What makes the biggest difference when you want to start working smart, not hard?
I was asked to do a 30 minute presentation on working smart and had to do a lot of pruning to get it down to the basics. I’ve been asked to share the presentation with those who couldn’t be there so here it is!
Why did you start a business?
Most people start a business to have more freedom, more choice, more time to spend on the things that are important to them – and to do something they enjoy. Unfortunately, the things we love doing aren’t always the best way to make money so sometimes its better to choose a business that allows you to make a good living so that you can spend your leisure time doing what you love.
Start with the end in mind
Its always easier to work back from where you want to be to where you are now then make a plan to get from one to the other. Plans don’t always work out but if you know what you’re aiming for, swerves and diversions will just be a different way to get there!
What kind of LIFE do you want?
Before you make a plan for your business check that its going to give you the life you really want. If you love to travel, don’t build a business that keeps you tied to one place and vice versa. Most people regret the things they didn’t do rather than the things they did so what do you really want?
Build a strong foundation
Having all these elements in place gives any business a better chance of success.
Time and money
The two most valuable resources in a small business are time and money. Without enough money the business owner is likely to be doing everything themselves and not spending time making the business more profitable. Its a vicious circle.
The way to break out of it is to identify repetitive tasks and either automate or outsource them. Then look at ways to make more profit. Let me know if you’d like a copy of my work book “How to Increase Profits”
Make more profit
There are lots of ways to increase profitability:
Focus on your most profitable activities
Get your pricing right
The discount myth
Count your beans
Just search for other posts about profit and pricing on this blog.
The Profit Triangle
The points of this triangle indicate the most profitable position for your business. Only sell on price if you’ve got a high volume, low margin business. Niching works: Yoga with cats or goats! If you’re going to sell ice cubes, make them luxury ice-cubes! Being very different to your competitors also means more profit.
Prioritise the really important things
The sand and pebbles represent the everyday things in life that, although important, are not essential to our happiness. The larger rocks are the most important parts of our lives, like family, health and goals. If we fill our jar of life with the sand and pebbles first, there is no room for the larger rocks – they simply won’t fit. However, if we prioritise the large rocks and put them in the jar before adding the sand and pebbles, the things that are most important to us won’t get left out!
Stay in charge of how you spend your time
To spend less time in the green area try scheduling, processes, automation and outsourcing. Orange is usually where you need say no to other people. The red area is pure time wasting – often because you’re too tired to do anything else. If you can actively and deliberately choose to spend more time in the yellow area, your life will improve!
Feeling in control, achieving what’s important to you, building a business that allows you to have a great life. All these things are achievable, often by doing simple things that make a big difference.
If you need help to get started, just let me know. There are lots of resources on this blog, in my book and in the Work Smart Not Hard Programme, or, if you like to work with a peer group, try joining Drive, the Partnership Network!