Not Enough Hours In The Day!
When we have businesses that require that we spend 1:1 time with clients, it’s so easy to find that all of our time is taken with working in the business and nothing is spent working on our business.
If I could only have a penny for every businesswoman who has told me that she just doesn’t have time for sales and marketing, because her day is full of client-facing work…..
The thing about sales is that it’s a process. It isn’t an event. And the thing about processes is that they need to be fed a little bit every day. You can have the best sales process in the world, but if you’re not feeding it with activity every day, it is just a paper exercise and it won’t work.
Add The Missing Ingredient Into Your Business
Jeff Olson has written a fabulous book called The Slight Edge and it’s all about the fact that people forget to factor a really (really!) important thing into their planning/processes. That thing is time. If you want to learn a musical instrument, start practising every day, from now on. Don’t miss a day and this time next year, you’ll be amazed at what you can do. The thing about this ‘little but often’ mentality is that we don’t see instant results and so we get demoralised and stop. Stopping means you’ll fail. Not stopping means you’ll succeed.
It’s no good going flat-out with sales activity for 6 weeks and then stopping. That may bring in a little flurry of clients, but it doesn’t build a solid, steady business. What builds a business like that is continual sales activity.
But I don’t have time, I hear you cry!
Consistency Is The Answer
The thing about sales and marketing activity is this, it doesn’t have to take very long, but it has to happen and it has to happen consistently. It’s no good posting on your new Facebook page for 2 months and then stopping, is it? When someone lands on your Facebook page 6 months from now, it will look neglected; like a shop with empty shelves. You have to post consistently, and for the long term, to engage your potential clients. So it is with other sales and marketing activity.
The Problem Is: Not Enough Time
I was talking to one of my clients (Abi) recently and she was telling me that she has a whole heap of client email addresses that need to be entered onto Mailchimp before she can send out a newsletter. In fact, Abi has about 500 of these email addresses. That list of 500 is such a mountain in her mind that it has stopped her ever sending out a newsletter, because until she has all 500 into Mailchimp, ‘there’s no point’.
She also has 50 posters that need to be distributed around her local area. Postering is something that she finds time consuming (just finding places to put them for a start). The number 50 is such a big number, that she’s been overwhelmed by it. Abi has a very busy life. Not only does she have her own business, she does quite a lot of voluntary work too. She cannot carve out the time that it would take to a) put 500 email addresses into Mailchimp or b) put up 50 posters.
Here’s the thing. 500 (email addresses) is indeed a big number. These 500 are spread around 500 client forms. These forms are in about 30 different heaps about the house and so Abi has to a) find them all b) collate them c) sit down and do the data entry. The thought of that is so awful, that she hasn’t ever done it and she’s had her business for 10 years. 50 posters is a big number too. Finding 50 places that might display a poster is a bit piece of work.
Finding a few days to do this work has proved impossible for Abi.
The Answer Is: Squeeze Maximum Value From Each Minute
However, it isn’t necessary to do everything in one go, is it? What if Abi spent 15 minutes each day and entered 5 email addresses onto Mailchimp? What if she put up one poster a day? Yes, it would take 100 days to enter all 500 emails and 50 days to put up all the posters, but here’s the thing; that time will elapse anyway. Those 100 days, the first 50 of which will involve 5 email addresses and one poster, will pass with or without those tiny bits of activity. In fact in Abi’s case, 10 years have passed and those 500 email addresses have never made it onto Mailchimp.
Doing tiny, consistent activity is the secret to a successful business. I know that Abi – or indeed anyone – can find the odd 10 or 15 minutes throughout the day to take tiny actions. If you – or she – truly can’t find 15 minutes all at once, make it 3 lots of 5 minutes. Use the time it takes the kettle to boil for example. In those tiny pockets of time, put 5 emails onto Mailchimp. Do it every day. That’s the time thing that Jeff Olson talks about. If you factor time into the equation, and you therefore you take consistent action (the right consistent action of course!), your success becomes inevitable.
The Accountability Club
If you feel that you could do with some accountability with your sales activity, because you always set off with the best intentions, but fall off the wagon before very long, you might want to consider joining The Accountability Club. The Accountability Club is lots of things! It’s loads of bite-size ‘how to’ videos and workbooks designed to get you familiar with the sales process and who the people are who are most likely to buy from you.
There is also a private Facebook group with a whole bunch of women just like you, who have small businesses. All the
se women want to get serious about making grown-up money from their business, so that they don’t have to go back to working for someone else. I’m in that group most days and you can ask me anything you like. In fact I’ve even been known to pick up the phone to help members with specific issues.
Finally, we have a monthly live Q&A, so that you can get any questions you may have answered. If you can’t make the live class, you can leave the question in the group and I’ll answer it for you and you can listen to the recording. You can try The Accountability Club out for £1 for a week – what’s not to love?