Don’t let your business run you. Implement these three strategies to run your business.*
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How do you make sure that you are running your business instead of letting your business run you? I use three strategies in my day-to-day business that work really well. First of all, set a daily voicemail. It only takes about 30 seconds. Say something along the lines of, “This is Dave Hooke. Today is Wednesday, February such-and-such. I will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. Your call is important to me and will be returned as soon as possible. If you call after 5:30, I will call you back tomorrow. Thank you and have a great day.” That voicemail gives me peace of mind because it lets my customers know right away when they will hear back from me depending on when they call. We’ve all gotten a call at 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. from a customer. I used to feel guilty or like I was slacking off if I didn’t answer the call. Now, thanks to the voicemail, there are boundaries. The customer knows that I am on top of things and that they will get a call back tomorrow. After you use the voicemail for a couple of months, your customers will start any calls after 5:30 p.m. with an apology.
Secondly, make sure to include an office hours page in each and every buyer and seller presentation. This sheet summarizes when your team is open for business. Ask your team to abide by those hours as much as they can. The office hours sheet sets expectations with the buyer or seller before they sign with you.
When you explain that, like any other business, yours has business hours, your clients will respect that. Let them know that if there is an emergency, you’ll get back to them as soon as possible. The office hours sheet combined with the daily voicemail will make a big difference in your business.
Finally, make sure that you time block your important, but not urgent, tasks. We know what those are because these are tasks we like to procrastinate on. Those tasks really drive our lives and businesses forward. Whether it’s managing your database or sending handwritten notes to clients, block out an hour or two every day to take care of those tasks.
I like to go a step further and time block for exercising and family time. After 5:30 p.m., my rule is no work, no exceptions. If you have kids, add a note in your calendar that says, “We are counting on you, Mom!” or “We are counting on you, Dad!” It might feel like you are missing out on some things at work for the first couple of weeks but after a month or so, things will fall into place. Keep those time blocks in place, no exceptions.
Implementing these three strategies will help you run your business instead of allowing your business to run you. If you have any questions, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!