By Caryn Kopp, an EO New Jersey member and Chief Door Opener of Kopp Consulting. A version of this article originally appeared on the website of Kopp Consulting.
Finding time for new business development can be difficult for many entrepreneurs. There always seems to be another priority or a pressing task. Not making the time to pursue new business, however, is a sure-fire way to an empty pipeline and slow sales.
Don’t stall your growth. Here are 10 tips for fitting new business development into your busy schedule.
1. Schedule a time for new business on your calendar. Next, go one step further and consider that time as firm as a meeting with a new prospect. You would never cancel one of those! First thing in the morning is best, before you check your e-mail or listen to voicemail. It can be difficult to break away later on.
2. End your workday an hour early two times a week to allow for business development tasks during that time.
3. As you focus on business development tasks and research, set your phone to “do not disturb.” Post a “do not disturb” sign on your door to ward off interruptions. Turn off your e-mail and your cell phone. Treat this precious time as you would a meeting.
4. Before canceling your biz-dev time for an “emergency,” ask yourself if this new priority truly needs to be handled by you right now. Can it wait for 60 minutes? Can it be addressed by one of your team members? If the answer is no and you must handle the emergency, reschedule a time for biz dev promptly.
5. Aim for 60 minutes, two times a week. If that seems impossible, begin with 30 minutes. Or even 15 minutes. If even 10 minutes seems impossible, refer to number seven below.
6. Limit your prospect list. Pick 10 of your most promising contacts and focus on them. Replace each one as you get through to them.
7. If you try to incorporate these tips and find it impossible, you might want to rethink your desire to earn money and run a company. Business development is the lifeline of an organization and worth your regular attention.
Caryn Kopp is the Managing Director and Chief Door Opener of Kopp Consulting, LLC. Her company’s Door Opener Service helps clients secure initial meetings with high-level, hard-to-reach decision-makers. Caryn’s team also helps clients prepare for important prospect meetings and close sales sooner. Kopp is the author of The Path To The Cash. You can reach her by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.