Dis­trac­tions are every­where. Plain and sim­ple. Every­one has them. Whether it be issues in our per­son­al lives, con­stant­ly read­ing through the bar­rage of emails, hir­ing and on-board­ing that new hire or find­ing the per­fect office space. We like to think that these dis­trac­tions are min­i­mal, but often, they are much more than we ever antic­i­pat­ed. Dis­trac­tions alone cost the US econ­o­my hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars. Imag­ine if you could get a piece of that pie back. That could have a huge impact on your busi­ness!

One of the more com­mon dis­trac­tions that I’ve seen recent­ly with some of our small to mid-sized busi­ness­es is get­ting caught up in the day-to-day work. It is not uncom­mon in these busi­ness­es that the main per­son respon­si­ble for sales, also gets dragged into pro­duc­tion when things get busy. While this may be the most nat­ur­al solu­tion it is, by far, the least effec­tive.

Once the per­son respon­si­ble for sales gets caught up in the day to day, main­tain­ing the sales pipeline becomes an after­thought. You can­not afford to let this hap­pen. I under­stand that pay­ing con­tract labor is expen­sive so it’s easy to switch focus. How­ev­er, the cost of con­tract labor to get you through the busy time is much less than the future months’ rev­enue that you miss out on because you aren’t sell­ing now. Let’s say that this extra busy peri­od last­ed one month. That is one month of sales activ­i­ty that is nowhere near its full poten­tial. Sales cycles can already be long enough with full effort, let alone let­ting dis­trac­tions take over. You are poten­tial­ly sac­ri­fic­ing a month’s worth of sales activ­i­ty for the cost of pay­ing con­tract labor.

When you look at it this way, it doesn’t sound like the best deci­sion, does it? Yet almost every busi­ness has found itself mak­ing that sac­ri­fice at some point in the business’s life. There are always oppor­tu­ni­ty costs and some of them are hard to quan­ti­fy. It is always dif­fi­cult to put a num­ber on the impact that dis­trac­tions like these cause in your busi­ness. You must move from a reac­tive deci­sion-mak­ing mode and start being more proac­tive. Ask your­self: What is this real­ly cost­ing me? Is this part of my core respon­si­bil­i­ties? If not, what respon­si­bil­i­ties am I sac­ri­fic­ing? What impacts does that have on the busi­ness?

Map out the impact of these ques­tions above and ask your­self if it’s worth it. My guess is that it isn’t. Stop dis­trac­tions before you lose focus. This is a key step in con­tin­u­ing your jour­ney to pros­per­i­ty.