Can you relate to the following? You decided to be a coach, you are filled with lots of enthusiasm and tons of energy, you have gained the training you feel is appropriate to really make a difference with and for your clients. You went out and bought a fancy new headset, a new computer, a dedicated business line and maybe even a new iPad! And now, you are ready to begin. You have shouted out to the universe I am ready to start working with paying clients. Weeks later, maybe even months later the sad reality is there is still no paying clients.
Unfortunately many coaches start their business with the enthusiasm and excitement of making a difference in their clients lives, but struggle with turning their passion into profit. If you have decided to be self-employed you are not only a coach but also an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur it is critical to “work on your business” and ensure you are spending your time in ways that are getting you a financial return. If you are not making the income you want perhaps it is time to embrace your entrepreneurial mindset and gain some time management skills.
Whether you commit to working 20 hours a week or 40, you must use this time VERY wisely if you want to be sure that you are doing what you need to do to sustain a profitable business. To ensure the success and growth of your business here are four critical activities that are necessary to embrace as an entrepreneur who makes a profit.
- Money-Making Activities (you want to be dedicating 60% of your time in this area – yes 60%): Anything that directly contributes to your bottom line is a money-making activity. It could be delivering the complimentary session, facilitating a workshop, generating referrals, or following up on leads.
- Planning, Preparation and Strategizing Time (up to 20%):
This is the time that no one budgets for, but when it comes to being the CEO of your business, this time can be the most important. This is the time you spend “evolving your business.” After all, it takes time to mastermind with colleagues, get business coaching, and create systems to make the business run more smoothly. Preparation activities help you maximize and leverage your money making activities. For example you are hired to deliver a workshop, creating your workshop would be a preparation activity.
- Super Service and Support (10%):
This includes any time when you provide assistance or extra value to your customers or staff members. When you budget time for super service, you give yourself a chance to really stand out. Whether that means over-delivering a product or service, checking in with clients, or coaching your team to perform even better, this is a crucial aspect of your business.
- Administrative Activities (10% or less):
The day-to-day details of running a business – paperwork, invoicing, accounting, errands, etc. – are certainly essential, but they should not be a priority. This is where most people get bogged down and lose a tremendous amount of time. Budget time for administrative activities, but whenever possible, hire them out. If you are spending more than 10% of your time on administrative activities, then it is time to hire some help!
Most people eventually come to see that they spend way too much time on administrative tasks – and they’re shocked to see how little time is spent on making money. Perfectionists often see too much time going into planning and prep (“Perfectionism isn’t profitable” – are you spending too much time making things perfect?) and can usually seriously benefit from implementing time management.
When you schedule your work week with specific hours allotted to these four areas (time management), you accomplish two things:
- You make sure every side of your business gets regular, focused attention.
- You devote chunks of time to specific objectives instead of bouncing around like a ping-pong ball. This focused time is far more productive than occasionally touching on something.
PIP Coaching Challenge for Time Management:
- Determine your highest priorities, both personally and professionally, and schedule them in first.
- Decide on how many hours you want to work each week.
- Using our percentages as a guideline, determine how many hours you need to spend per week in each area: money-making activities, administration, service and support, and strategizing.
- Block out time on your calendar for each of these areas.
To build a profitable business we must be focused on the business of coaching. The exciting thing, as an entrepreneur you can design your week exactly the way that you want, just be sure that you do book in money-making time – and protect it fiercely, your business depends on it.
What are some of your experiences with time management? Have you had great success? or successive headaches? Let us know in the comments below!