Making more time to make more money with good business habits

The article this week is inspired by 3 client conversations. They all happened on the same afternoon with a general theme of having: Good Business Habits.

The conversation was triggered when:

One client had uncertainty on their finances…

A second triggered it with a conversation on boundaries and scheduling…

The third… with a communication problem…

The symptom all these three clients had was the same. They were busy.

A “busy-ness” crisis is never caused by a sudden problem. All crisis build up over time, like a fire it usually starts off small and grows. And busy-ness is usually a need for an earlier decision to be made or a new discipline to be installed.

In fact, busy-ness is often caused by prior laziness!

Yep… Ouch! Sorry!

Symptoms of Busyness And The Need For Good Business Habits

Feeling disarray, disorganisation and uncertainty on any part of your business is a signal to make a change – And you want to make that change because when you get busier (which you will) you’ll either have to work longer or take someone on.

And what are the problems with these two solutions when you are already struggling with the above symptoms?

Working longer leads to burn-out and taking someone on only accelerates the problem – because your team will only multiply your leadership. If you are disorganised it’s your disorganisation x2.

Let me put it like this… if you were to run into a wall at 15mph you might sustain a few bruises, but hit it at 30 and you might end up breaking a bone or two.

And we don’t want that, right?

So what are the solutions?

Solutions to Busy-ness

We all have our missions to help a million or make a million, but that kind of impact doesn’t just happen. It takes more than a goal and a how to book on the Law of Attraction…

It takes habits.

And habits thrive on a rhythm.

And you’ll either have bad habits that are propelling you backwards or good habits driving you forwards.

One of my mentors runs five businesses, one with an annual billion dollar turnover, and he never lets up on this subject. He’ll ask, over and over: “What’s your rhythm for that?”

When I looked at the above symptoms –the ones the three clients came to me with – I see they have a crisis brewing because there was a rhythm not working in their business.

So let me help you with this…

First, let’s look at good business habits…

There are 10 basic good business: finances, marketing, back-ups, scheduling, communication, metrics, relationships, sales, delivery and business foundation systems – like legal and insurance.

But don’t feel pressured to run off and work on all 10 now. Just do it gently. Here’s how…

Just review the habits as you go about your week with this question: “What’s my business telling me this week?” And then measure it again one of the habits. Find which one it is and fix that one. Then give that habit a rhythm – a beat (how often).

For example, a team member was explaining a problem with a client. We quickly saw there was a problem in our communication and the client was just highlighting that. We identified there was no habit in place to help the client or us. So now we created a new habit. Then we decided how often we’d communicate this message to clients. End of future problem.

Let’s take another example and go deeper…

Let’s pick marketing because marketing is an area we’re all interested in…

How To Create Marketing Rhythms

Do you have marketing rhythms?

Note the word: “Rhythms”. Yes, ideally you’ll have several marketing rhythms all beating away at once. (When you do, you’ll have a full-on drum roll happening, with a nice bass beat and maybe even a few hustles on the side) Nice.

So, do you have a rhythm that brings you clients consistently?

For a good rhythm, what I mean is, don’t just:

  • Hope speaking opportunities will come your way
  • Randomly attend an event to get new clients and shell out business cards like machine gun bullets
  • Keep your fingers, toes crossed that person you met will refer a client to you
  • Reach out to ideal clients on Linked-in
  • Throw a blog together

Have a habit to make it happen and put a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual rhythm in place…

And then finish it off with a proven process.

7-Figure Back Office have a process in place for clients who want speaking gigs. It starts with a speakers pack, involves a spread-sheet and that process has a rhythm – a diary slot to work the process.

My process on events is to find events where the people I want to meet will go. You can be forgiven for thinking I might attend an event a week, because that’s a good rhythm, right? But you’d be wrong. At the moment I only attend about 4 events a year and they are not necessarily evenly spread. But the rhythm is 4 events annually, and the event investment is budgeted in a cash-flow forecast.

What about a client referral process, do you have a rhythm for that?

Do you make it easy for your referral partners to refer you? Do you have a pack? Do they know what to say? Do they know how to make the introduction? And how and when do you stay in touch with them? What’s the habit?

What about Social Media?

I get a lot of people who connect with me on Linked-in. They message me without even changing a word of the standard Linked-in message. The when I accept their request I send them a standard, very upbeat reply asking for a little info that will help us have a good relationship. 20% leave it a week or so then hit me with their unrelated, impersonalised marketing message. 50% Never contact me ever again!

And I think, “What a waste of time!”

But 30% do reply. Some become clients, some become JV partners, some join our team, some become friends and a lot will fizzle out. Yes, have a habit to connect with people weekly. But also have a process to follow up and actually meet people in some way. Have a point which is more than having 500 contacts!

With blogs, we have a process and it’s a habit. I have a weekly writing slot at 11am, on a Monday. I show up, write the article and then we have a whole process that kicks in behind me to post it, SEO it, broadcast it, Social Media it and cut it in other ways – wherever that’s relevant.

Installing New Business Habits And Rhythms

Here’s what to do:

  1. Review the habits as you go about your week with this question: “What’s my business telling me this week?”
  2. When your business is telling you there is a problem in one of the 10 business habits, set a new habit
  3. Build a process around that habit
  4. Decide the rhythm (regularity) of the habit
  5. Review the habit to make sure it’s working for you