How to Recognize Busy Work in Business

Ever find yourself working at a frantic pace and realize that not much actual work was done?

Creating Busy Work vs. Real WorkWhat if you actually did work…
or what felt like work?

Is it Busy Work
or Real Work?

Can you be sure that the work you accomplished created more awareness of your brand, consumer confidence, email signups, social followers, customer loyalty, or even SALES?

When starting your business, you should be focused on a few things:

  • Getting Sales (Always and forever #1)
  • Increasing Awareness (Cultivating future customers)
  • Improving Your Offerings (Only after validation & feedback)

Don’t get caught polishing the brass on the Titanic (bonus points if you get the movie reference). Do work that will actually gain business and not make you feel like a business.

To better understand if you’re doing busy work, ask yourself these questions:

Is what I’m doing a single action away from creating a sale?

Every little tweak to your business is (hopefully) done with the intent of making money. Is what you’re changing directly tied to sales or is it so far removed that the impact can’t be immediately felt?

For example: Adding a quick purchase item like batteries to the cash register area of an electronics store can increase sales a couple of bucks at a time. Moving your DVD selection behind the video games isn’t probably going to create a spike in sales.

Is this strengthening my brand or confusing my client?

When building our business, we get excited when brainstorming about the options we want to add. Especially when business is going slower than expected, we’re quick to start adding services and products when we couldn’t even get the first ones to sell properly.

If your customers can’t instantly tell who you are and what you do, you may be offering too much (or need help organizing your offerings). There is a term called “The Paradox of Choice” if there is too much to decide on, then the easiest decision is to say “NO’ move on to an easier to figure out solution.

Am I working on something that my customers even care about?

Sure, subconsciously the color of a button on your website can influence if a customer will click on it or not. However without ample of A/B testing you can’t be too sure of your decision.

Instead, create ways to increase traffic to your website. You’ll need enough people to click on that button first before you decide what color to change it to…

Do Real Work, Not Busy Work

When you’re bootstrapping your business, there are a million things to accomplish and often times with a team of a few people (or one person if you’re flying solo). Sometimes these easier “busy work” tasks are fun to accomplish and make us feel like we’re moving forward.

Too much busy work makes a day zip by, but leaves the most important work undone.

Grab a piece of paper at the beginning of each day and write down three tasks that you want to accomplish that don’t fall under the definition of “busy work.” Make sure these are driving you closer to building your brand and increasing sales.

You might even want to consider creating a strategy in developing your business. Doing so can save you hours of time & money while avoiding some common pitfalls that destroy companies. If you’re still wondering off into la-la-land and need a little help finding the right path to follow, contact us and we’ll give you a few extra pointers.

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