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Busy ≠ Cash In Pocket

Busy does NOT mean you have any actual cash in your pocket.  I recently joined a webinar on sales where they talked about one woman who spent 70% of her time on proposals/job bids alone!

She’s busy, but she ain’t gittin’ paid…

Entrepreneurs feel it the most because of the more direct relation between business and livelihood, but you can see it in large corporations and even government jobs – inefficiencies eat up a lot of our profit margins.  When the economy was going gangbusters, it was harder to see.  Today, pretty much all of us are looking for those places to cut back and become more efficient.

This is where my new bbbff (best business book friend forever) Marley Majcher comes into play.  She introduced me (or maybe re-introduced me, since it started to sound familiar from my MBA days…yet, she wrote it in a more simple and practical way) to expense coding.

Met Marley at a recent Spark & Hustle conference in Dallas where she spoke about how terribly busy she was with very important work.  She told us how she felt very special as her business took off, and she was busy practically 24/7 doing the work she loved – putting on parties for the rich and occasionally famous in LA.

When people (like dad and hubby even) asked her how much she was making, she was sooo annoyed – she was obviously making TONS of money!  In fact, she expanded her business to the point that her life was spiraling out of control.

One day, she sat down to really calculate how much money she was clearing, only to discover she was barely making minimum wage! Right then and there she had to figure out how to either cut costs, increase prices or become more efficient.

When she asked other business owners how they did it, they looked at her like she was crazy or appeared to just blow her off.  She eventually discovered that instead of shunning her, that most of them also did NOT know how much they were actually making. This prompted her to read and research to the point that she ultimately discovered her own system…not only a system for coding, but also systematic – and SCHEDULED – analysis of your new data, and then a system for following up and course correcting with that info.

I just finished her book, “But Are You Making Any Money? Stop Being Busy and Start Creating Cash.”  OK, as a writer, I have to say it’s not the tightest prose, and I wanted a little more detail on a couple of the core chapters that described the actually coding process.  However, it is one of the few business books – particularly for entrepreneurs – that gives you the tactical advice I crave (see May 26 rant on advice).

I’m still working on putting together my own coding system into place…it’s a trial and error process up front because I create one, then tried to do some filing based on it, and found it needed tweaking…for example, Marley recs that you start each # with the year (11) so that you can sort in order…but I also want sorted first by customer, then date, then project…you have to consider both computer files and physical files…it isn’t hard or complicated, but a lot of thought goes into the beginning.

Even though I haven’t tackled it yet, I can feel my load getting just a bit lighter…it also helped me choose a path to go down…anyone who owns a business or runs a business line for a corp. knows that we have many options for spending our time and attention.  I really feel like time spent here with creating and USING a coding system will help streamline my time.

Oh, and one point she makes is the importance of time tracking!  I found that difficult…but another friend rec’d the iPhone ap “HoursTracker”…there’s a free version that I’m testing out and a paid version with more capabilities…so far so good, but

I’ll keep you posted on my “lessons learned” during the process.  If you’ve already been here and done this, PLEEEZ send me your tips…comment here or contact me through the “contact” page on my website bransonink.com.

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