How often do you question what you are doing during the day? Never? A few times? All the time?
How do you make sure that you aren’t wasting time?
You start measuring your pursuits.
Measuring and planning your pursuits is fancy terminology for making sure that you are making your plans worthwhile. If your goals, ideas, or wishes don’t move your business forward, then it might be time to take them off the to-do list.
If you had two hours right now, what might you be doing? If you’re a photographer, you just rolled your eyes or maybe started sweating. You could be doing nearly 200 different things right now, right?
But how many of those things are going to be worth your time?
No, not half. No, probably not even half of that. Less than five things on that list of 200 things you think you should be doing right now will actually move your business forward successfully.
Revamp your website, test your new gear, send out emails, respond to old emails, mail out thank you cards, and more. Those are all important tasks, but only a few of them will be worth your time and energy in the long run.
Every task will eventually need to be done, this isn’t about putting off all of your work either, but if you have free time, be sure you are using it to make your business grow more in the future to pay you back for your investments.
The Two-Hour Time Trial
How can that be? Well, there are ways to plan your pursuits and measure whether they will be worth your time or not. Ask yourself these questions as you think of your to-do list. These will help steer your decisions and help prioritize your goals.
1. Does it bring new business?
Is what you are going to spend two free hours on going to build your client base with new members? Is it going to increase bookings, or leads, or go straight to the profits?
This is the lifeblood of your business- paying clients- and they cannot be ignored. Lots of photographers want to redesign their website and change the fonts and colors to their email newsletter but will those things bring new business that will pay your back for the two hours you spent? Probably not.
2. Does it have an outlook for future potential?
Are these two hours going to make your life easier today? This week? This year?
Though that can be good, you want to spend most of your time on things that are going to build your future. Thinking long-term and building strategies that will allow your business to grow more now so that the future potential is nearly unlimited is a key to the success of your business.
3. Does it improve efficiency?
Two hours of work compared to two hours of dissecting your work to find a way to be more efficient are two very different concepts.
Make a list of your entire process from the time you find an interested client until the very final steps. List each step out in detail so you can visual the whole process. Then, find a way to make it better, smoother, and more streamlined. That’s how you improve efficiency and build a better future for your business.
4. Does it put you in CEO Mode?
CEO mode is when you are being the boss of your business, not the worker within your business. Many of us are too comfortable staying behind the camera when we should be reading through the tax codes, contract guidelines, or marketing data.
Find tasks that need to be done and can only be done in CEO Mode. Take a break from the creative side and step into the suit and tie to make meaningful and impactful business decisions. You are the CEO of your company, after all.
5. Does it improve your skill set?
Learning is not the same as growth. Is your time being spent searching for education or implementing action?
Find books, blogs, seminars, or conferences that educate you and then make sure you take action on those new ideas and strategies. Improving your skill set should have a direct correlation with the growth of your business. Otherwise, you are wasting time, money, and resources learning skills you aren’t using.
Time to be the Boss
If you have two hours of time to be doing something that will build your business, make sure you are asking yourself these five questions.
These will guide you to make better choices with your time which will lead you to make better decisions for your business as a whole. It’s easy to stay busy and tied up with mundane, and seemingly important tasks, which aren’t giving your business the life that it needs.
Bringing in new business, creating future potential, improving your workflow and efficiency, working in CEO Mode, and bettering your skill set are all ways that will give your business exponential growth. Those other tasks you may want to spend your time on have finite profits and should take a small amount of your time.
It’s time to be the boss of the photography business you run and use your time wisely. Because planned pursuits and three-piece suits are a winning combination for photography businesses everywhere.