A few years ago, I found myself running ragged as a Wedding Planner. I was spending the majority of my time driving from meeting to meeting, with little time spent in the office. Even though I was batching the majority of my meetings on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I was still spending WAY too much time in meetings. This was a problem for a few reasons – 1) I was burning out from driving all over the place – not to mention it was expensive 2) I was working late nights and early mornings on client work since I was spending the majority of my time in meetings out of the office 3) I didn’t have a strategy for my calendar and meetings.
Here’s what I decided to do – I printed off the previous calendar month and highlighted all of the meetings that were NOT focused on generating revenue. I was shocked – about 50% of my meetings were being spent with appointments that ultimately were “non-revenue generating” meetings. What is an example of this type of meeting? One of many examples – I met with a local magazine that I knew I wouldn’t advertise with as they weren’t a match for my brand, but thought it would be good for them at least to know who I am and I liked the sales rep. What’s the problem with this? I didn’t have 2 hours in that week to meet with someone who I had decided wasn’t going to help bring me sales, at the end of the day. Yes, it was fun to meet her and good for the magazine to know who I am, but really not the best use of my time. I easily should have said NO to that meeting. So, what’s an example of a “revenue generating” meeting? This would be a case where I met with a new venue in town where I KNOW our target clients are going to be booking at, and talked with them about how we could partner together. This type of meeting has the potential for sales down the road. And guess what…that relationship I’ve established worked, and we’re sending referrals to each other now, we’re on their preferred vendor list, etc. Before you schedule ANY appointment, simply ask yourself the question – does this meeting have the potential to bring me sales or help my business in some way? If not, you probably need to politely decline the meeting offer and spend your time focusing ON your business, your clients, and your work-life balance. Once you better manage your calendar from this strategic perspective, it is incredibly FREEING and SMART because you’re spending your time focused on what’s most important for your business and your sanity. Grab your highlighter and take a look at your calendar to see where you can improve!