Running your own business is tough. You aren’t just doing the core work, you’re also doing the accounting, HR, Sales, Content Creation, Website Management, Branding, Marketing, etc. It can be extremely challenging to prioritize your to-do list when every single “do” is on your shoulders.
If you read my previous post “To Do or To Find Out?” post, you’ll see that all to-dos are not created equal and knowing what category your tasks fall into can bring a lot of clarity to your work.
Taking it a step further, you can group some of your tasks into revenue-generating tasks and non-revenue-generating tasks. One thing is for sure: if you aren’t making money in your business, you don’t have a business. Working on things that bring in income should be at the VERY top of your list.
There are a lot of times when I am going down the rabbit hole of being busy and immediately stop and ask myself “is this making me any money?” and the answer being an emphatic NO. Can you relate to this? Every time I do this, I get quite frustrated with myself. Now, I have a list of revenue-generating activities that I build into my day.
Here is an exercise to define your revenue generating activities and how to incorporate them into your everyday to-dos.
First, take inventory of your current to-do list. Look at them with the lens of “do any of these tasks produce income?” And by that, I don’t mean indirectly make income. I mean actually produces income. You might be horrified to notice that you might have one, but the truth is, a lot of entrepreneurs have none. Busy work takes up their day, namely social media, and true sales efforts are not even given a glance.
Emailing your list an offer
Sending out an affiliate offer
Asking current clients for referrals
Asking past clients for referrals
- Following up with referrals
Setting up product demos
Answering new lead inquiries
One or more of the activities above can be done on a daily or semi-daily basis. You should at minimum have one of these on your to-do list every day and it should be of the highest priority.Posting on Instagram, writing blog posts, recording podcasts, designing brochures, etc., aren’t making you money. Making sales is what makes you money. Are the tasks I just mentioned important, sure they are, but they are a vehicle to making sales, not actual sales themselves.Revenue-generation activities don’t have to take up your whole day, but non-revenue generating activities mustn’t take up your whole day.
Pinpoint a few of the activities above, and decide how they can be incorporated into your business or create a few of your own. Then schedule them into your daily work. Once you get the ball rolling, you’ll see that your daily activities can easily be filled with money-making efforts.
If you have a software product like I do, start scheduling out product demos, aka cold calling. For example, I might schedule out one hour of my day to strictly make cold calls asking small businesses to do a software demo. (<— revenue generating activity) I might get a hold of 4-5 people and 1 or 2 might say yes. I will schedule those for the next week. I now have 2 demos set up for next week (<— more revenue-generating activities). As this becomes part of my daily routine, I will always have potential sales in the pipeline and not spend too much time on Instagram.
If you sell courses online, you could be holding workshops, hosting webinars for your course, emailing your list about the course, upselling previous students into a bigger course, etc. If you sell a health product, you could be calling past clients asking for reorders, or referrals, emailing new leads, etc.
Get really intentional about what you are doing during the day – revenue generating activities need to be on your daily task list. It’s much easier when you can get clear on what those tasks are, schedule them out and watch your business grow. Don’t get caught up in the busy work – it’s easy to do.