Always Make Time for Finding New Business

May 15, 2009


It is a lesson that business owners and managers learn quickly: There is simply more to do than time to do it. And if that isn’t the case, then something is probably wrong.

I can already hear all the Franklin planners popping open and the chants that proper time management is the key to happiness and world peace. But it’s more than that. It’s about balancing our daily activities so that we are providing flawless customer service, pursuing new business and attending to the tiny details that keep our doors open – all in a fluid environment that demands thinking on our feet and personal discipline.

It simply is too easy for an entire day to go by without moving the business essentials forward. So what do we do to guard against spending time on good stuff, but not the best stuff? And how do you figure out what the best stuff even is?

I posted that question on my blog and got a most insightful response from my 85-year-old grandfather who lives in Ohio and is apparently still cool enough to blog. His no-nonsense approach, learned through decades of successful sales, management and business experience, got right to the point.

“Dave, business practices have not changed much over time,” he said. “The best advice I can give you is that you have to learn to separate the chaff from the wheat. Without new business coming in, everything else is inconsequential! So that must be uppermost in your mind at all times. I know you have a million and one things to do, but somehow they will get done.”

So there you have it. Nothing else matters if you don’t have clients (or customers). What a novel idea. Of course, you should make sure you are taking good care of the clients you already have, but I think from his perspective that is a given. Creating a revolving door doesn’t get you anywhere.

Being a smart businessperson means staying in business – something that is a whole lot easier when someone is buying what you’re selling. And while there are at least a million other things we can be doing, we must keep new business coming in and let the rest take care of itself.



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