When we are first starting off in business, it is just us and we’re probably just winging it. In fact, a lot of the clients that I work with struggle with trying to find the balance between what they should be doing in their business and how to work on their business. There are actually four distinct business roles you need to be setting time aside for. Each of these roles helps you make the most effective use of your time while keeping your business on track, helping you reach your goals, are leaving clients satisfied.
The CEO Role
The first one, of course, is the role of CEO – Chief Executive Officer. CEO time is essential. If you are not taking a step back from your business and looking at the bigger picture you are going to be reactionary to things that come up in your business. Now, what are CEO activities? CEO activities are things like goal setting and looking at what goals you have for the quarter, the year, the month, etc., and figuring out how to reach those goals. It’s setting that action plan in place in order to hit those goals. It’s putting strategy around the goals that you have in your business so that they’re not just goals on paper.
The CFO Role
You won’t be successful in your business if you don’t know your financials. It’s important to put on your CFO – Chief Financial Officer – hat. This means asking specific questions like –
- Is your revenue up for the year? Is it up for the quarter? Is it up for the month?
- How many clients have you booked this month?
- What’s been the most successful package that you booked this month?
- Have those discovery calls turned into actual clients? What’s that conversion rate?
- Can you weather a recession?
- Do you have enough money in your business bank account to not have clients that are booking?
- Do you have clients who may not be able to pay in full?
- Do you have enough money to refund clients if they decide they no longer want to work with you?
- Do you need to change your pricing structure?
- Can you look at your expenses in specific categories from last year versus this year and see if that has gone up or down?
Knowing your financials will let you know whether or not your business is growing, staying stagnant, or shrinking. These are questions that you want to ask yourself when it comes to running a business and knowing your financials. When you play the CFO role, you’ll start to get a better understanding of where your business is financially, and whether it is being successful or if there’s work that you need to do.
The Admin Role
Next up, is the admin role. Some people mix up the CEO role and the admin role but they are two different things. To me, CEO time is working on that big picture in your business. It’s goal setting, it’s strategizing, it’s action planning. Admin time is where you are not doing client work, but you’re doing things that have to do with clients. That’s answering emails, creating content, drafting all those marketing emails, filing documents, writing blogs, or even organizing your inbox. The admin role is doing all those “busy work” things that we tend to put off. Set aside time for that or hire a virtual assistant to take these types of tasks off your plate. If you are dead set against not doing the admin work in your business hire a virtual assistant. While a lot of these tasks aren’t fun, they are essential to running your business.
How do you want potential clients to see you? How do you set expectations with potential clients on what it’s like to work with you? A scheduling system, communication system, and sales and marketing system help protect your boundaries in business. It’s so important to establish boundaries in your business so that you enjoy working in your business. As long as we are putting parameters around how we show up for people, what people can expect from us and how we protect our time, then we can go into business and enjoy what we’re doing because we’re doing it on our terms. Use systems to create boundaries in your business so as your business grows, you will still enjoy working in that business you’ve created.
The Client Role
Lastly, you should be making time to serve your clients. This could look different for product-based businesses. If you mainly sell products, your client role would look like shipping out orders or personalized product creation. For service-based businesses, client time is the time when you’re meeting with and working on client deliverables. Here’s something important to remember. As much as client work is the driver of our business, most times, it’s not the main part of our business. Yes, we need to make sure that we are doing the things that give us clients and make them happy. But CEO time, CFO time, admin time – those are the things that make your business run. And here’s the thing that a lot of people don’t realize when they are growing in their business. The bigger your business gets the less time you will most likely spend on client work. You will hire people under you to do those things and you will start to focus more on the big picture things of your business. So yes, client time is important, but don’t sacrifice the other roles in your business.