A wise guru once told me ‘A man with more than three focuses has none’. I have since added that line of wisdom in big letters across the top of my large whiteboard in my office.
I hope to find a more permanent place for that quote. For it was this quote that potentially changed how I run my Business Catalyst based operations.
I recently found myself focusing on so many things that in reality I wasn’t really focused at all. By cutting down on the many so-called focuses I had it has seemingly made me more productive, successful and most importantly – happy.
One of the most intriguing benefits of being a Business Catalyst Partner is the very strong and supportive network opportunity between partners. This is something rarely seen in any other industry.
A few months ago I had a casual email conversation with Brent Weaver of BC Gurus about how I was running my business. We came to the conclusion that there were many holes and financial leaks that needed to be corrected.
I make finding a mentor the number one focus for a couple reasons. First, it isn’t hard to find another partner that cares enough to gently guide you on your path. Second, a good mentor will keep you accountable. Knowing that I am going to get that weekly phone call has without question been the number one factor in keeping focused.
One of the biggest issues I faced were small cash flow leaks that alone were really insignificant. Yet when you add up all the little leaks it becomes more comparable to a fire hose.
Leak number one was being involved in many other projects, betas and social media that I was not focusing enough on what really counted. Setting up a personal schedule with time allotted to do these activities has helped me reduce time on non-billable hours and increase time for finding those billable hours.
Another leak was the many non-profit organizations that I was helping both in time spent and hosting costs. While these organizations were close to my heart they didn’t pay the bills. I found it just doesn’t make sense to spend money that won’t bring revenue in return.
I continue to volunteer my time when I can, but I have requested each organization to at least cover my out of pocket hosting expenses. They were more than happy to oblige.
Another significant cost was spending cash on personal blog sites and my own business site. Again, an outgoing cash flow without an incoming revenue stream.
I then took a look at proposals that I have recently sent out and how I went about presenting those proposals. I was so wrong on my approach. I did learn two things when it comes to doing proposals.
First, never email a proposal to a client. Always go over that proposal in person with the client. There is a good chance that your client may not understand certain aspects of your proposal. You are the professional and need to help them understand it.
If you can do it together in the same room that is ideal but it is not always possible. Technology these days has given us every opportunity to present and go over that proposal over the Internet if person to person meeting is not possible. The more time you spend in front of your client the more likely your client will understand what you are proposing.
Second, never leave a meeting or end a phone call without setting a follow-up plan. Know your client’s needs!
That brings us to focus number three …
Being in front of potential clients as often as you can is a must. Sitting in the office waiting for clients to come to you simply is not enough. Be proactive in your approach to networking with other business owners or managers.
To me this is the most important and surprisingly addicting aspect of my new strategy plan. And yes, I did say addicting.
You will have to come back next week to read all about this new strategy. So in tune with the concept of always scheduling a follow-up I will have a detailed account of that strategy for you in my next blog post here on BC Gurus.
In closing this week I would like to challenge you to adopt these three focus points or come up with three focus points of your own. I’d love to hear them!