#1-How Entrepreneurs are Surviving the Financial Crisis
Entrepreneurial skills are good ones to have, especially during a slow economy. This series focuses on the top survival tips from successful entrepreneurs on surviving the crisis.
In this post we feature Wayne Chavez, President, Intermundo Media (www.intermundomedia.com). For Wayne, the number one focus factor is this: Focus on making money everyday. Simple, right? Well, just ask yourself the last time you got carried away by cleaning the email inbox. “Don’t fool yourself,” is the message from Wayne as he describes below:
“Focus on making money every day. I’m well into my fourth startup, and there is so much noise I still have to remind myself to focus on the money. You can solve a problem, build a flawless solution, provide great customer service, hire the best people, raise lots of money, and close big clients AND still not make money – I know this firsthand. For me it has been as much an emotional journey as anything else, coming to terms with the fact that I am starting up a company to make money. It’s not all that profound and it doesn’t have to be. When I focus on making money everything else magically falls into place: Problems are solved, customers are happy, and more clients follow.”
Suggested exercise: Whether you are a current or future entrepreneur who is responsible for company sales, the following exercise is a simple way to double-check your focus on making money vs. “getting ready to get ready.”
1. Make a list of all activities for the day related to your business.
2. If not classified already by time, do that (e.g., 9 am meeting, 10 am proposal, etc.)
3. Place a checkmark next each activity related DIRECTLY to making money. (E.g., a proposal or meeting with a prospect). Is it 80 percent of your time?
- a. If not 80%, ask yourself “Why not?”
- b. Taking this a step further – Reality Check: Make an appointment with a mentor, colleague, or a board member and be prepared to justify the percentage of your time spent on sales.
4. For the rest of your activities, do the following:
- a. If it is INDIRECTLY related to making money, make sure it does not take more than 20% of your time. (E.g., an “iffy” meeting vs a “yes, we’re interested in meeting.” TIP: Don’t write proposals or schedule long meetings without knowledge that there is budget and a timeframe. If these elements are missing, simply set a reminder to follow up in a week or a month.
- b. If it is NOT related to making money, try to schedule the activity for before or after the business day.
Educators: Have students complete the Entrepreneur in the Classroom (EITC ) Mind Mapping exercise to create a venture concept. Then, go through the above exercise with the student using their “available work hours” (outside of school) as the basis for the 80/20 calculation. For Mind Mapping exercise, see Module 2 in the free EITC curriculum.
Stay tuned for the next in our series around How Entrepreneurs are Surviving the Financial Crisis.
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