTHING. That’s right, ideally the business shouldn’t be dependent on you, the owner, for anything. It should continue running smoothly with or without you.
Just remember, systematize the routine and humanize the exception.
To your vastly leveraged success, Bryan
P.S. Navigating the waters of auto-responders is not without its squalls so if you need some help getting started, shoot me an email.