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Being Busy Does Not Equal Profits Part 2 of 3

Last week we spoke about the importance of making sure whatever opportunities (interviews,  guest posts, teleseminars, speaking engagements, meet-ups etc…)  you say “yes” to returns something back to you – more money, more credibility, more leverage, more “me time.”   You want to make sure you know the ROI (aka return on your money) with extreme clarity before you say “yes” these any of these opportunities. 

I also shared with you that I knew of five other forms of ROI rarely talked about, but also of equal importance to build a successful business and have a more enjoyable lifestyle. 

You can read that uber-important post by clicking here.

Today we are going to examine two of those five other forms of return on your money.

Let’s start with the most obvious one:

Mastering Time & Effort ROI

Your time is valuable, so let’s imagine it has an actual dollar sign attached to it. Let’s say you make $100,000 annually. If you are working 40 hours per week, each of those hours is worth about $50/hour. So, all your work activities should earn you $50 or more an hour. If the task generates less than that, you need to delegate that work to someone else at a lower rate, so you can work on a higher value activity.

 If you are building a business, not a hobby, then this should be the criteria by which you make decisions about what to do and what not to do. If it’s not worth at least $50/hour (or whatever your “worth” is) in driving value to your business, it’s not worth your time investment.

 Let me give you a more concrete example. 

I had an initial conversation with a prospective client the other day, and during the course of that discussion I told her I could not find her website. “I don’t have one yet,” she said. “I’ve been trying to build one, but I’ve been so busy with my client work that I just have not had time to work on it.”

Immediately, I responded, “Wait…you charge $150/hour for your copywriting services. Why are you developing your own website personally?”

 I was shocked by this, because that meant she had to learn HTML code, grasp the elements of graphic design, configure her online shopping cart, understand auto-responder software and so on! I told her, “It would be so much easier for you to find a designer and hire a webmaster and programmer to create and launch your website. Do you realize how much money you are losing by not having a website?”

She, like so many solo-entrepreneurs, thought she had to do it ALL in her business. Even the thinking alone wastes more time and money that you can ever imagine. 

If you are muttering, “Yvette, that’s a nice idea and all, but I just don’t have the money to hire someone to get stuff off my plate,” well, I say you can’t AFFORD NOT TO! 

Here’s the thing. If you try to do it all, you usually get very little of it done. Sure, you’ll do a lot of juggling and host a heap of angst, but in the end you’ll have wasted time and money to show for your misguided effort.

Remember, one of the main foundations of a well-run business is to set up a system to keep a consistent stream of leads coming through your door, and converting those leads into clients as quickly as possible. The faster you do this, the more profit you generate and the more free personal time you get. 

The fastest way to take your business to meet your business money goals is to surround yourself with a team of implementers. Hire someone – or several people – who are savvy in the areas where you struggle. That way, you can focus on maximizing your talent and covering your bases where you don’t excel. 

In addition, while delegating, I have discovered a little secret along the way. I’ve learned that it’s far easier to change and give opinions on someone else’s creation than on my own!  

One of the biggest mistakes that my clients do is that they don’t recognize when to seek help. They try to do everything themselves, but the funny thing is that the fee another professional would charge them to complete the task is often so much less than the money, time and effort they would spend trying to master the skills to do the job themselves!

Can you step back and honestly say you are the best candidate to do every single task associated with building your business? With the exception of Chuck Norris, most people do not possess all these superhuman skills, so don’t feel bad! 

The next return on investment you want to be aware of is:   

Mastering Know-How ROI

The other day, I was speaking to a email only coaching program member, and she asked me if I could help her set up her Facebook page. She said she had tried, but she did not have a clue where to begin or why she should setup a Facebook page in the first place.

 I explained to her how a she could use Facebook to help her business and why it should be separate from one’s personal Facebook profile.  Then I asked, “Daisy, why are YOU trying to create a Facebook page? That is a task easily delegated to your virtual assistant. In the time that it takes you to acquire the necessary know-how to set up the fan page you could be following up on the joint-venture opportunity that recently fell in your lap. What benefit do you see in trying to learn all the ins-and-outs of creating a fan page?”

 In the end she did delegate this task to her VA, who happens to be very technically minded. She was able to set up her fan page in less than half hour!

 I know we are living in the Information Age, and there is a ton of know-how easily available.  Not a day goes by without some new system being announced. They guarantee that its use will bring in loads of new clients, increase traffic to your blog, website and money page, or generate massive profits (can you say “information overload?”) but do we really need to know everything?

 I define “know-how ROI” as the return on investment that it takes YOU to acquire/learn new information. 

…Going back to my client’s dilemma. It probably would have taken her a day or two to acquire the new knowledge to finish setting up her Facebook page, and anything that takes time can be measured in cost. (Not to mention she earns $500 hour for her services) Do you see what I’m driving at? 

Running your solo-business and ensuring its growth is no easy task.  Trying to select and learn which tools will help you achieve your goals can be daunting. You are constantly being bombarded with new information on how to build your venture. It can be hard to decide which of those tools and strategies are best suited to help you. Will the new practice improve productivity or profit? Is it going to bring the best return on investment?

The reality is that without implementing some of these new tools, systems or strategies, your chances of taking your business where you want it to go will be that much more challenging.  For you to stay competitive, attract more clients, create both passive and leveraged income, and to stop working so hard, you need to use ALL the tools (Facebook, Twitter, blogs, etc.) to reach your goals. BUT, you don’t necessarily need to KNOW everything.

Lemme give you a few questions to ponder should you find yourself faced with buying or learning something new for your business:

  • How quickly can I learn to use this new tool and incorporate it into my daily routine?
  • Is this new system going to make me money in the future?
  • Why do I think this new information or tool will be helpful?
  • Am I trying this new tool merely because my competition is doing it?

Since my goal for you is to simplify the process of running your business, so you can gain more freedom, time and money (while spending fewer hours working), you want to make sure that whatever information, tool or strategy you decide to acquire will get you closer to your main objective. This is no time to “keep up with the Joneses.” 

Here is the thing,  I know this topic is not “sexy”, lets be honest you much rather be playing with the latest social media tool, me too, however,  the truth is,  a business only prospers by making a profit, not collecting information or tools or keeping up appearances.  

Okay, so I’ve share two of the five alternate forms of return on investments you want to incorporate into your business.  Stay tuned, next week I’ll be discussing in detail  three more return on investments forms to help you build a more profitable venture. 

In the comments below this post I’d love to hear two things:

  1. What tactics do you have in place to measure the return on your money and time?
  2. What tactic have you used to track the return on your moeny that didn’t work?

 

 

8 Comments

  1. Tactic for tracking return on money that didn’t work: guessing lol. This is sound sound advice. I also realize that I haven’t done this in the past as a response to being fearful of succeeding. I love the break down of questions. So right on point!!!

  2. Yvette, all I can say is BUSTED. I do not have tactics in place to keep me on the straight and narrow. Thank you for bringing me back into focus. I appreciate your clarity.

  3. My best tactic is how much hair do I start pulling out. I actually do like to know how to do things, but when I start pulling my hair, I know its time throw in the towel.

  4. Yes! Thank you for this, Yvette! I have been really wrestling throughout this process of going to Bschool and at the same time getting my site built. I KNEW I needed to hire someone to do really build the site, even though I wanted to learn the hands on so I could maneuver and change things in my site. I hired two, one for the site and for design, and it was still a lot of work on my part to execute the vision I wanted. I have definitely sought help and support when it got too much. Sometimes I just have to eat it because I don’t have the available cash. But most times, I can figure out ways to get it or do it on payment plans.
    Tactics? I have a good intuitive sense but I know I will need to formalize more over time. For now, I am going to use YOUR formulas, Yvette! Thank you for them!

  5. Like, Sheila, I too feel “busted”! I like to know and understand how everything works and after I know how to do it, then I would be “ok” with passing it on to others to do for me. However, you are so on point that I should just delegate some things at the outset. Thank you, Yvette, for showing me where I’ve I can improve.

  6. I’m working to develop tactics other than “try it and see if it works” one that has been fine to this stage in my business. I know that to grow even more I need to be specific and strategic in my tactics – and really focus on the key items that you pointed out.

    Plus – and this was my favorite part – “I’ve learned that it’s far easier to change and give opinions on someone else’s creation than on my own!” That is so, so true! The end product is better and often done much more quickly.

    Great advice for business owners all the way around!

  7. Tactics? Every 3 months I curl up with a big cup of tea and write out my goals (personal and business). I look at the ones I’d created 3 months earlier and notice if there is anything that really didn’t work. Am I more stressed or less? I write little “reminders to self” about health issues & triggers that sometimes pop up when I’ve overloaded myself with work – work that others could be doing much better than me. Another unofficial tactic? I ask friends and family to let me know when I’m going a little overboard. It doesn’t always work, but their reminders are often the catalyst to me posting a ‘help wanted’ sign on my office window. Thanks for the great post on ROI. Looking forward to next weeks installment. ~ Loralee

  8. Great post Yvette – thanks! I have gotten SO much better about this in 2011. If I don’t know and put off the task for several days, I already know it is worth it for me to find someone who has that skill and that is THEIR passion!! We all have our own brilliance and I would rather be paid and recognized for what mine is and let someone else shine in what theirs is!!! I am here to support and honor that brilliance in myself and others!!!!
    xo, Tina

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