I often hear business owners complaining about how much of their time is wasted on people who don’t take them seriously. Often times, I come to find that they give the free world access to their calendars. The truth is, at some point, you do need to be more selective about who has access to your calendar.
How to Know When It’s Time to Limit Access to Your Calendar
In the beginning stages of a business, you are likely taking any call you can. That’s okay for two reasons. One, you likely don’t have enough experience yet to determine what is a waste of your time. Two, in the beginning stages it’s definitely a numbers game.
However, there does come a time when this needs to stop. With enough experience, you start to determine who and what will waste your time. And, as a business owner, time is the most valuable thing you have. Think of it this way – you could have made more money in that hour a that a flippant prospect wasted.
Here are some ways to know that you need to limit how many people access your calendar:
- People are wasting your time
- Meetings go nowhere
- You aren’t making enough money because your time is spent in meetings
- You find that the prospects you are speaking too don’t move forward
- Your time is far more limited than it used to be
If any of these scenarios are starting to happen, it’s time to limit how many people access your calendar. Here are a few ways to do that.
#1 Have an application process
The best way I have found to limit how many people access your calendar is to have an application process. So, in essence, everyone has “access” to my calendar. What they really have access to is an opt-in form which re-directs to a survey. Based on the answers on the survey, I decide whether or not they are a good fit. You can do this manually or use the “Quiz” feature on a service like Typeform.
#2 Use an online scheduler
Online schedulers can also limit how many people access your calendar. At the very least, it can keep you from becoming overbooked based on settings. You can also have consultation forms as a part of your online scheduling process.
I personally use a combination of application via a survey and an online scheduler. If a prospect passes the “quiz” (aka the survey) then they are redirected to my online scheduler automatically.
#3 Tweak the process as you go
Just because you set this up once doesn’t mean you won’t have to tweak it. For example, I’m coming to the realization that I need to increase the number of “points” prospects need to have on my survey. This is after experiencing some prospects that weren’t a good fit and noticing they all had the same score.
As a business owner, time is the most valuable thing you have. That’s why, at some point, you must limit how many people access your calendar. You want to make sure you’re only spending your time on the right people who will move your business forward.
Amanda is a best-selling author of "Make Money Your Honey", a book that helps freelancers and business owners understand their relationship with money and how to make it more productive. She's driven by helping others live the most productive and fruitful way possible.