by Melanie Benson Strick
Increasing your business revenues might be easier than you think. If you knew that improving profitability had less to do with selling more and more to do with improving your own productivity, wouldn’t that be a relief?
Back in my corporate career days, I was introduced to the work of Steven Covey the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. One of the insights that stuck with me to this day is the idea of sharpening your saw. When you keep your own saw sharp, you invest in enhancing your single greatest asset – you. By improving your own productivity habits and mindset, you can multiply the results around you with less effort.
A common approach to increasing profits for many small business owners is to try to increase revenues with the creation of more offerings and drive new traffic and leads. But spending countless hours building up their marketing tactics and figuring out how to close more business isn’t necessarily the answer – that’s just a formula for getting more of the same results you have right now.
Masterful productivity habits are the key to generating consistent results. Over the next 90 days, you can position yourself to achieve more than you ever thought possible by simply mastering the five peak performance habits.
Habit #1: Focus on the One
In a world full of bright shiny objects and the compelling need most entrepreneurs have to create, focusing on “one” thing can start to feel a bit boring. The reality though is that a business with too many offerings can quickly lose profits to keep up with a lot of moving parts. When a business owner has ONE main offering that is optimized for profits, it can make a significant difference in growth. A valuable habit to master is having the discipline to take one key offering and optimize it. That means you have to have the discipline to stop creating new offerings when you are restless or worried that your current offerings aren’t performing well.
Instead of jumping to the next exciting idea, stick with the one key offering. Dig deep and really understand who the ideal client avatar is. Tweak your marketing message and strategy to connect with your ideal clients. Then refine your offer and sales process until you reach your sales goals.
Habit #2: Clean Up Your Act
A fast paced entrepreneur often leaves a wake of incomplete projects and forgotten opportunities. Between your email, multiple social media platforms and a wide variety of connections, many business leaders find themselves woefully disorganized – and disorganization is the enemy of productivity.
One of the fastest ways to speed up results is to invest a few minutes getting your act together. Organize your paperwork. Set up systems to eliminate costly breakdowns. Hire an assistant to help answer incoming emails and phone calls so you don’t miss out on amazing opportunities. Set up a calendar to block out time for each of your priorities. When you invest a little bit of time on getting yourself organized, you’ll be able to find what you need quickly and stop wasting precious time.
Habit #3: Communicate Better
If you move at the speed of light and have a million of ideas, you might be guilty of this productivity culprit: communication breakdowns. Entrepreneurs who have lots of new ideas on a daily basis tend to forget to communicate these ideas to their team – and at the last minute expect them to move at the speed of light to handle it. When the business leader routinely forgets to communicate changes and updates to their team, it can create pervasive stress that takes a toll on their performance.
Make a commitment to communicate regularly and masterfully. Instead of doing the dump and run with your ideas, take the time to map out what your expectations are and when projects must be completed by. If you are having team performance issues, ensure that you are using proper project management tools that outline tasks and due dates. When you communicate better you will become a more effective leader – which translates to better team performance.
Habit #4: Manage Your Monkey Chatter
This habit is one that most people don’t even know they need – managing the on-going negative monkey chatter in your mind. Your mind is the most powerful resource you have but most of us let our thoughts become gremlins that destroy productivity. Every time you beat yourself up or focus on what you should have done better, your motivation tanks.
Whether you are conscious of it or not, your thoughts are dictating your habits and actions. If you spend a lot of time solving problems or thinking about what you should have accomplished but didn’t, your energy and momentum will pay the price. Learn how to train your brain so you can focus on what is working.
Habit #5: Say No
An often overlooked peak performance strategy for all business leaders is having the discipline to steer clear of distractions and goal derailers disguised as a high payoff opportunity. From speaking at live events, being a guest on other people’s platforms, to collaborative projects and the exciting leadership position on someone’s executive board, if it’s not aligned with your priorities and goals, just say no. Get clear on the sneaky situations that look aligned but later turn into a big disappointment. When you can confidently say no to unaligned opportunities and stay focused on your most important goals, you’ll accelerate results.
New habits don’t form overnight; be willing to ask for support from your coach, spouse or mastermind partners to help you stick with your peak performance habits.
Melanie Benson is known as America’s Leading Small Business Optimizer because she knows how to boost profits and results with her secret weapon — LEVERAGE. With over 12 years in corporate project management, Melanie works exclusively with thought leaders and visionary entrepreneurs who want proven strategies to monetize their big ideas and catapult their success without giving up their life.
Melanie is host of the Amplify Your Success Podcast, author of Rewired for Wealth, serves on the Executive Leadership Team for Women Speakers Association, is co-author of Entrepreneur.com’s Start Up Guide to Starting an Information Marketing Business and has her success tips featured in magazines such as Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Parenting Magazine, Woman’s Day and American Express FORUM. Melanie is a proud lifestyle enthusiast and spends her free time in search of the best spas and beaches in the world.