When you’re starting a consulting business you know just how much there is to do.
You know that you’re taking on every role on your business from managing director to filing clerk.
If you’ve set up your office in your home, then there’s a good chance that you’re the office cleaner, too.
All of that means you won’t have too much difficulty in filling your days.
The trouble is that a lot of the activities you’ll be working on won’t be generating any money.
Doing your accounts, organising your filing, populating your database are all essential tasks . . . but do they have to be done right now? Are you the person who should be doing them?
Your business needs a structure
Of course, your business needs a structure. You need to think about the various business activities and functions that will make or break your venture – sales, operations, finance, business development and so on.
- Yes, you do need a database.
- Yes, you do need to do market research about your niche and about your customers.
- Yes, you do need to keep on top of the emails, the filing and the influx of information.
You also need to get customers, make sales, get paid and make a profit. It’s these activities that will make your business a success.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to create two lists of activities to help you to make some sense of the many, many calls on your time. Your lists will also help you to work out what you really should be doing with your time.
The two lists
Your two lists are quite simple to create.
In column one put all the things that you think need to be done, if you’re going to succeed in business.
In column two note the tasks that need to be done that only you can do.
In most consulting businesses – and in most businesses with a complex offer – there are activities to be completed that require your specialist knowledge.
In my business I’m the one who must keep up to date on what my competitors are doing, so that I know when to amend our offer. I’m the one who has to decide which organisations to target and which ones to spend time learning more about. I’m the one who designs our offer and who delivers most of the consultancy assignments.
I also maintain customer relationships and work to build the business.
This means that someone else must do most of the other things that need doing in the business. It’s not that I don’t know how to do some of these tasks. I do. I just have to remain clear about where I should be applying my efforts in order to gain maximum benefit for the business.
Whilst you’re still in the early days of running your business make sure you’re clear in your own mind what it is that only you can do.
This knowledge will help you with the task of organising yourself and your time. it will help you to avoid omitting really important activities.
It will help you to start on the road to success in your consulting business.
This is tip seventeen in a series of 100 tips for people starting a consulting business.
What are the things that only you can do?
Have you though seriously about the essential activities in your business that only you can do?
What are those tasks?
Are you spending enough time on these tasks?
Let me know in the comments.