Being a marketing agency, it may surprise you to learn that one of the first things we do when we start working with a new client is talk about time management, and how it can help accelerate business growth. Maybe we got hired to create a logo, redesign a website, or launch a social media campaign. So why are we talking about time management? What does time management have to do with marketing? With finding your brand?
As it turns out – everything.
So many businesses, especially small businesses, function and exist thanks to one or two singular individuals with a vision, a drive, and an uncommon ability within their specific field. These individuals are usually the owners, operators or founders of the business. Their ability might be in sales or negotiation. Maybe they have an innovative mind or have come up with a killer product. Whatever it is, this ability is usually at the heart of what makes their business tick.
But running a business usually takes a lot more. More tasks. More meetings. More decisions. More distractions. It can be absolutely overwhelming. And all of that time that is being taken up by extraneous stuff – is time being taken away from the founder’s special ability, the thing that can actually help the business excel.
Many of you are probably familiar with the Pareto principle. First observed by Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, it states, in basic terms, that 80% of our output comes from 20% of our input. Hence, it is more commonly known as the 80/20 rule.
The 80/20 rule has been applied to everything from science, to software engineering, to competitive sports. We’re going to apply it to time management. So, if 20% of our time is accounting for 80% of our revenue/sales/growth/etc., that means we’re spending the other 80% of our time on tasks that either don’t have much of an impact, or don’t need to be done urgently – especially not by those people with the special ability.
Time management is about more than just implementing a few tips or loading some new apps (though if you are looking for tips and apps, we’ve got some great ones). Those are just the tools. What’s really needed for effectively managing time is a hard analysis of how a business is operating, who is doing what, where are resources being allocated, who has the special abilities – and are they being underutilized? Organizing and putting systems in place around the results of that analysis will provide the infrastructure for better time management and more efficient production, and reveal what parts of the business might be extraneous and what parts might need some extra help in the form of increased attention, or potentially new personnel.
So how does any of that relate to branding and marketing?
When you focus your business efforts and start running a business more efficiently, you’d be amazed at what else becomes clear. Things like who the most important clients are, what the most successful products are, and where that 20% of the business is that is generating 80% of the revenue. Once you know that, that’s where the marketing happens.
Loads of people can come up with a cool logo, make a website look pretty, or throw some content up on social media. But if you are doing those things in a vacuum, chances are your best hope is a lateral move or modest growth. Real growth happens when you can take the results of your business analysis, and examination of your infrastructure and systems for efficient time management, and apply that to your marketing efforts. That’s what tells us how to brand and who to market to.
Modern marketing is about more than coming up with a compelling poster or a catchy jingle. A good marketing agency should be helping a business discover what they can fix, what they should market, and what their business really is.
So, yes, the journey to building the right marketing message starts with time management, and along the way, finding your brand, and growing your business. Need help with your business strategy? Contact the team at 10twelve today!