Where Should You Spend Your Time?

Stefan Doering (New York Entrepreneur Week) started an important Linked-In discussion, asking “As CEO, Where Do You Spend Most of Your Time?” Many leaders of businesses large or small, I suspect, would react much as Doering’s audience ….

“On Monday I had a room of 30+ entrepreneurs glaring at me…. It started when I asked them how much time they spend in the following three basic areas of (any) business … The room fell silent when I told them how much they should spend:
Marketing: 60-80%
Production: 10-30%
Administration: 10%
…. [ because ] There is no one in your company that can sell your company better than you. No one!”

Doering’s is timely advice to anyone with an interest in making their business more successful, but it is especially pertinent to the majority of entrepreneurs whose business is the creation of their subject matter expertise – their superior ability to make or do something useful.

Marketing isn’t intuitive to many of us, and not comfortable for many others. If you’re one of these ….

First – Take time to something about marketing. The web is full of useful sources, great discussions, and access to real expertise. Linked-In and similar networking sites are particularly useful.
Second – Invest a lot of time getting to know your customers. Spend more time listening than talking. Find out what makes their business and their customer tick. Spend less effort trying to explain why your offering is so good and more effort figuring out how to solve their problems.
Third – Structure every aspect of your company – from product design, to sales, to invoicing, to customer service, to how the phones are answered and the emails responded to – to make it easier and more attractive for your customers to deal with you.

Remember – The ONLY source of your profits is a throng of customers eager to spend their $$$ with you.

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