Hey Business Owner: “Who’s your boss?”

As business owners most of us take credit for setting the direction of our company— laying out your business vision, planning for the future, setting goals, etc.  After all, I HOPE that back in November or December you invested two or three days to sit down and pore over your numbers.

You carefully planned how much you want to increase sales or shrink expenses in the coming year. You likely laid out objectives for adding to and/or developing your staff.  And just to gratify Steve Toburen you may have focused on systems so your business can run without your constant presence!

Then just to please Papa Nick Paolella you planned for all the new equipment you wanted to add during the coming year.  And, of course, with Big Billy Yeadon’s mentoring you noodled through all the nifty advertising programs you plan to implement.

In other words, most of us understand by now that regardless of how things turn out, we’re the ones responsible.

So, now let me ask you, who’s responsible for planning how you’re going to invest your time today, or even this week? After all, this week represents about 2% of the time you have to achieve the goals you set out for this year.

It’s important to keep in mind that what you accomplish each day has a cumulative effect on your business. And days go by fast. Soon days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months,etc, etc, etc. Before you know it, another year has gone by, and you’re sitting down in November again and reviewing how you did this past year. So how will you evaluate your own performance over the seven months till next November?

Are you taking charge of your own time—and results—by setting out your weekly schedule on Monday? Or are you letting somebody else do that for you?  Choose one or more: a) customers, b) employees, c) daily crises, d) your own inability to stay focused and/or e) whichever way the breeze blows?

Think about it.  Don’t you expect to know where your techs are while they’re on the clock? If you have a salesperson working for you, don’t you expect to know where he is and what he is doing each day this week? In the same way, you need to HOLD YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE for how you invest your own time!

It’s amazing how many small business owners don’t manage their time by using a time or day planner. How can you expect your people to be accountable for their time and how can you expect to make the most effective use of your own time if you don’t use a time planner? If you don’t have one yet, why not make it your first priority to pick one up and start using it?

If you haven’t been using one because you’re not sure what you’re supposed to write in a planner start by writing down the important things you have planned for the day. If you don’t have anything you think is important enough to write in a planner- hmmmm.  Take this vacant space as a signal that you’re not using your time as effectively as you should be. So find more important things to do that you can write down.

A refrain I often hear from business owners is, “My schedule gets changed around all the time anyway so why should I bother writing things down?” Write down where you plan to be each day this week. Expect it to get interrupted. But, make sure that whatever activity interrupts it is more important than the activity you originally had planned.

When you take charge of your own time you’ll find that you can take credit for better results.

Chuck Violand (more about Chuck)
SFS Instructor
CEO Violand Management Associates

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