In this episode of The Business Bite we are going to talk about the number one time suck that small business owner’s fall victim to. I’m going to preface this to say I didn’t hire some big statistical research firm to do some highly scientific research. I just sat down and looked at the business consulting clients I’ve had and talked to a couple of the audience members and realized that I was seeing a pattern. I was seeing what the number one thing they were doing in their business that essentially was sucking the life nad time away from them. It’s unfortunate because it’s kind of deceitful. It masks itself as crucial and critical and you kind of still have to do it but not to the extent that it is. I’m a get to you in a second of what exactly that I’m talking about.
I want you to think of it this way. What is something that is critical for to sustain your life? Food right? Food is something we absolutely cannot get around having. You can also eat food that causes a negative impact on you. It could be the wrong type of food, you may be allergic, it could be high in calories, it may not be healthy for you. On the flip side if you don’t have enough food, what’s going to happen? Your body’s going to break down, you’re going to end up getting sick or worse. That’s why this time stuff is very hard to manage and get under control because it is crucial to the health of our business, especially in this day and age.
What is it Rachel? Managing or being on social media. That’s not really surprising and I’m not going to throw a lot of statistics at you guys about it. Just bottom line, managing social media or being the one to respond to social media comments or being, even, the one to initiate the social media post is probably more like social media’s managing you, than you are managing it.
We’ve got notifications, we have the impulsivity to pick up the phone, the need to check on your ads, the desire to see what other’s are up to. Quite simply, my answer to you is out the dag-on phone down. Put away social media. There’s plug-ins and so forth out there that you guys can use to push you out of socia media until you get certain things done but for me, I’m obviously good at little bit more logical and self-regulating than utilizing one of those. Even though I have the plug-in or the extension on my computer, I could still pick up my phone and access social media all I want.
Here’s my recommendations for you guys. You need to be setting time limits everyday of how long you can be on social media, personally and professionally. Also, what time’s of day and what you’re actually do on it. That’s the big thing. People will say, okay, I’m only going to spend 20 minutes on social media but then they fart around the entire time. Next thing I know it’s an hour or two that they’ve sucked out of their day. Then when we’re sitting at our consulting session, they’re crying they don’t have enough hours in their day to get things done and that they wish they could expand their profit margin more. This is one of those things that you can plug the leaks in your boat.
If you guys have no idea what I’m talking about with that phrase, I mention this a lot when I talk about budgeting. You can check episode 14, 6 Budget Areas Small Biz Owners Forget To Include. I talk to the whole process of how to plug the leak in your boat. This is a time leak in your business that you can be plugging. It’s so easy to justify being on social media as a required task for your business and it is, but it isn’t. You don’t necessarily need to be on it 90% of the day. I’m willing to bet if you guys are listening to this, you probably, have a tab open that has one of the major three social media platforms on your computer right now. I just looked up and I actually do. If you’re on your phone you probably have it open running in the background or you just were on it within the last five to ten minutes.
I want you to guys to do an experiment for me over the next two days. On day one, I want you to carry a piece of paper with you to write down all your tasks and how long you did each of them. All tasks, not just social media because we’re going to be using that again here shortly. Before we get to day two I want to kind of give you a … let you know where I’m going with this. We’re going to write down all of our tasks, all of the tasks that we do and the time. As lawyers we do this because we do billable hours. It’s almost second nature. As a small business owner that may not have been structured to a billable type set up, think of it this way, going back to the food example.
You tell yourself, I’m not eating that much food but I don’t know why I’m not losing weight. Or let’s sub that with, I’m not spending a lot of time on social media but I don’t know why I’m not getting tasks done. When you get on MyFitnessPal or a piece of paper and you write down every piece of morsel of food that comes in your mouth, more than likely you’re seeing that you’re … end up spending more time on social media, or eating more food, than you thought you were. That right there could be really, really shedding light on issues. A lot of people don’t even like to do day one because they can kind of see where it’s going and they don’t want to know. They don’t want to realize how much time they spend on the tasks.
That was day one, carry a piece of paper with you to write down all your tasks and how long you did each of them. We’re going to use that here in a minute. On day two I want you to remove your favorite social media app from your phone. Seriously, this is time for you to check yourself. See how many times you impulsively reach to mindlessly scroll or check for likes, or check for new, private messages. Now that you have done that, and you better have because trust me, it will be mind blowing when you go through these two day process. It’s similar, like I talked a little bit ago, when you want to lose weight and you’re frustrated as to why you’re not. When you track actually what you put in your mouth, you then realize that you been dishonest about how much you’ve been eating. Maybe not intentionally dishonest but you just weren’t accurate because you just truly didn’t know.
Many of you probably are not being honest with how much and what you do online or what you do during your day. I want you to do this and I want you guys to report back. You can tweet me, you can Instagram me, you can Facebook, you can email me, I am everywhere. I am Rachel Brenke on every single social media site. This is really important because I want this to help change your perspective so that you can implement your actual business plan for this year. Total side note, if you don’t have a business plan, episode 13, you can do business plan in 15 minutes or less.
If you guys are sitting here going, I already know I spend a lot of time on social media but I don’t know how to fix it, here’s the next step for you. I still want you to go through day one and day two so we can get numbers. We want to see actually what tasks are being done. You may need to do it more over a week if you aren’t necessarily full time working during that day or you’re … you had a specific project. Whatever is indicative of what your normal day to day looks like, that’s the day that we’re trying to hone in on. We’re wanting to know this amount of time. Not just so we see how much time we’re spending on social media because you can also see what task’s are you doing, that you are doing that you can maybe have someone else do, probably better and for cheaper. Do you actually need to be the button pusher, doing all of these task’s?
If you’re in the start-up phase, I totally understand this is one of those things though, once you do this evaluation, I recommend getting it into your budget, hint, hint, episode 14 I talk about budget areas and planning. Those two episodes kind of cross together with this. If you evaluate and see that you’re spending time on tasks that are … aren’t actually giving you a direct return, that don’t require you to be the button pusher, and you may not necessarily be that good at, then you want to stick it into your plan for you to get someone to help you with that. I absolutely love using these online sites such as Upwork in those, to help me find people to fill tasks in for me. That way I can be focused.
However, I feel like a lot of times people jump to outsourcing because they feel like they don’t have a lot of time when we could have plugged some of these leaks in your day, that you guys have pulled from your day one and day two lists that you’ve now made. A lot of times they can save a lot of time by cutting back on the social media time. I’m not saying that you don’t need to be on social media. For me I like to only check email certain times a day. I like to hop on social media only certain times a day.
I also like to plan all my social media content and get it all scheduled. I try to do this at least the first of the quarter and plan for each quarter based on … to parallel my business plan but so that I’m not touching social media so much. If you can’t do a quarter, you can definitely do monthly for that. I go more into that in that in that episode 13 of business planning and kind of how I structure that and talks a little bit in episode nine of how to get more time. That teaches my system of how I batch create my content and that includes my social media strategy.
The reason for that is, I spend like one whole week of the quarter doing all of my social media for the quarter, so that when I log on, I’m not having to figure out, what am I going to post, what am I going to do? I literally am having my 30 minute time block, or whatever it is that I am going to get on social media, that amount of time and I’m going to do my responses, I’m going to engage with my audience and I’m going to retweet some other influencers. I’m able to do all these other tasks that don’t get done if I’m bogged down by content creation or just simply by just screwing around on social media. I strongly recommend that you guys check yourself. Do the day one, do the day two, outline all of this and make sure that you are not consuming your time with unhealthy engagement of social media. Make sure it’s healthy, make sure it’s balanced, that way the health of your business will be successful.
Rachel Brenke is a lawyer, author and business consultant. She is currently helping professionals all over the world initiate, strategize and implement strategic business and marketing plans through various mediums of consulting resources and legal direction.
Hi, I’m Rachel Brenke
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