Marketing requires a lot of work. It’s easy to complain that you don’t have enough time for it. But maybe you’re just using the wrong approach. Let’s find out…
Many of my clients tell me that they don’t have time to work on their marketing. In fact, they feel overwhelmed by marketing. Not by the activity itself, but because of everything else that they have to do to run their business.
Most of the time, this happens for two reasons. First of all, they might not know what to do to grow their business. Maybe they don’t know how to move the needle or how to plan for the firm’s growth.
The second reason is that accounting firm owners don’t always understand what they should do personally if they want their business to grow. If they try to do everything in the firm, they can get easily overwhelmed. But doing nothing is not an alternative either.
Although it’s not easy to free up time for marketing, there are things you can do that will help. Especially if you commit to these actions sooner, rather than later.
You’re Not the Only One
If you have this problem, you’re not alone. I used to struggle with the same thing. My time management wasn’t always perfect. As a sole practitioner, I tried to do everything. I tried to handle the accounts, work on marketing, answer emails… I didn’t know how to delegate.
It helps to have a team that can help you. And I don’t mean having more accountants. You need people who can help with other aspects of your practice. For example, the marketing side of things.
At one point, I realised that I had ten team members, and I was still struggling to handle everything. That went on until I allowed each employee to contribute and help leverage my time.
I understood the need to delegate and enlist other people’s help five years ago. It happened after I made a big list of all the actions I took in a day. I soon found out that many of the things I was doing were unnecessary. Or at least they didn’t need any direct involvement from me.
This led me to understand that there are critical actions I needed to take to make better use of my time. I could use the time I saved to improve my marketing strategy. And so can you.
Action #1 – Make a List of Every Action You Take in a Day
Ask yourself, “What do I do every day to position my firm as VITAL? What actions do I take?”
These actions may include checking emails and talking to prospects. Even responding to new leads before they enter the funnel counts.
Look at how much accounting work you’re still taking on every day. You may like this line of work. But as a business owner, there are more pressing matters to attend to. You can’t focus as much on solving everyone’s problems.
Many of your tasks likely have the same priority in your mind. But thinking like that is a mistake. Which brings us to the second action…
Action #2 – Assign a Value to Each Task
To split up your workload and delegate, first assign values to each individual task. See what’s important and what’s not. Identify tasks that demand your personal attention and those that you can give to others.
You can use a priority matrix to help with splitting up tasks. In my case, I divided up my tasks by dollar amount.
I found that most accounting firm owners focus on the $100 tasks. They don’t take on as many $10,000 tasks, although those are the ones that help grow their firm. The $10,000 tasks are the ones that allow the business owner to make an impact and be successful.
What’s an example of a $10,000 task? It can be putting together a sales funnel. Or creating a webinar to attract high-value clients. It’s not necessarily handling the accounts of a wealthy client.
On the other end, social media uploads are $10 tasks in my book. That’s work you can outsource to save time. They shouldn’t require your attention every day.
Action #3 – Remind yourself Why You Started Your Firm
To free up more time, it’s important to get your priorities straight. So ask yourself, “Why did I start my firm? What do I want to achieve?”
Did you want to make money, or to upgrade your lifestyle? Did you want to provide value and make an impact with your VITAL accounting services?
Armed with the answers to these questions, you can put things into perspective. They can help you narrow down your immediate goals and see how to achieve them.
If you want all of that and more, then your business strategy becomes critical. You need to come up with a better strategy for growth. Which brings us back to assigning values to tasks.
Once you know what your goals are, you can classify the tasks in your firm. You can come up with ways to delegate the tasks that don’t bring in much money. And then focus on those that contribute to the bulk of your revenue.
It could be getting more people into your sales funnel. It could be building new opportunities and engaging more ideal clients. All in all, signing up more high-value clients is a high-dollar task.
When you remind yourself of your goals, it gets easier to free up your time. It will help you differentiate the lucrative tasks from the mundane.
At this point, as the owner of an accounting firm, you can start to delegate your $10 and $100 tasks. This should leave you with more time to focus on your growth strategy.
Action #4 – Outsource the Low-Value Tasks
Consider outsourcing all low-value tasks. I’m not saying that low-value tasks aren’t necessary. But there are other people at your firm who can handle them.
Your primary focus, as the owner, is the big picture and making big decisions for your growth strategy. It’s not a good idea to get hung up on those $10 and $100 tasks, such as social media scheduling or prospecting.
Surely you have qualified people on your team who can do those things for you.
After you assign a value to each task, look at your employee roster. Try to pair each task with someone on your team who has the right skills for the job.
You can do this in advance and plan these low-value tasks weeks ahead. But in the beginning you may have to delegate new things every day. As long as you don’t do them yourself, you will save precious time.
Here are some of the actions you can outsource without hurting your business:
- Social media scheduling
- First conversations with prospects
- Content creation
- Prospecting for new clients
As a comparison, here are some tasks that I classify as high-value…
First of all, video creation is significant. It allows you to share your firm’s VITAL qualities with clients in a personal way. And as you may already know, videos make a bigger impact than regular social media updates.
That’s why I put it in the $1,000 range. It’s something that I take on personally. And you can too.
Designing webinars is another high-value thing. It’s something that can help load up your sales funnel with prospective clients, which makes it a high-value project. In fact, filling your funnel is so important that we call it a sales and marketing Superpower.
There’s Always Time to Do Marketing… If You Prioritise
As a new business owner, it can be tempting to micromanage everything in your firm. You want direct contact with clients. You want to have a say in everything that goes on.
However, you also have to value your employees.
It’s essential to trust them enough to let them take at least some tasks off your plate. Start with the low-value tasks. Give them things that are easy to do and impossible to get wrong.
As the owner, your job is to focus on the big picture. And you can free up your time if you delegate the little things. With more time on your hands, you can rethink your growth strategy.
You can come up with a better plan to get and retain new and existing clients. As with any business, micro
P.S. When you are ready to have more TIME, increase your PROFITS and catapult your IMPACT here is how you can get help and increase your superpowers:
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