career management, Careers, entrepreneurs, Personal Branding, self employed

Productivity Tips for the Entrepreneur

Mary Rosenbaum | December 9th, 2009

This has been a tough couple of years and for many of you who are self employed it has been very difficult to grow or even maintain your business.  So how do you stay productive and make the most use of your time? Here are a few recommendations that have worked for me and hopefully will work for you as well.

1. Stay on purpose

It’s really easy to get side tracked when you are thinking of ways to market your services. The best way to determine whether or not you should be spending time pursuing a new direction is to evaluate whether or not the action will get you the type of clients you want. For those of you who love basketball, the analogy I make is will this play get you to the basket? So whether it’s attending or speaking at a conference, making a lunch date with someone, or attending a networking event always keep in mind who you are trying to target and whether or not this will bring you closer to your desired group.

2. Stay true to your brand

I know when I first started out in business I thought I should take any client that came my way. This couldn’t be further from the truth. That’s not to say that you should turn business away that helps pay your bills. If, however, you are spending a great deal of time performing a service that doesn’t lead you in the direction you want to go you are hurting your business in the long run.  Take the example of a money manager who starts to take on work helping people file their tax forms. Although he may do a great job his reputation as a money manager is not helped by the work he is doing. In fact, the reputation he is developing is totally unrelated. Additionally, changing peoples’ perception of who you are and what you can deliver (your brand) can be very difficult.

3. Make a plan and stay with it

Create a plan that provides you with the necessary structure for growing your business. Although plans can change it’s important to have a 12 month plan for what you can do each month to get you closer to your goals. Whether it’s writing articles, speaking to groups, or just keeping up with your past clients and colleagues make sure you write it down and give yourself a time frame to complete each task. The more you put on the calendar and complete, the more your calendar will fill up – with appropriate targeted activities as well as clients.

So stay on purpose, stay true to your brand, and make that plan to move it forward.