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I think it was a couple of years ago when I first met Dave Charbonneau in a Facebook group. He had an interesting sounding Facebook group of his own, The 15-Minute Business, that I decided to join. In the group, Dave shared lots of helpful business tips and introduced a program he was beta testing.
At the time the program was called “The Producers Circle” and he wanted to teach people how they could get a lot done for their business in only 15 minutes a day. I admit, I was skeptical. In the program, I met with other entrepreneurs online where we all shared our experiences regarding what we worked on and how much we accomplished in only 15 minutes a day. The program provided a lot of accountability.
I learned that I could actually accomplish quite a lot in 15 minutes per day. The project I worked on during that time was a bookkeeping course which has since been revised and is now a course on Skillshare called Bookkeeping Boot Camp: Identifying Business Expenses. The key is to set a timer and don't let yourself get distracted by anything that is not the task you are currently working on. I thought it would be fun to put together a list of 15 different tasks you can do in only 15 minutes or less to help grow your business.
The following items are great tasks to do by setting a 15-minute timer, putting your head down, and going for it.
1. Brainstorm blog post topics.
Blogging is one of the best ways for people to connect with your business and get a better sense of who you are. The key to coming up with blog topics people will want to read is understanding your target audience. The sweet spot is where what you know and what your readers want to learn intersect.
Brainstorming blog topics can help you identify hot topics and get rid of any duds. In my experience, sometimes when I go with the first blog idea I think of, I realize part way through drafting the post that I’m probably the only person that cares about the topic, so having a list of ideas can help you pick the best topic for your audience.
2. Edit or proofread a blog post.
It takes much less time to proofread or edit a blog post than it does to write one. You can easily edit or proofread your blog post (or maybe two depending on how long your posts are) in 15 minutes or less. Editing and proofreading are vital to avoid mistakes that may take away from your credibility as an expert. Sloppy grammar and spelling never look good.
3. Dictate a blog post.
One of my favourite things to do is use Google Docs to dictate all kinds of things, including blog posts. I use the voice-to-text feature and go for it. It really helps me craft the friendly and casual tone I strive for in most of my posts and it takes me a lot less time to dictate a post than it does to write one.
4. Perfect your blog post headline.
Writing the perfect blog post headline is going to get more people to click on and read your blog post. In this post about writing the best blog post on any topic, Words by Birds recommends using the Coschedule headline analyzer. I used it for this post and went through at least ten headlines before I settled on “15 Ways to Skyrocket Business Growth”.
Coschedule is really easy (and fun) to use and gives you great tips regarding how to improve your headline. In my case, I had used too many words and was missing some emotion so I eliminated the end of my headline which was, “in 15 Minutes” and added the word “Skyrocket”. These simple tricks improved my headline by 12 points and gave me the Coschedule green light.
5. Research blogs or podcast for guest opportunities.
Being a guest on a blog or podcast will help you get noticed by more people and grow your following, but only if you choose the right blogs/podcasts. Ideally, you want to find a blog or podcast that has a similar audience to you but a larger following. A great place to start is blogs or podcasts that you already follow.
Once you find a blog or podcast you’d like to be a guest on, be sure to follow their submission guidelines. They are there for a reason. Guest applications often get rejected simply because the applicant didn’t follow the submission guidelines.
6. Connect with social media followers.
Engaging in social media is a great thing to do by setting a timer and going for it, because it’s so easy to get distracted while on social media platforms. If you get a lot of business from social media, then you’ll want to make sure you’re still engaging with your followers, but doing it in a scheduled and timed way will help limit distractions.
7. Create social media or blog graphics.
If you know basic design principles and are familiar with a program like Canva or Adobe PhotoShop, you’ll be able to create a few simple social media graphics in 15 minutes or less. As a brand, you should have certain colours, fonts, and styles of images you use consistently to give your brand a unified look and feel. This will also help you get more design work done in only 15 minutes because once you know your fonts and colours, for example, you can set up templates for your graphics.
8. Listen to a podcast cast or audio book or read a blog.
As entrepreneurs, it’s important that we stay up to date on critical trends in our industry. Listening to books or podcasts, or reading blogs is a great way to do this. I like to listen to my training in the car. I spend at least 40 minutes alone in the car on my way home from dropping my kids off at school or on my way to get them, so it’s the perfect time for me to learn something.
9. Return emails.
Neglecting clients or colleagues can be detrimental to a business, but returning emails isn’t always a high priority or can seem like a daunting task if your inbox is full to the max. Scheduling 15 minutes a day to return emails can make sure you don’t forget to respond to something important and give you a head start on Tip #11, cleaning out your inbox.
10. Send emails.
After you’ve spent some time researching blogs or podcasts you’d like to guest on, it’s time to send an introductory email and pitch your idea. This is a great task to do in a 15-minute time chunk because the body of your email will often remain the same regardless of who you are pitching. Just remember to personalize your introduction depending on who you are reaching out to.
11. Clean out your inbox.
You may be wondering you cleaning out your inbox will help you grow your business. It’s all about getting rid of the clutter so you can focus on what really matters. Unsubscribe from anything you don’t regularly read and delete any of those emails you intended to revisit but never did.
12. Set up your day.
I love setting up my day the night before or whenever I’ve finished my tasks for the day. Here’s where you take a look at your to-do list and prioritize your tasks. If you’re like me, you will have tasks you want to do and tasks you need to do. Of course, the need-to-do tasks take priority so I will look at those and determine what steps I need to take in order to check them off my list. This includes making a note of any supplies or documents I might need to refer to while completing the task.
13. Evaluate your workflow.
Are there some task you do that end up feeling like you just go around in circles and never complete them? Take 15 minutes to look at the workflow for these tasks. Is there a better way to do them? Can they be delegated or outsourced? Can you streamline the process by eliminating some steps?
14. Research accountants and/or lawyers.
Having an accountant and lawyer you can call on for tax and legal matters just makes smart business sense, yet it’s a task many business owners put off because they don’t know how to get started. Set your timer for 15 minutes and google accountants and lawyers in your area. Read their profiles and the services they provide to see if you would like to further explore working with them. Here are some questions you can ask when looking for a business accountant.
15. Order supplies.
Ordering supplies may seem like a task that’s not going to grow your business but you can’t function if you don’t have the supplies you need. This can apply to software and apps too. Maybe you’ve heard about a new app that might save you some time and help you be more productive, but you haven’t had a chance to research it properly. This is a great 15 minute task you can add to your schedule.
I hope these 15 things have given you some ideas about the amazing amount of things you can accomplish in only 15 minutes or less. I resort to my 15-minute timer whenever I’m struggling to feel productive. There’s something about having the timer on that makes me forget about everything except the task at hand.
Of course, a sixteenth idea to grow your business in 15 minutes per day would be to join Dave’s program!
To learn more about Dave and his system for achieving consistent business results through daily action and accountability, check out his website here. This is my affiliate link which means if you purchase something through this link, I will receive compensation for the referral at no extra cost to you. I believe in Dave’s system because I’ve seen how effective it was for my own business. I can no longer say, “I don’t have time to grow my business!”
Do you have questions about the activities above? Let me know in the comments below. I’m happy to help.