One of the things I emphasise when I’m talking to HR professionals who are thinking of joining us, and in some of the articles I write, is that there are loads of things we do for you, and other things we tell you how to do effectively, and resources we give you, all so that you can concentrate on the client work paying the fees. Which sounds very sensible.
But I’m going against all that now by saying that spending time on your business is actually just as important as the work you can charge clients for. Why is that?
1. Where do you think the client work comes from?
Spending time on your business is, either directly or indirectly, usually some form of business development, i.e. marketing. It’s very easy when you’re busy with client work to let the marketing slide altogether, or to just keep on top of the more urgent stuff, like bunging some things on social media, or going to a networking event you’ve already booked into, or writing your newsletter because there’s a deadline.
But the stepping back, bigger-picture, longer-term stuff is also what’s going to bring in clients, or increase your business in some way, so let that slip because you’re busy might have a negative impact (or at least a reduced positive impact) later on.
2. Why are in you in business at all?
If you’re perfectly fine just doing client work, actually you could have just stayed in a normal employed job, surely? That way you’re doing work and just getting paid for it. You don’t have the risk, you don’t need to market yourself or worry about the myriad other things you’re responsible for as a business owner.
But you chose not to do that, and one of the reasons for that was probably wanting a sense of independence, ownership, control over your own destiny, and achieving something exciting. The way you do that is spending time on your business, looking for new initiatives, improvements, directions you can take. That’s the exciting stuff, actually. It may not pay the bills immediately, but as well as paying dividends (literally) eventually, it gives you a buzz of motivation you won’t get from advising a client how to dismiss someone.
3. It’s not just for your benefit
You want to provide a good service to your clients, because that way you keep them, and they hopefully will recommend you to other people too. By spending time on your business rather than in it, you might come up with new innovations that will help your clients as well as you. Partnerships, ideas, different services or products. And you’ll improve your own learning about all sorts of things which is rewarding for you and also clearly can benefit your clients enormously.
So how to do that?
The best way to ensure you actually do this and don’t find yourself drifting from week to week without stepping back is to book it into your diary as firmly as you would anything for a client. Carve out some time, every week or every day, whatever works for you, to work on your business and stick to it. If a client asks for your availability for something, don’t be tempted to ditch that time for them. Ninety nine times out of a hundred they’ll wait a day or two for whatever it is they need, and won’t go elsewhere, and you, your business and they will all benefit in the longer term.
If you want to discuss the opportunity of partnering with face2faceHR, do get in touch.