Ask any entrepreneur what their main goal is and you can be sure that increasing income is at the top of the list. Let’s face it. There will always be bills to pay, saving accounts to pad, vacations to plan – you name it – and just about all of it requires money.

So what’s a busy entrepreneur to do? You do what most small business owners do. You work harder. You raise your fees, repackage your services, work more hours to bring on more clients – and find yourself overwhelmed and still underpaid.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. There is a much simpler way to increase your income. It has far less to do with working harder and everything to do with being smarter about how you spend your time.

Remember that old saying, “Time is money?” Well, it’s true. It is imperative for you to practice spending that limited amount of time you have each day performing the best activities that will give you the results you desire – in the shortest amount of time – and with the least amount of effort.

Here are just a few ways you can use your time more effectively, so that you can increase your income faster and with less stress:

  • Spend the first hour of your day focused on a specific marketing activity that will grow your business. Don’t hop on your computer to check out your News Feed on Facebook or wander through the emails that came in overnight. Look at your marketing plan and select a specific activity that you will tackle first thing in the morning to attract more clients and increase your income – and stay focused.
  • Set up systems. If you do something once for marketing, it’s likely you’ll have to do it again. Stop storing URLs, passwords and instructions in your head! When you clutter your mind with that many details you are actually making your marketing much more challenging than it needs to be. Yes, it takes time to set up systems, but how much time do you waste trying to remember details or fix mistakes? Time spent on setting up systems is time spent once, while mistakes and searching for lost information costs you money and creates stress. Once your systems are set up, you’ll work more efficiently and be able to delegate tasks and free up your time to focus on more profit generating activities.
  • Stop trying to do so much. It’s likely you can fill your practice with ideal clients by consistently pursuing a few (like 2 or 3) marketing strategies. Narrow your focus on the strategies that will help you meet your S.M.A.R.T. goals and eliminate everything else for a specific period of time. You’ll find yourself less stressed, which overall will allow you to use your time better and create more profitable results in your business.
  • Eliminate time wasters. I never cease to be amazed by the folks who tell me they don’t have enough clients, but when I ask them what they are doing to get clients they say, “Not that much.” That always leaves me wondering what in the world they are doing with their time! If you find that you’re easily distracted during the day, you’ve got to get serious about being focused. Whatever your time-sucking vice happens to be (social media, children, spouse, pets, must-see T.V., running errands, etc.), commit to stop wasting time and use that time to complete specific projects that will help you attract more clients and increase your income.

Here’s what I suggest you to do this week. Sit down and take a good look at your goals. Evaluate the way you use your time. Do your activities support your goals? How can you make time work in your favor instead of against you?

Decide what you want most and then find the path that will get you there in the shortest amount of time and with the least amount of effort. Not only will you increase your income, but you will have more energy and the sanity to appreciate it. 

Your Action Plan For This Week:

1. Narrow your focus. Make a list of your biggest time wasters. Choose one for now and eliminate it. Just stop doing it.

2. Make a list of your marketing strategies. What’s working well? What is not working for you? Choose one strategy that works well and use it to replace that time waster you just eliminated.

3. Set up your marketing system(s), which will ultimately save you time and money.

4. Dedicate the first hour of each morning to one task until it is complete. Then move on to another important task.

5. At the end of the week, evaluate your progress. Make a list of what worked and what you still need to work on. Plan specific activities for the upcoming weeks. Celebrate your success!