One of the most challenging things to do when running a business from home is to manage your time wisely. Running a business requires a great deal of organization, and there is always something that needs to be done. How do you prioritize your time so that you are spending time on the most important things and letting the rest go?

The key to creating a schedule that works is to think of what is most important. One question that many entrepreneurs suggest that you ask is where you see your business going in about ten years. Entrepreneurs and home business owners are often floating their ship on their own as solo entrepreneurs, so they don’t have other people to use as a sounding board when making important decisions. Developing a good daily, weekly, and monthly schedule may be the key to success when managing your time as a home-based business owner.

Below is a list of items that you should ask yourself when planning your schedule.

  1. What is the most important service or product that we offer the public? By thinking about what the most important products or services are that you are suggesting, you will be able to focus on the things that are most likely to bring in more customers and sales.
  2. What do we want to be known for as a brand? This question is crucial because it has to do with how you want to be understood by your audience. Depending on how you advertise your websites and products, you will project an image to your audience that will reflect on your business.
  3. What do people most like about your company? Many times, you can predict future success by thinking about what your past accomplishments have been. Looking back into your customer service emails, blog post comments, and other recent communications, you may be able to pinpoint what it is that people most like about what you do. If something has worked in the past, it’s wise to keep focusing on those things in the future since you know they work. This concept doesn’t mean you cannot add new items, but focus on what produces the highest return first.
  4. What do I envision for my company ten years from now? Small business owners need to be able to look ahead at least ten years into the future as to what you envision your company to be. Consider how you want to present your company with your digital marketing plans. Work these things into your daily schedule by listing tasks such as “promote our website on Facebook” or “create a new blog post” to keep things going forward.
  5. What is most important to me when it comes to promoting my brand or products?What do you want to emphasize when developing your brand and products (or services)? Spending your time on tasks that improve your company image will help you to achieve your goals.

As long as you are working toward reaching your goals, don’t be too hard on yourself. Remain flexible to change. As your business needs and goals change, so will your schedule and time management goals. Look at what others are doing and learn from them. But be yourself and create schedules that work for you in both the short and long term.

There’s no easy answer to budgeting or managing your time. Each business owner will have a different idea of what should take priority. But, once you answer the questions above about your business, you should be able to figure out how much time to devote to the individual tasks. Think of your broader goals first such as “locate leads for 40 more potential clients by February,” or “increase our ROI by 20%.” By creating broad goals first, then you can create your to-do lists and daily schedule based on these priorities.

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