If only it was as easy as turning on a tap, for our bank accounts to fill up! Well, I have good news for you! It could be if you pay close attention to what we call ‘incoming growth activities’, or IGA for short.
Everyday IGA Activities
These are activities that you can do every day to actively make your business more profitable. (profitable business)
Consider for a moment where your highest hourly rate is achieved. We load these activities into the default diary as IGAs.
That’s where you get your discipline and follow-through. You should aim to do five IGAs every day that actively helps you generate income.
Some of these are simple and will only take a few minutes. For example, call or email three potential new clients. Have lunch with an existing client and see what else you can do for them.
Check Your Priorities
But how do you fit more into a day that’s already jam-packed? Look at your diary and get rid of one thing that you really don’t need to be doing. Study the systems in your business and see where improvements can be made.
There’s an endless number of small and large things that will increase the income of your business over the long term. Don’t confuse activity with productivity; make sure you are spending time doing things that will add dollars to your bottom line. Be committed and focused and follow through on the productive activities that really count. Schedule in your diary the IGAs you need to be doing every day, every week, and every month.
Plan for the Future
Spend some time on long-term plans such as building strategic partnerships or developing new products that you know your clients want. This might not put money in the bank next week but it will in a year or two. A good strategic partnership can bring hundreds of A-grade clients to your business over the next few years.
Steady as She Goes
Also spend time on short-term strategies such as getting feedback from clients, or giving a talk at the business association, or running a targeted marketing campaign. I usually suggest people spend around 70% of their IGA time on short-term activities and 30% on long-term activities but you can vary this to suit yourself and your business.
Always keep in mind how quickly long-term becomes short-term. Have a think about how decisions you made 12 months ago are affecting you now. It seemed a long way off at the time, but here you are, right now, living with the results of those decisions it now seems like you made just yesterday.
As the leader of your business, it’s your job to be looking ahead and seeing the problems before they arrive, so that you can avoid them if possible and be equipped to deal with them if not.
Power to you!
Stefan Kazakis is the Principal of Business Benchmark Group and has spent more than two decades at the forefront of business and enterprise.