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How many times have you said, “I just don’t have enough time” or “I’m working a ton of hours, but not making enough income?” If you are like most entrepreneurs, probably a lot.

Here’s the good news: You are not alone.

The bad news is that too many entrepreneurs attempt to multi-task in multiple roles with multiple responsibilities, and the endless loop never allows for reset time or working on their business. Therefore, they fail repeatedly.

If this sounds familiar, then it’s time to take steps to set up your business as a business and implement processes and systems to run it as such.

It starts with operational excellence: developing consistent processes to help you organize your time, assets and delivery, and get you to the finish line.

When you have multiple systems that are consistently executed, well organized and leveraged, the outcomes are more easily monitored and measured. Most salespeople take a shotgun approach to the day based on reactions and appointments rather than prioritizing income-producing activities.

The challenge comes with being very busy, but not focusing on income-related activities. The hundreds of details that come up daily can keep you in a whirlwind, but they won’t increase your bottom line. When you spend your time reacting, you will feel productive, but you will be exhausted, and burnout is almost guaranteed for your future. Operational excellence starts with a plan that incorporates the details that allow you to work on your business as well as in your business so that you can attain your desired results and enjoy balance in your life.

Here are a few ways to work on your operational excellence:

First, write out a strategic plan. This blueprint of where you want to go and by when creates a structure for identifying milestones and goals. Set goals to reach in six months, a year and then three to five years. This roadmap sets the stage for your next step.

Create a business plan. Business plans are rarely effective unless they incorporate several elements, such as a budget, action plans, timelines and project details. How you set up the action plans for each project or initiative will impact your ability to reach your milestones.

Use your business plan as a roadmap. A good business plan incorporates a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis to better identify where you need to outsource, delegate or hire for competencies that are not in your wheelhouse. Taking control and ensuring the outcomes with detailed job descriptions, work processes and communication systems ensures that goals are achieved for you as well as each team member.

Plan your week. Plan your week in order to block out time for dollar-producing action items, and set them in stone as part of the team plan. This ensures consistency, accountability and measurement.

When you have basic systems in place for each day, you will create the habits that, when compounded over time, allow you to reach your goals with energy to spare. Establish your operational excellence through systems and team initiatives that create a win-win for you, the team and your clients.

Terri Murphy is an author, TED Talk speaker and master coach with
Workman Success Systems. She is the author of five books and the founder of the Women’s Wisdom Network. Contact her at