Probabilities & Priorities

One of the most common traits of entrepreneurs is that we have an abundance of ideas. We can generate more ideas in a few months than we could put into action in a lifetime. A shortage of ideas, even good ideas, usually isn’t a problem.

What can be a problem is figuring out which ideas to implement and which to leave idle. The reality for most entrepreneurs is that they will have to leave a great many more things undone than they will actually get done in their business life. So, one of the most important jobs of an entrepreneur is to decide not only what to do, but what to leave undone.

So how does a successful entrepreneur figure out what to work on first?

One of the best rules is to prioritize activities that create clients, customers or sales. After all, if you don’t have paying customers you don’t have a business. However, even within that category there is a multitude of things you could be doing. A short list of tasks and activities you might try include: social media marketing, in-person networking, phone calls to warm prospects, exhibiting at trade shows, blogging, and placing ads but there are dozens of others to try. Again, the question is how to figure out which activities to work on first.

The best thing to work on is the one that has the highest probability of working. If several activities are equally likely, it can be good to focus on the ones that will produce results sooner rather than later.

How can you apply this criteria in real life? To start with, know who your ideal customers are so you can assess if they are likely to be present or exposed to what you are doing. For example, if you primarily sell to women, exhibiting at a trade show where the audience is 90% men is not the best use of time. You’d be much better off finding places where the audience is primarily women. For a virtual example, start with the social media sites where your ideal clients are most likely to be. If you sell to top management of big corporations, LinkedIn is the place to start. It’s where you are most likely to find this group of people.

A second factor is to make sure those ideal clients see your message when they are in the frame of mind to take it in. In the example above of selling to women, there are lots of places you can find an audience of women but not all of them are good places in which to sell your products. If you sell beauty products or services, you’ll find an interested audience at a bridal show but probably not at a home improvement show.

A final step to take before starting anything new is make sure you know what you want to accomplish and create a way to measure your results. For example, if you are using social media to drive visitors to a web page, the goal is to get as many interested people to the page as possible. To track this, you would want to look at your traffic information from your site and see how many visitors came from the social media site you are using. You can get much more detailed such as testing which posts generate the most traffic, what times of day are best and which traffic converts (purchases or takes action) the most often.

The bottom line is that for every activity you choose to do, you are choosing not to do a multitude of others. It pays to make sure you choose wisely and make sure you are getting the results you want.

About Michele Christensen

Michele Christensen is the go-to expert for building solopreneur businesses. She has a special gift of being able to sort through everything a swamped, overwhelmed business owner thinks they need to do and figure out exactly what will produce the best results the fastest. She sees ways to make money that other people miss and helps business owners to get the most out of every minute they spend in their business. After completing her MBA, Michele spent 5 years in corporate America and then built her own small-business consulting practice. She worked in non-profit for 4 years and helped streamline operations and make the most of limited resources. She started in her current business in 2010 and has helped dozens of people to build a solopreneur business they love. To receive solopreneur strategy and tips and Michele's free e-course “5 Essential Skills for Solopreneur Success” sign up here: www.michelechristensen.com.
About The Author

Michele Christensen

Michele Christensen is the go-to expert for building solopreneur businesses. She has a special gift of being able to sort through everything a swamped, overwhelmed business owner thinks they need to do and figure out exactly what will produce the best results the fastest. She sees ways to make money that other people miss and helps business owners to get the most out of every minute they spend in their business. After completing her MBA, Michele spent 5 years in corporate America and then built her own small-business consulting practice. She worked in non-profit for 4 years and helped streamline operations and make the most of limited resources. She started in her current business in 2010 and has helped dozens of people to build a solopreneur business they love. To receive solopreneur strategy and tips and Michele's free e-course “5 Essential Skills for Solopreneur Success” sign up here: www.michelechristensen.com.