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What Business Are You in?  What Business Should You be in?

Some strategies for making the best use of your time and the most money for your efforts.

I've been a health insurance agent since 1985. I love my job, and I self-identify as a health insurance agent.  However, about two years ago I discovered that I was doing particularly well at one aspect of my business and decided to focus on that aspect.   I discovered that my websites  were generating an excess number of  insurance leads.  I did not have the resources to process them.  

You may be a restaurant chef who makes a particular dish that your patrons love.  You may be able to  mass produce that dish and sell it through other channels.  You may be able to make money teaching others how to make that dish.  Many people find that they can make more money teaching others how to do what they do well instead of doing it themselves.

You may be a tailor who has invented a device that you've been using to make your job easier.  Maybe you should sell that device.  

I've tripled my income since I decided to offer my services to other agents who are better at other aspects of my business but will benefit by getting  exclusive insurance leads from .  It is a win-win situation for me and the health, auto and homeowners insurance gents I work with.  There may be a corollary in your business.  

What business are you in?  Are you in the right business?  

You may not want to give up your main business.  You may have non-money based reasons to stay in your profession.  I've decided to continue helping people find medical coverage because I enjoy the business, enjoy working with my son every day and want to make sure that my income comes from more than one source.   However, since I discovered that I can generate exclusive leads for insurance agents and earn a good income from it, I spend less time as an insurance agent and less time working overall.  This allows me to invest more time with my family and in the gym.  

Tips for Maximizing Your Income:

  1. Determine what to delegate or "farm out."  Look at your business as if it were several businesses.  Sometimes you will want to delegate more responsibilities to your employees or to other professionals.  Although you may be smart enough to figure out the tax code, you will make a lot more money focusing on your business and paying a good CPA to handle your tax return.  Give some thoughts to other aspects of your business.  Cleaning the office, handling your bulk mail, bookkeeping, etc.  Don't wait until you simply don't have enough time to do these things.  If you could earn more money by having someone else perform a task and spending that time doing something else have someone else perform that task.  If you will enjoy your life more by spending less time doing things that you can delegate.  Please delegate.  We need more happy people in this world.    

  2. Determine whether or not you will make more money servicing your "competitors" by helping them with aspects of your business that you do well.  If you have figured out how do something better than your competitors, maybe you should find a way to share that information and make a profit from it.  Today CPAs and attorneys are using software to work more efficiently.  Who do you think writes that software?  It may be a CPA or attorney who once programmed for a hobby or someone in the profession who decided to partner with a programmer.  I'd be willing to bet that the software for attorneys isn't written by former butchers, bakers and candlestick makers.  

  3. Spend some time thinking in a non-specific way about your business and your industry.  Ask yourself questions like the following:  What particular aspects of your business do you do well?  What services do you wish existed but don't?  What services from another industry or another geographic area do you think would work well in your business?

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