I’m a thinker, dreamer, idea creator. And I know most of you are as well.
When you’re an entrepreneur, developing your ideas from scratch, without the luxury of a partner with all the strengths to make up for your weaknesses.
You have to figure out things for yourself.
My biggest weakness. Organization. It’s never come naturally to me.
I close my eyes and imagine marketing ideas. Not organization ideas. Fortunately, there are enough programs, software, and bits of paper to keep track of finances, to-dos, big projects, and more.
But one thing eluded me for so long. For years really.
A good way to keep track of leads. And then I got tired of not having a plan.
Do you need a plan for leads? Let’s get serious about it.
Tiff: Amy, how do you prioritize tasks – especially when there are more tasks than time?
Amy: I like to break down all of my tasks and work on them in small chunks of time, rather than sit down and create a document (for example, someone’s resume) all in one sitting. This way, if I get overwhelmed or hit a wall with one document, I just save and close it, and then move on to the next document.
How do you balance creativity with deadlines? (In other words, it’s easy to procrastinate when the creativity juices aren’t flowing 🙂 )
I feel like it keeps my creative juices flowing too because I change things up throughout the day. I am also really good about scheduling a few weeks out so that I always have an idea about what’s coming up. Sometimes it is difficult saying no to someone if they want a document asap, but I’d rather provide a quality product than a rushed product.
What are your main tips for managing time?
Schedule everything on your calendar!! I don’t have a separate “to do” list — all of my “to do” items are listed right on my calendar so that I’ve already blocked off time to complete that task. That way, I can see a snap shot of everything I have going on in one place that can be accessed from my computer or phone. Of course, when something with a higher priority comes up, I tend to have to push back some of my general “to do” items for a later time on my calendar.
When it comes to long-term tasks, like client followup, how do you ensure nothing falls through the cracks?
This may sound too organized, but I actually keep track of all potential, interested, current, and previous clients in an excel spreadsheet that can be easily sorted and color coded. At least once a week, I open up that spreadsheet to update it (and yes, I schedule that on my calendar!)
So there we go, folks. That’s our action plan. That was my answer to the elusive client tracking. (And seriously, how great are Amy’s Tips. Want more? Go bug her on Facebook
Wanna see what I created with Amy’s help?
Step 1: Set up a Google Doc (Drive) Spreadsheet. That way you can see it anywhere, anytime. No more excuses for me. It’s always there.
Step 2: Set up different tabs. One for current projects (that’s the one you see above); one for warm leads (people interested, but not ready); one for past clients (because it’s so important to me to make sure I keep in touch and make sure the projects are working out for them.)
Step 3: Start setting up columns. I keep track of identifying information (names, industries, inquiries or projects), dates of contact, and contact information.
Step 4: Start brain-dumping and plug in information. This is when it starts feeling real. You’re going to be organized. It’s going to happen.
Step 5: Get colorful. I use two different color-coding methods:
– Red (almost done), Yellow (in the last steps), Green (ready to go)
– Red (HOT leads), Orange (Warm leads), Yellow (just a bit interested)
Now… as you connect with new, old, ongoing, or past leads – you can move the rows up, down, or across tables. AND they are never lost.
And when you have an hour to keep in touch with people, the information is all there, waiting for you. No more thinking, no more trying to remember, no more wasted time.
So what method do you use? Have you tried this one? I’d love to hear your experience.