When you’re running a business solo, it's easy to get off track without a business routine you can rely on day after day, week after week.
Routines are part of life, and they should be part of business too. They help you stay focused each day and get the important things ticked off your to-do list. They provide structure that helps you do business effectively, achieving the goals you’ve set out to achieve.
At Boss Free Media, we’re all about achieving big, bodacious goals, and we know the only way to hit our milestones to progress toward our goals is through focused effort.
I’d like to share some routine tips that helped me take my business from underperforming; going days without making any money, to generating revenue on a daily basis:
Put a daily work schedule in place.
Flextime and compressed work schedules can lead to a better work performance, attitude, behavior, mental health, as well as personal and family life, and in most cases it's why we chose business ownership — more freedom to do the things that matter most.
While a 4-hour workday may be tempting, your business may need more time, especially in the early stages. You’ll need to invest the time it takes to get your business to a point where you are financially secure and can enjoy the freedom and flexibility you’re doing all of this for.
Your schedule should meet the needs of your business and the needs of your clients and customers. Your business should be open at a specific time and close at a specific time for things like customer service, processing orders, and taking phone calls.
Although you get to decide your hours as the business owner, maintain hours just as you would if you were working for an employer. That means getting ready early enough, coffee already in hand, to arrive at your desk on time and ready to take a call if the phone rings.
Your business can change drastically when you put in a regular and consistent amount of time and effort.
“Love yourself. Give yourself just as much, if not more, than you would give to someone else.” —Wanauma Graham
Create a getting started routine.
Create a routine to start your workday. You might make a pot of coffee and actually get dressed each day, just as you would when you had a day job. You decide what to do. Do whatever helps you get ready to crush the day; the point is to create a routine and follow it.
Ditch rigorous time blocking.
This tip may seem a little unorthodox, especially to all of the avid planners out there. There are some advantages to time blocking, but there are some disadvantages as well.
Time blocking is when you block chunks of time devoted to one particular task or a group of similar activities. It makes you task focused and that’s a good thing. You can get various tasks done in pre-scheduled, uninterrupted blocks of time throughout the day. Unfortunately, time blocking won’t help your business thrive if you are not focused on the right tasks. It can eat away at your revenue.
If your schedule is full of meetings, calls, and admin, you’ll miss out on the most critical tasks of the day like sales and marketing, generating leads, and producing revenue.
Here’s my tip: try focusing on income generating tasks first. You can decide how many of those you’ll do each day and make it a priority to get them done before you can move on to anything else.
I schedule 3 High Income Actions (HIAs) every workday, and they’re the first thing I see when I open my planner. As a general rule, I get them done with a sense of urgency. Once complete, I can move on to other tasks that I’ve prioritized using my Daily Priorities Insert or Master To-Do List.
Time scheduling doesn’t have to be rigorous, but being well-disciplined in this area will help you create habits that will lead to being more productive and focused.
Scheduling time for appointments, meetings, and breaks throughout your day will boost your performance if done effectively. The tip I’m about to share with you may seem challenging at first, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll appreciate the structure you’ve set to regain control of your day and keep your business revenue flowing.
Set specific days and times during the week for meetings and appointments to ensure that you don’t spend all of your time tied up. Consider the time you’ll need before and after each meeting to prepare and review.
For example, you may decide that every Wednesday and Thursday afternoon are your days for meetings and client appointments, and you provide specific time slots that can be booked, such as 1pm-1:45pm, 2pm-3:45pm and 4pm-4:45pm. Time slots are a “first come first serve” (or FCFS) basis. If those time slots are full, new appointments are booked the following Wednesday or Thursday. It’s a straightforward, no fuss way to stay organized.
You can obviously make exceptions when you’re trying to close a deal or for a priority, but sticking to a routine will help you eliminate distractions and stay on-track. Meetings should lead to actionable items. If not, you may want to reconsider which types of meetings to prioritize.
If a meeting gets canceled or rescheduled, you can decide how you’ll use that time. Get caught up on admin activities or use that time on things that give you the highest return on your time investment.
Create an end of day routine.
At the end of your workday, take 15 to 30 minutes to go over what you accomplished, check your analytics, review what worked and what didn’t, plan your HIAs and priorities and clean your desk for the next day.
Having a business routine isn’t just for people with a chaotic business life, it’s also beneficial for people who want to prioritize their success and ensure the effort they put in actually moves the needle. It’s never good to look back at the year and realize you missed the mark.
Organize, prioritize and focus.
Wanauma Graham is a “do what you love” enthusiast and author of Totally Unstoppable. She’s the founder and creator of BossFreeMedia.com, a personal development and business productivity brand for women entrepreneurs looking to start and run a business that's centered on purpose. Her digital products shop, known as "The Shop for Women Entrepreneurs", offering planner inserts, templates, courses, and guides is gaining popularity. Connect with her: facebook.com/wanaumagraham
Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we get a commission should you decide to purchase something using one of our links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for always supporting us!