Structure Your Business Development Time

School is back in session and people are back to work full speed ahead.  You may find yourself suddenly busy with daily matters that push your good intentions to market yourself aside.  Yes, being busy now is great, but are you preparing yourself to have a full client load in January?  When I ask clients about this, the common response is:  “I know I should be forward thinking, but I simply don’t have the time to think that far ahead!” Unless you plan to retire in 2012, you must quickly banish that thinking.  Not easy, but here are some quick tips to help:

  • Fifteen First Thing:  When you get into the office on Monday morning, take the first fifteen minutes to plan your week.  Look at your calendar and block out 15 minute blocks on three days to perform simple business development and relationship building tasks.  This may be placing a phone call, sending an email, updating your bio or sending a thank you note.
  • Make Weekly Commitments:  Block out weekly business development timeslots in your calendar to undertake a somewhat larger marketing activity.  Dedicate a regular time (for example:  Thursday morning from 830-9am) to work on initiatives requiring focused time.  This may include activities like drafting an article for placing with the media one week and editing it the following week.
  • Monthly Commitments:  Take one day a month to get out of your office and see your clients, referral sources or potential clients.  This could mean a breakfast or lunch outing or it could mean a few hours to attend a conference or a take a client golfing.  Whatever you choose, stick to a once a month commitment.

By booking these appointments with yourself, you are establishing your commitment to achieve marketing and business development goals. Repeating the process helps you build this commitment into a habit.  Habitual behaviors like these help you achieve your goals.  Of course, the trick is keeping your appointments.  Don’t break these appointments with yourself unless it is absolutely urgent for client or family related issues. Trust me that this works!  Try this approach this quarter and you will find momentum going into the new year.