How can you increase your productivity and your sales?
As a founder or entrepreneur, you are familiar with this situation: your calendar is fully booked, you are busy with tasks, meetings, and phone calls.Nevertheless there is this strange feeling creeping in your mind: you wonder if you are still able to move the needle in the right direction?
Are you on the right track. Did you really focus on the tasks that move your business forward, or have you wasted your time on trifles and unimportant things?
Time management and productivity are two of the main themes each founder has to master.
There are just too many things you have to take care of, and soon there is this sense of being overwhelmed. In principle, you ought to question what activities you delegate or outsource, and which activities are so important that they need your full attention.
Imagine that you rate all your activities with an hourly wage.This concept was made popular by Perry Marshall in his 80/20 book which is a great read if you like to dive deeper.
An 8-hour workday has 480 minutes. During these 480 minutes, then you’ll probably perform many different tasks. How would it be if you could evaluate each activity with a fictitious hourly wage. This hourly wage should be as accurate as possible thereafter calculated the value this activity contributes to corporate earnings.
You will notice that certain actions have a higher value while others only represent a very tiny one. The value of finalizing an agreement with a major customer is possibly a hundred times worth the amount of cleaning your office or preparing paperwork. We understand that it is important that you also manage simple activities, even when it’s difficult to delegate these activities for small businesses. However, what is essential for any business is the ability to distinguish important from unimportant.
Let’s go back to our task list.The list for one week might look like this.
10 € per hour
Conversations with unqualified target customers, office cleaning, cold calling, work on travel expense reports, cleaning up your office
€ 100 per hour
Solve a problem for a customer, a conversation with a qualified new customers, small product improvements, writing an email to target customers or clients, follow up phone call with a lead.
1000 € per hour
Negotiating / sales talk with qualified target customers, building a sales funnel, planning a realistic budget, product development, evaluation of marketing tests, writing sales texts, Photoshoot.
€ 10,000 per hour
Improve your USP, creating new and better offers, establishing systems, negotiating major contracts, selection of team members, developing values and corporate culture, partner discussions
We understand that the specified values are arbitrarily fixed, and the value of one hour is hard to define exactly. Hourly values also depend on the business model, but the principle should be clear. There is an extreme difference between € 10,000-hour and hour of a 10 €.
The 80/20 Rule
Probably you have already heard of the 80/20 or Pareto Law.
This principle states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In this post, we only write briefly about the 80/20 phenomenon, a more detailed description you’ll find in this post.
It seems logical that entrepreneurs should increase the amount of activities that ensure a high yield per hour while tasks with a low rating should be delegated, outsourced or deleted.
Many founders, however, make the mistake of outsourcing value-generating activities and take over simple tasks like office cleaning for themselves. The reason for this is called the pleasure principle. Most people do a lot to avoid pain and gain pleasure.
Unfortunately, current manager literature often advises concentrating on its strengths and delegate weaknesses. This approach might work for big established companies where all relevant sectors are filled with experienced employees. For entrepreneurs and start-ups, it is vital to understand all relevant areas of your business even when you hate them.
Just remember the quote from Neale Donald Walsh:
“Life begins beyond your comfort zone.”
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