I recently spoke at a breakfast with the Boss Babes Network…. okay, at the time of writing this post it was recent but I’ve finally published it a few months after the fact.

It’s been my favourite event I’ve attended and spoken at so far because –

  1. The founders of the network care deeply about building a community. The Sunshine Coast is a small place and having lived here myself, I know how difficult it is to meet the right type of people.
  2. Chances Mooloolaba (the venue) was beautiful and the food and beverages were delicious.
  3. The group of women who attended were switched on, intelligent and motivated. I enjoyed my morning more than I can say.

 

The Boss Babes Network event featuring Lucy Bloomfield, co-Founder of Trefiel. I talked about how to prioritise your projects for maximum results and minimum effort.

At every event or meeting I take, I record the audio to listen back to later. So often I find nuggets of wisdom in these recordings that I had forgotten about or didn’t realise I’d shared.

It was while listening to this audio, that I found the summary for the entire talk –

No matter where you are in your business journey, growth is a priority.

There was such a diverse group of women and businesses in the group that I knew my advice needed to be focused on helping them all. That’s why I focused on sharing my process for how I prioritise my projects because it helped me grow my eCommerce business extremely quickly.

What I said resonated and was helpful to the attendees, so I thought I’d write a post and share it with the rest of the world.

If you’re a reader, keep on scrolling.

But, if you’re more of a listener, take a listen to my Stevie Says Social podcast episode which talks about this same method in-depth, plus more.

 


Step 1: Before you start any project, any time, zoom out as far as you can.

When I started Trefiel, I would have a brilliant idea about growing my business. Without thinking, I’d dive into the project. Halfway through I’d realise it wasn’t a great investment of my time if I wanted to grow. Sometimes I’d realise it wasn’t even a great idea to begin with.

I used to spend countless hours planning, making and editing content like this. Beautiful and all… but did absolutely nothing to sell our face masks.

That’s why now, before touching any project, I sit down a write a huge list of everything that I could do to grow my business.

Inside this list is everything I can think of, from running Facebook Ads to improving my on-site SEO.

Once I have a list of ideas, I categorise these projects based on what they have the potential to do for my business.

Step 2: Qualify your projects by using this framework

Next, I want to you to ask yourself 3 questions for each project you’re interested in completing:

  • Will this take my business from 0 to 100? Aka explosive growth
  • Will this take my business from 0 to 50? Aka sustainable growth
  • Will this take my business from 0 to 25? Aka incremental growth

Once you’ve done this, add them to a list with a title of the category of growth they fit into.

You might be wondering “how do I know where a project fits into”?

If we break growth down to its most basic principle, it’s the expansion of your business.

Projects which have potential to scale your business are more important than those which have smaller impact. Especially projects which can grow your business with a small amount of effort.

Once you’ve categorised your projects, you need to break the project down to the details that matter.

Step 3: Break down the project into time involved + potential revenue gained

Now you need to break down the time involved and the potential revenue gained for each project.

Break down your project into time involved to complete

I do this by treating any project like it’s a client project. If someone were paying you to do this for their business –

  1. How will you complete the project (task by task)?
  2. How much would each task take to complete (in hours)?
  3. How much would it cost if you had an hourly rate of $80 per hour?

This is very time-consuming but worthwhile. If you do nothing else from this blog post, make sure it is this step.

Break down your project into potential revenue gained

Let’s use the example of selling an eBook to your existing email list.

Putting together this eBook may take 30 hours of work, including writing the copy, taking supporting photos, designing the book and putting it on your website.

If your email list has 10,000 subscribers and you convert 3% of those at an eBook price of $29.95, you stand to make $8985.

But if your email list only has 1000 subscribers and you convert 3% of those, you will only make $898.50. Yes, any revenue is better than none (especially at the start).

So let me ask you this – what’s more important to tackle first…

  • Growing your email list to 10,000 subscribers; or
  • Selling an eBook to your existing list?

That’s what the next section covers.

Step 4: Manage your time effectively and prioritise your projects

This process is quite simple but has a few steps. Take your time going through this section.

1. How many hours are you working?

First, I want you to calculate how much time you have to work with.

Let’s say you only work 20 hours a week. This means your time and attention needs to be laser-focused. You want to work on projects which result in growth with the least amount of time invested.

2. Break your total hours worked into quarters

My hours vary week to week. But I would say I average 60 hours a week, accounting for side projects and interest.

60 / 4 = 15 hours per quarter.

These quarters are what you’re going to use to cover your business growth categories –

  • Explosive growth;
  • Sustainable growth; and
  • Incremental growth.

You’ll also have the last quarter to put food on the table and pay your rent. I refer to this quarter as short-term results because it’s the work you do to make ends meet.

3. Prioritise your projects which will lead to growth efficiently

Let’s stick with the above example of selling an eBook to an existing mailing list. There were a couple of questions raised when talking about this –

  1. Should your priority be growing the email list from 1,000 subscribers to 10,000? Or
  2. Should your priority be releasing a PDF to sell to your existing list?

The answer is both, but let’s take a look at this situation from another angle –

If a project could generate your revenue while you work on other projects, wouldn’t that be a priority?

My answer to this question is yes, 100%. Automated revenue is a business owners dream.

If this were me, I would take two-quarters of my time (sustainable and explosive growth) to develop the product and the email funnels to sell it. Once I had completed those projects, I would take that same two quarters and go all in growing my list.

The result?

  • Immediate sales from my existing list;
  • Feedback to improve the product; and
  • Automated revenue.

I’m accounting for the time involved, the potential revenue gain and the best order to approach this problem.

This thought process is how I grew my business from 0 to 10,000 customers in 18 months.

This is one example of how you could divide your time. Truthfully, it’s not a complex example and I know quite a lot of you have complex businesses.

Prioritise your projects with me

When I started writing this blog post, I knew it wasn’t going to be the best way to tackle your individual situation. Without knowing what your business is or where it’s at, I can’t give specific advice about what you should do.

That’s why I’ve set up an option to book a strategy call with me.

In this call, we’ll run through the process I’ve written about but for your business. By the end of our call, you’ll –

  1. Know exactly what to do next;
  2. How much time to spend on each project; and
  3. How much revenue you stand to gain when you finish.

This isn’t advice I give without following myself either.

I work through this process for my own business at the end of every month. It helps me to stay focused, work on projects that matter and achieve my biggest business goals.

Prioritise your projects on your own

If you’re not in a position to work with me at the moment or you want to try this on your own, I still have something for you.

I’ve put together a template Trello board to help you prioritise your projects. This is the structure I used for Trefiel, my consulting business and my clients.

It’s already set up for you which means you can start and prioritise your projects immediately.