One of the main issues that newly self-employed people have to contend with is how to manage their time effectively. With so many tasks to get through, from answering members’ questions and filling in paperwork to devising new dance routines and finding suitable venues, it can be hard to remain focused on building your business.
It is sometimes claimed that only about 5% of your daily activities go towards driving your business forwards. To improve that ratio, something has to be done to tackle the mountain of other tasks that hold us up.
One of the marks of a successful entrepreneur is the way in which routine work is out-tasked, outsourced or automated.
Out-tasking is the delegation of particular tasks (e.g. invoicing, writing, designing, ironing) to another person or company, whereas outsourcing is the delegation of entire business functions (e.g. payroll, IT communications). Automation involves finding and employing solutions (often software) which can take over manual tasks. For example, auto responders trigger a series of emails when new members join a mailing list. Once you’ve written the initial messages and set up the schedule, you can let the software run on autopilot.
One of the biggest benefits of becoming a Street Fit® online member is the amount of time saved in this way. In effect you will be outsourcing much of your marketing to us, with branding, website building and business card and flyer design taken care of. We even provide you with regular, fresh choreography and music to free up even more hours.
A useful first step in identifying inefficient use of time is to write down every task you perform throughout the week. Be systematic and do it while you are actually working, as it is easy to miss off tasks if you try and do this from memory. Include everything that takes up at least half an hour of time: if you walk the dog, note it down, if you wash the dishes, note this down too.
When you have compiled your list, go through it and identify opportunities for out-tasking, outsourcing or automation. For example, you might consider hiring a cleaner for your home or making more use of your telephone answering machine.
Ultimately, to maximise your earning potential, you will need to be spending more time working ‘on’ your business than ‘in’ it.
A Journey Starts With a Single Step
Of course, you may prefer to spend more time leading your own classes and settle for a modest income rather than a lucrative one. The beauty of Street Fit® is that you can work towards your own vision of success – not somebody else’s.
Whatever your goals, it is highly recommended that you make long-term plans to provide a focus for your actions. An effective strategy in goal setting is to start from your ideal vision and work backwards. First, picture the life you want to lead in fine detail. Include every aspect, not just material things, and give yourself a reasonable amount of time to achieve it (twenty or thirty years is often a good time period). Indulge your fantasies, but try to keep within the realms of possibility.
Now work out a step-by-step plan for moving from where you are now to where you want to end up. The trick is to spread the steps evenly over the chosen time period, so that each year brings you progressively nearer to your dreams.
This process should give you a clear idea of what steps you can already take this year, for example achieving your Street Fit® license and starting up your first class. Bear in mind that your goals may change as your life progresses and that your plan should be a guide not a rigid timetable.
By optimising your relationship with the clock and setting clear plans for the future you will be setting yourself up for a happy and successful future.