Create Systems in Your Home Business  to Leverage Your Time and Talent
By Wendy Maynard

There are two common business
problems that entrepreneurs often face.

The first is that they don't have enough
-- they are struggling to keep
their sales pipeline full. Often they
are so busy one month that they don't
take the time to market themselves
and as a result, their business declines
drastically. This feast or famine cycle is one of the primary reasons why people don't
enjoy having their own business. It's exhausting!

The second problem is one of capacity.

In this situation, an entrepreneur has a steady stream of business but feels
overwhelmed, exhausted, and stressed. You are trying to do everything on your own
and there are many things that slip through the cracks. It's a constant juggling act.

If you fall into either one of these scenarios, rest assured that you are not alone. There
are many entrepreneurs who are in the same boat. The good news is that there are
solutions you can incorporate into your business to solve either of these problems.

The answer to these issues involves creating systems -- these systems leverage your
time and your knowledge. By implementing systems in your marketing and
operations, you will attract an ongoing flow of clients into your pipeline and serve
more of them with less effort.

Here are some specific tips to help you systematize your business:

1) Delegate, delegate, delegate: Are you still doing your own books, running your
own errands, or organizing your own files? If so, ask yourself, "Is this activity my
highest pay-off business activity?" Or is there something else you could be doing with
your time to bring revenue into your company? Be ruthless with your time and
delegate the busy work to an assistant. You can also out-source to graphic designers,
copywriters, bookkeepers, and website programmers to save you money, time, and

2) Document your processes: Take the time to write down the specific way your
company does things (or better yet, delegate the documentation). You should have a
specific method for closing sales, storing your files, developing proposals, pricing
your services, and communicating with your clients. By creating "How-to Guides" for
all of these activities, you begin to standardize these processes. This makes it simple
for an assistant or other person to step in and take over these tasks. It also makes it
easier for you to repeat and refine these actions so that they improve over time. When
a system works, it will lead to the same positive results over and over.

3) Cluster your activities: It takes a lot of energy to switch gears. And when you switch
gears constantly, you lose time and money. Therefore, the best solution is to be
ruthless with your time. Group like activities together and then create a schedule on
your calendar and stick to it. For instance, if you know that a high payoff activity for
you is to make phone calls to your clients, then set aside blocks of time to do this each
day or each week. During this time, do NOT answer e-mails or begin other project
work. Commit to these activities and follow through without fail.

4) Put it on autopilot: Look at your business to see if there are any activities that you
can automate. For instance, when people sign up for your ezine, you can set up an
autoresponder to thank them. Another example is placing a page on your website that
answers all of the questions your prospects typically ask. You can direct people to this
page instead of spending time on the phone answering the same questions.

By creating systems for your company, you'll have more time to do the things you
enjoy and you can focus on the activities that bring in revenue. Instead of spending
your day scrambling to get your daily tasks completed, you'll be able to focus on the
high payoff activities that will make your company more successful. You'll also be
able to reap the rewards of having more time to market your company, leading to a
steady stream of clients. Begin the systemization process today and you'll enjoy the
rewards for years to come.

Maven Action Tip: Start by making a list of your daily activities. Just keep a piece of
paper next to your desk for a week and make a note of every task that you do and
how long you are spending on it. Once you've done this for a week, notice how
much time you are spending on technical (busy work) aspects of your business and
how much time on business-building/revenue-generating activities. Then add to this
list everything that is not getting accomplished because you don't have enough time.
Once you have this list completed, begin to develop strategies to delegate, document,
cluster, and automate.

About the author: Wendy Maynard, your friendly Marketing Maven, publishes REMARKABLE
MARKETING, a weekly marketing ezine for business owners, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. If
you're ready to skyrocket your sales, easily attract customers, and have more fun, subscribe at
Marketing Maven - Ezine.

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Author of
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