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Improve your effectiveness

How a little focus and delegation can improve your business  

By John Geshay

Being a certified business coach who works with small business owners, it is not uncommon to hear from them that they  have little to no time to work on the “bigger picture” items of their business. They almost always say they were too busy addressing everyday product and or service issues and employee and customer requests to do it.

What can you do to get out of this day-to-day struggle you may constantly find yourself in? Two ways to get out of this struggle is to improve your business focus and delegate certain job responsibilities.

Enhance your business focus

From within the “Effectiveness” module of Brian Tracy’s coaching program, Tracy outlines a seven step exercise to help you improve your business focus:

Step 1: You must first identify your 10 most important goals. From your subcategory of “business goals,” list the top 10 and commit them to memory.

Step 2: Determine your current hourly rate. To do this, take your current annual income and divide by average annual hours worked. For instance, if current annual income is $150,000, and you worked 2,000 hours, then your current hourly rate = $75/hr.

Step 3: Identify your desired hourly rate. If your desired annual income is $250,000, then your desired hourly rate at 2,000 hours is $125/hr.

Step 4: For one week, keep a detailed list of how you spent your time. Use time sheets like those used by lawyers and accountants, logging your time in 10-minute or 15-minute segments. This may require a great deal of self-discipline as entrepreneurs think in terms of results not hours, however, stick with it. See this as an investment that can pay enormous dividends.

Step 5: Rank all of your activities and tasks on the list. Each evening of that week, carefully review your time sheet and mark each task you performed with a ranking of one to 10 (one being the highest value, 10 being the lowest) based on your evaluation of how important that activity was in contributing to the achievement of your 10 most important business goals.

Step 6: Now with the perspective of five days’ worth of tracking your activities, segment the list to include:

•Your 20%, high value activities (1’s and 2’s),

•Activities for which you would pay your current hourly rate (could be the 4’s to 7’s),

•Activities for which you would pay your desired hourly rate (can be a 1, or 2’s to 3’s), and

•Your low value activities (7’s to 10’s).

Step 7: Focus your own time on the 20%, high value activities. Moving forward, resolve to spend as much time as possible on your high value activities—the 20% that contribute most to the achievement of your most important business goals, and those for which you would be willing to pay someone your current or even your desired hourly rate to accomplish, and to delegate or eliminate as many of your low value (7 to 10) activities as possible.

Delegate, delegate, delegate!

Some business owners say they pride themselves on the fact they are copied on every email regarding their company, but much of that really comes from the fact they don’t think anyone could do the tasks as well as they can.

By not delegating, however, their own strategic business goals are not being accomplished because they have zero time to work on them. If you’re struggling with this same issue, don’t trust your team, feel you must control everything, and are not hitting your own goals, then commit to delegating.

From your lists of high and low value activities, select one activity or task that does not represent the highest and best use of your time but that is nevertheless important to the success of your business. While not everything goes overboard initially, just try one or two to start. Commit to delegating this activity or task to a person who is qualified to carry it out.

List the skills and experience necessary to efficiently and effectively carry out this activity or task and find someone who possesses them. Look around. Who in your group has shown these qualifications and might be available? The person may be a member of your staff, or they could also be a contractor to whom you could outsource.

Clearly define the activity or task you will delegate and describe in detail the results you expect when the delegated task has been successfully completed.  Provide a deadline for successful completion of the delegated activity or task, with benchmarks, or short-term results, by which you will measure the progress of the delegated activity or task.

Determine which resources will be required to efficiently and effectively carry out the delegated activity or task, and what the rewards and consequences will be for the person to whom you delegate the activity or task when he/she successfully or unsuccessfully completes it.

Improving continues

Continue to list your daily and weekly tasks, evaluate those tasks, and determine who might be the best fit to help you have more time for the bigger things in your business.

Improving your business focus and learning to delegate can help you have more time to focus on the “bigger picture” of your business and get you accomplishing your strategic business goals.

Now, go delegate and be successful!

John Geshay is a certified business coach and area developer with FocalPoint of Florida. He can be reached at 904-923-1246, jgeshay@focalpointcoaching.com, or through www.focalpointcoaching.com and www.linkedin.com/in/jgeshay.


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