If you have your finger on the pulse of your business and are working towards creating demand or interest in your product, you will need to start prioritizing which goals are more important than others. When you are first starting a business, keep your eye on the bottom line. Anything that brings in sales is going to have a high priority.
While it is nice to envision a site with a full discussion forum on it, if you haven’t the traffic and no interest, you shouldn’t prioritize it until later in the year when those factors increase. Otherwise, your visitors will show up and see only a few posts and realize they are the only people interested in your site.
Just like you have to set the priority of work hours being committed to working, you have to pick those tasks that will grow your business at a comfortable rate. You don’t want to spend a lot of money on an ad during the Super Bowl only to find out it doesn’t translate into sales.
Prioritizing Keep Things Organized
A large and completely avoidable time waster is a lack of organization. Prioritizing is part of organizing your business. You don’t want to spend time searching for valuable information that should be at your fingertips when a client calls. You need to know who your clients are, what their buying preferences are, and what future purchases they might have an interest in. Make being able to have the information you need quickly, easy to access quickly a priority.
Developing a mailing list is the keystone to great sales, and if you aren’t organized, you won’t be able to do this well.
Here is one way that technology can work for you. Include the automatic option to allow a visitor to add him or herself to your email list to receive a free newsletter. This builds your list quickly and also gives you the right to contact them without spamming them. It also automatically organizes it behind the scenes in your websites database.
Sign up for anti-spam filters to reduce the amount of garbage in your electronic in-box. Have a separate post office box if you are receiving snail mail for your business. This keeps out unwanted sales flyers and circulars.
You should have an area to process all incoming mail and immediately file it away for later, throw it out, or respond to it. Spend a few minutes every day at the end of the day tidying up your work area for the next day. This can help immensely to put you in a good frame of mind in the morning as well as to keep things from piling up around you.
Avoid clutter at all costs!
LEARN TO SAY “NO”
This one is obvious, but it’s also the one that people have the hardest time doing. If you want to run a successful business, you need to learn to say “no” to other people who are robbing you of the precious time in your day. You need to make it a priority to make sure potential time wasting people understand you can’t allow them to distract you from your business schedule. You need to be aware of the types of people who can innocently derail your boxcar in the middle of a successful startup.
You will want to find ways to say “no” in a fashion that doesn’t alienate anyone as they may end up being potential clients in the future. In this respect, you need to learn the art of politics while keeping your time free for your own agenda and plans.
Don’t let someone else hook you into projects that waste your energies with the promise of a future payoff that never happens. You are in business to make a profit for you, not for someone else. In that respect, you have to learn to be stingy with your time with others who want to steal your energy and drive and to focus all your attention on getting your own tasks done.
Learning to say “no” can be difficult for some people, especially women who have been conditioned to try to please others and put them first. If you want to be a successful businessperson, you will have to stop caring what other people think about you. If you really think that what other people say about you matters, than you shouldn’t be in business because 95% of businesses fail, according to statistics. Learn to take advice from people when it is constructive and to ignore it when it is meant to manipulate you into doing things that zap your own drive and ambition.
Is it really important that you be the one to bake 100 cupcakes for the PTA’s bake sale? Probably not. If they really want them, offer to donate a portion of the cost and have someone else pick them up at a discount at a warehouse club. If you have to make yourself look like a complete failure in the kitchen to get out of some bake sale graciously, do it. Just don’t forget to do it with an apologetic smile and a shrug for not being able to help.
Again, where will your priorities lie?