If you were to write down all of the things you do in a typical day, what might that list look like? You would probably be surprised to realize how much time you spend on tasks that do not make money for you. For example, in a typical day you might spend one hour on email, two hours on client work, one hour on invoicing and bookkeeping, one hour on the telephone, one hour on social networking and other online activities, and the other two hours…who knows where they went.
Based on that list, two hours were spent on actual paying work. The rest was administrative, overhead and wasted time. Although some of those other tasks are necessary (It doesn’t pay to do the work if you do not invoice and get paid for it.) it may be possible to have them done by someone other than you. Or you may be able to set up a more efficient system so you spend less time on those tasks.
Here is the really important part:
Ask yourself what you could be doing that would increase your revenues and profits. You may think you do not have the time, but somehow you find the time for the stuff that isn’t adding to your bottom line. You need to make time for the tasks that will make you more profitable.
Start scheduling one hour each day to be your “ROI Hour.” ROI stands for “return on investment” and this is where you focus on tasks with a high return on the time and money you invest in them. These tasks might include:
- Follow up on leads that will bring in new business.
- Create products to generate ongoing passive income.
- Implement an affiliate program to reward people who sell your products and services.
- Identify and recruit affiliates who are a good fit for your program.
- Put a product or affiliate link or two on a high-traffic page.
- Create content to promote your product, service, business or website, then syndicate it through article directories and other sites.
- Set up an email list and autoresponder series to stay in touch with people who visited your site.
- List your products on a high-traffic site such as Amazon.com so more customers find-and buy-them.
- Distribute a press release about your business.
- Add upsells or product suggestions to your website or shopping cart.
These will not all be right for your business, and some will be better than others. For example, following up on leads to bring in new business may get some dollars coming in the door right now, but that is a one-time event. To earn more, you have to do it again.
Some of these will take a bit of work to set up, then just a little ongoing maintenance. To sell physical products on sites such as Amazon.com you will have to set up an account and add your product information, then ship product to them from time to time (perhaps monthly or quarterly). In return, you can receive some nice monthly paychecks.
Other ideas on the list may pay you back for months or years after you do them once. For example, by adding an affiliate link to one page of my site I generated nearly $100 a month for months. That may not sound like much, but it took all of 10 minutes to do something that has paid off with (so far) hundreds of dollars in pure profit. Does earning well over $2000 an hour sound good to you? That is what I call “high ROI.”
Also think about things that will free up your time and enable you to be more profitable in the long term. For example, you might spend time documenting how you do certain tasks so that you can easily turn those tasks over to a staff member or virtual assistant. That will give you more ROI Hours to make your business even more profitable.
How to Get Started
First, identify some high ROI tasks you can do. Look through the above list for ideas, or come up with one or more of your own. Next, block out an hour each day on your calendar to work on your high ROI tasks. Choose a time when you are at your best. Treat the appointment as seriously as you would a meeting with an important client.
Keep looking for more high ROI opportunities, then implement them. Do not limit yourself to one high ROI hour per day. Use some of your increased earnings to outsource some of your current tasks and use the time you free up for more high ROI actions.
This article originally appeared in my IdeaLady Insider newsletter. You can get ideas like this hot off the press with your free subscription. Sign up here.