Strategy for Creatives: Business Minus the Bullshit

Four Roles You Need to Make Time For

August 23, 2022 Sasha - Business Strategist Season 1 Episode 39
Strategy for Creatives: Business Minus the Bullshit
Four Roles You Need to Make Time For
Show Notes Transcript

When it comes to running a business, most of us think that we need to put most of our time into client work. But that's simply not true. You actually need to balance your time between client work and all those other things that make running a business happen.

In this episode, I'm sharing four roles you need to make time for in your business and how as you grow, client time becomes less than you think. 

Episode Transcript


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Sasha:

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I'm Sasha, host a strategy for creatives. And I help female led businesses grow their brands in authentic, measurable and meaningful ways, without the stress. There's no sugar coated here, I'm serving up real tips and actionable steps you can take to help get you organized, get off the path to burnout and grow your brand like a boss. So go ahead, pull up a chair, grab a notepad, and let's talk business. Welcome to Strategy for Creatives: Business Minus the Bullshit. I of course, am your host Sasha and today we are taking a little bit more of a deep dive into the roles that you definitely need to be playing in your business. When we are first starting off in business, it is just us. I've been there, I'm still partly there, although I do hire out some of the things in my business. But when it is just us, we often don't know where we should be spending time in our business. We don't have a good idea of how much time needs to be CEO time, how much needs to be admin time, client time. It can be hard trying to figure that out. And in fact, a lot of my clients that I work with struggle with trying to find the balance between what they should be doing in their business and how to work on their business. And so I just wanted to take a little bit more of a deep dive into what that looks like and how you should be structuring your time, or rather what activities you should be structuring your time in. So that way, when you're actually working in your business, you're making the most effective use of your time. And really doing those things that are going to keep your business on track, are going to help you reach your goals, are going to leave your client satisfied, and really will just help you run your business better. And so there are four different ways that I want you to think about spending time in your business. The first one, of course, you have heard me say this, I talk about it a lot. In fact, I have a five day challenge on my Facebook group. I talk about this all the time, and that is CEO time. That is working on your business strategy, your productivity and your profitability. CEO time is essential. I repeat myself, CEO time is essential for your business. If you are not taking a step back from your business, and looking at the bigger picture of where you are trying to get your business and more importantly, the action steps needed to get your business there, you are letting your business run you. You are going to be reactionary to things that come up in your business. You're not going to really know how to get new clients, where your money is, how your marketing is. You're not going to have a sense of whether your business is growing, whether it's stagnant, whether it's time to hire people. And so spending CEO time in your business is important because this is where you build that strategy for your business. Having strategy in your business, of course, to me, is super important. And it's how we focus our goals. It's how we figure out what we need to be doing in our business. And so you want to make sure that you're setting aside time in your business, I say at least once a week, but you can structure it for however works better for you. You want to make sure that you're setting time aside in your business to do those CEO activities. Now, what are CEO activities? What exactly does that look like? CEO activities are things like goal setting. I've talked a lot about this. CEO activities are looking at what goals you have for the quarter, the year, the month, and then working backwards. It's figuring out how do you reach those goals. So it could be everything from saying if I have a goal that I want my Facebook group, and this is actually a current goal of mine, if I want my Facebook group to grow by 300 people, right now I'm sitting at about 130, I want to get to 300 people in my Facebook group, how do I do that? What does that look like? I would spend my CEO time trying to figure out strategies to grow my Facebook group. So that could be promoting it through advertising on Facebook. I could run ads that are going to promo my Facebook group, that could mean popping up in different groups that I'm in and shouting out my Facebook group and encouraging people to join it. That could be running a giveaway in my Facebook group, which I actually did this past month to encourage people who are currently in the group to invite people into the group. And so using that CEO time allows you to brainstorm how you can achieve the goals that you're trying to get accomplished in your business. Let's say you're trying to grow your Instagram account. It's the same type of mentality. What can you be doing to help you grow your Instagram account? Do you need to hire a social media manager? Do you need to set time aside for content creation? Those types of things are what you should be doing in your CEO time. And it's setting that action plan in place in order to hit those goals. It's putting strategy around the goals that you have in your business so that they're not just goals on paper. So that you're actively taking steps to reach those goals. That's what CEO time is. You also want to play the role and set aside time for CFO time. What is that? If you've ever worked in a corporation - CFO - Chief Financial Officer. You do need to wear the hat of being Chief Financial Officer of your business. This means that you need to check in with what your income is, what your credit cards are, going to the bank, if you're doing that, paying any business bills that you have to do and look at key performance indicators. Is your revenue up for the year? Is it up for the quarter? Is it up for the month? How many clients have you booked this month? What's been the most successful package that you booked this month? Have those discovery calls turned into actual clients that have booked and what are those numbers look like? What is your conversion rate look like for that? That is what you want to start looking at and your CFO time. That means reconciling that account and seeing where your money is going. Seeing if you need to cut bills or if you have the money to add somebody on your team who can outsource some activities that you don't really like doing in your business. You cannot fully be present and strategize in your business if you do not understand the financials behind your business. I get it that as creatives numbers are scary. A lot of creatives do not like the numbers piece of their business. But you have to understand the numbers behind your business. I think I mentioned this on a previous episode I can't really remember may have been in a live that I was in. But right now there's a lot of talk about recessions looming, and you know, we might be going into a recession in the US. Knowing your financials will let you know whether or not that is going to affect your business. I've seen a lot of businesses scared to make purchases. They're scared to do big things in their business because they don't know what people's spending appetite is going to be. Can you weather a recession? Do you have enough money in your business bank account to not have clients that are booking? Who may not be able to pay in full? Do you have enough money to refund clients if they decide they no longer work with you? Side note - is your contract in place in order to protect you for those things? Do you need to change your pricing structure? Can you look at how much your clients are currently paying and whether that's actually paying for the things in your business? Is one covering the cost of the other? Or is it time to raise your prices? Can you look at your expenses in specific categories from last year versus this year and see if that has gone up? Or maybe you need to raise your prices on something. For example, has your web hosting gone up from last year? Were you charged $20 last year and now you're being charged $25? Does that $5 make a difference to your bottom line of your revenue and your profit? Those are questions that you want to ask yourself when it comes to running a business and knowing your financials. So it's really important to set aside time to do the CFO work. To be the Chief Financial Officer in your business. And to really have a clear understanding of where your business is financially, and whether it is being successful or if there's work that you need to be doing in order to get your finances in order. Next up, you want to have admin time. Now a lot of people will mix up CEO time and admin time. I separate them out, they're not always the same thing. To me CEO time is working on that big picture in your business right. It's goal setting, it's strategizing, it's action planning. That is CEO time, to me, admin time is the time where you are not doing client work, but you're doing things that have to do with clients. So that can be answering emails. It can be the marketing that you have to do in your business. So while that might not necessarily have to do with clients is how you reach potential clients. So it could be creating your content, it could be figuring out, you know, drafting all those emails that you're doing for your monthly email list. That is what admin time is. It could be filing documents that you have. It could be organizing your inbox. It could be as simple as looking what you have going on for the week and putting it in a planner or putting on a scheduler. That is what admin time should be used for. Think about what you need to be doing all of that "busy work" that you probably need to do in your business that none of us really like doing in our business. Set aside time for that. Because it is important and we don't want to let those things pile up and then we don't want to do them. If you are dead set against not doing the admin work in your business hire virtual assistant. Virtual assistants can help with all of these things. They can write blogs for you. They can write emails for you. They can post on social media. That is what admin time is. It's all those little things on the back end of our business that we need to do that help us show up in our business that a lot of us really don't like doing. And so make sure that you're putting time away for admin time in order for you to really get that busy work done in your business. And then lastly, you want to make sure that you're having client time. So client time may be different of course, if you are a product person, if you have a product based business. Client time might actually be for you shipping, or product creation, or it might be you know, sending out orders. That could be what your clients time is. But if you are a service based industry client time is that time where you're meeting with your clients, and you're working on client, deliverables, whatever that means for your business. So client time for me, for example, is when I have my one on one strategy sessions with my clients. It's when I am working on what their action plan should be after our calls. It's me uploading everything after our calls into Dubsado in their client portal. It's me having communication back and forth with them about any questions that they have, or things that they want me to look at. That's what client time for me is. If you're a graphic designer, client time is doing all of that work to give your deliverable to your client. So if you have a logo that you're working on, it's the researching of their brand. It's looking at their brand discovery book. It's creating and designing their logo. It's giving back and forth revisions, taking in what their feedback is and making changes. All of that is client time. That is the actual time spent working on clients. So I said clients time last because as much as it is the driver of our business, most times, it's not the main part of our business. Yes, we need to focus on client work. We need to make sure that we are doing the things that gives us clients. That make clients happy. That make their experience with working with us enjoyable. We don't want to neglect our clients. But CEO time, CFO time, admin time, those are the things that make your business run. So you want to make sure that your CFO, CEO and admin time are just as important to you as the work that you're doing for your clients. A lot of the times in our business, we get really, really bogged down into that client work. And sometimes just by nature of pricing or because we're a one man show, we may have too many clients that we don't have enough time to do those other things. That's when you want to think about outsourcing. I did a whole episode on that. You want to think about hiring out so maybe you can spend less time on client work and more time on the other parts of your business. And here's the thing that a lot of people don't realize when they are growing in their business. The bigger your business gets the less time you will most likely spend on client work. You will hire people under you to do those things and you will start to focus more on the big picture things of your business. Getting new clients that you can pass off to some of your junior people. Looking at your finances, figuring out where you want to put your money next. Figuring out what your goals are and what you want to do to grow. As you grow a business, the CFO, the CEO, the admin time become more important. And the client work for you actually becomes less important. Ask any person who runs any sort of agency. They spend the majority of their time doing those other things that aren't client work. They have people that they can outsource to whether it's somebody who's doing their social media, whether it's a junior designer that's underneath them, that's actually doing the design work, they have other people who are doing the work for them. And it gives them the flexibility that they can take on the projects that they really like. So for example, again, if you are a graphic designer, and you do have junior designers that are working under you, you will spend most of your time doing CEO and CFO work. You'll probably outsource your admin work. But you get to decide which clients you want to work with and which ones you want to delegate to people who are working in your business. That's one of the benefits because it allows you to take on those projects that you really love, that really inspire you, and give those other projects that obviously are bringing money into your business, but that you might not want to spend your time on to people who are working in your business. And so it's important to remember that, that as you grow in your business, the percentage of time that it takes for you to spend in any one of those categories is going to start to shift. You will spend less time doing client work, and more time doing the things to strategically grow your brand. Are you ready to uplevel your business? Join the five day be your own CEO challenge. All the details are available on the website at www.by-sasha.com. If you liked what you heard, make sure you rate and review. It really helps other people find the show. And of course, following subscribe on your favorite podcast platforms. Want to follow me on social? I'm on Instagram and Facebook at Strategy By Sasha. Make sure you tune in next Tuesday for more business tips. Part of the Boundless Audio Podcast Network