How To Know When To Network (and when not to) Part 1

There's a metric for knowing how much time to spend getting business, and how much time to spend doing business. You're going to love this!

First - decide how many hours a week you'd like to work.

{Oh, okay, revise that to
how many hours a week
you are willing to work.}

Let's say I'm willing to work 50 hours a week.
That's five 10-hour days. Some days might be a little more, some a little less, but in the end, if I could put in {only} 50 hours a week I'd be happy.

Now - do easy math.
1: Five percent of my time is administrative.
That's invoicing and paying bills, doing payroll and taxes, cleaning my office and ordering supplies, choosing new software and learning how to use it.

For a 50 hour work week 2.5 hours are administrative.

2: Twenty percent of my time is marketing.
Marketing is what I do to bring in clients. The associations I belong to are marketing time. The lunches I have are marketing time. The follow through I do after each event - marketing time. Writing an email newsletter - marketing time. Making a birthday call to a client - marketing time. Blogging, social media, business events - marketing time.

For a 50 hour work week 10 hours are marketing.

This assumes that I'm as busy as I want to be, keeping all of the clients I like, bringing in all of the clients I need, which means

3: Seventy-five percent of my time is doing the work.
For many people this is eyebrow lifting: it is not possible be an entrepreneur without taking care of administrative and marketing tasks - and they take 25% of my time. 

Which means there are 37.5 hours in a 50 hour work week for doing the work.

Those 37.5 hours include all client contact - not every hour will be head down at my desk. Many of them will be answering client questions. That all counts as my work.

And this number, this 75%, is when I'm at full capacity. When I'm working exactly as much as I choose to, and making the money I need to. 

{nod here if you get it}

Like most things there's a success secret.
People who are not making all the money they want to make often fill up all the hours -- the marketing hours and the admin hours and a few extra hours -- working for the few clients they have. They spend all of their time doing excellent above-and-beyond work with the illusion that going above-and-beyond will generate word-of-mouth and they won't have to do any marketing.

incapable of being defended or justified

It simply isn't true.

Every client must get only what they pay for or their word-of-mouth will mean the clients they refer will expect to get the same extreme service for the same minimum price too. It's untenable.

How to really know how much time to spend marketing
How much time does each client get?
For this 50 hour work week example let's say each client gets 3.75 hours.
In a week when I'm at full capacity I'm working with 10 clients, two a day, for 3.75 hours each. 37.5 work hours.

What If, this week, I don't have 10 clients to work with? 
What do I do in the weeks I only have three clients to work with?
Three clients are allocated 11 hours and 15 minutes.

Subtract 11.25 actual working hours
from my 37.5 scheduled work hours
and get 26 hours and 15 minutes of work time to transfer to marketing.

This week I'm going to spend those 26 hours
along with the normal 10 hours,
for a total of 36 hours and 15 minutes
marketing my business.

And a month from now, when I have eight clients (eight clients would get 30 hours) I'm going to transfer 7.5 hours to marketing, and spend 17.5 hours marketing my business.

At full capacity spend 20% of your time marketing.

Twenty percent is what it takes to stay at full capacity.

And the month after that, when I have 12 clients - 

Pause here.

What's your next action item? 

Photo courtesy of Ryan Ritchie