We spend our time to achieve one of three outcomes: secure future income, protect current income, enabling one of these. Each business model is designed on a unique equilibrium between these three. Managing our time and our priorities become easier when we understand what this looks like for our business.
Secure future income
These are activities that would increase future revenue. It looks different depending on the function you are in. Sales and operations would define and measure this differently. It is an activity with an immediate expense and a potential for future ROI.
When we work with long sales cycles, this becomes a larger part of our sales time spend. When we operate in innovative markets, R&D spend plenty of time on this factor.
Protect current income
Its easier to keep a customer you have than to get a new one. These activities include cross-sell and up-sell. It includes expanding our offerings to existing customers and creating value adds and competitive advantage. These activities are risk management and growth costs. The revenue tends to increase quicker than with the first activity unless you have a short sales cycle.
Enable current and future income
These activities would fall into the ‘admin’ category. We do not always like this. It’s hard to justify as an income-producing activity. If it does not happen, we do not get good data to make decisions. This activity is all about business intelligence.
The primary question here is are we doing this as efficiently as possible. If not, time is taken away from category 1 and 2.
Any activity that cannot be explained under any of these categories, is probably wasting your time.
Any mix of these activities other than your equilibrium is a waste of time.