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Tips to Maximize Your Profits

1. Get in motion by eliminating the procrastinator’s best friend: “Messy Desk/Office Syndrome.” If that is something you’re plagued with, you’ll find slaying the beast a lot easier if you take what I call the “The 3 D System” approach to organization which directs that you look at what is on your desk or what is cluttering your office and either Dump it, Deal with it or Delegate it.

2. Outsource everything that is not the best use of your time. Look at where you make your money, and if it’s not at bookkeeping, Web site maintenance, or writing marketing materials, for example, farm those tasks out to someone who can do them far more quickly and efficiently than you can.

3. Take things from your “to-do” list and block off actual times for working on specific items. For example, 10-10:30 AM might be for returning phone calls; 1-2:00 PM for working on an article; 2-3:00 PM could be for updating your marketing plan or for researching business networking events. You’ll be amazed at how much more you get done when you assign specific times for doing things.

4. Resist the temptation to answer the phone every time it rings as a new conversation will not only distract you from what you are doing, but it may lead you to abandon the task all together as you become drawn into resolving other matters. If you work alone, pretend you have a secretary and that you’ve told him or her to “hold all calls.” Then return the calls when you have both a clear mind and the time to tackle them.

5. Take charge of your e-mails; don’t let them take charge of you. Resist temptation and commit to checking your in-box only twice a day: first thing in the morning and around 3:00 PM.

6. Set specific, realistic goals with timelines and commit to taking at least two action steps every day.

7. Avoid becoming overwhelmed by chunking every task down into manageable bite-sized pieces. Not only will you get more done, you will feel terrific as you realize how much you have accomplished.

8. Tackle the things you hate doing first. Like a trip to the dentist, you’ll feel an awful lot better when that phone call you’ve been dreading and avoiding is finished.

9. Build accountability into everything that is difficult or important to you. It doesn’t matter if it is crafting your marketing message, writing press releases, or putting together your media kit, you will find you will get a lot more accomplished if you are accountable to someone for having completed your actions. If you are not currently working with a business coach, find a neutral party to help you stay on track.

10. Stop spinning your wheels and start making more money by having a clearly defined niche to which all your marketing efforts are directed. Make sure your target market is one that a) has a need for your services, b) is underserved, and c) can afford your fees. Be as specific as possible when determining your niche and create marketing materials that address its needs and that position you as the solution your target market has been looking for.