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WORK SMARTER: Small Shop, Big Dreams!

By Dexter Webster, CEO, dTc Advisory

After working with a few clients over the past few weeks, I believe my first post should be on how best to handle all the important business tasks while growing your business. Now, where do I start?! Let’s assume you have done the basics such as having a solid strategic plan. 
To make the most of your time, you should focus on automation, setting priorities and focus. Let’s look at setting priorities first. 


  1. You don’t have to complete all tasks in one day.
  2. You should assess the value of each task ($$ generated or cost reduction) with required completion date (incorporate lead time).
  3. Once you have the above information, you can list “in order” the tasks that will return the greatest value to your business.
  4. Following the 20/80 rule, 20% of your tasks will yield 80% of the value. This is the focus area.
Now, how to focus. Here are a few points from Roxann Roeder’s 5 Habits that will get you 30% more productive. 

Focus Management

  1. Each day, you should focus on activities that move your business forward – things you must do!
  2. To best do this, take time each day to get yourself going. Do something for your health at the start of the day without checking email or other busy activities. Healthy Body = Healthy Mind.
  3. Prior to jumping into the day’s work, take time to identify your priorities based on the model listed above. You will be able to identify 3 projects and 5 tasks that can move the projects forward.
  4. List the people who you must reach out to before end of day no matter what.
  5. List the people you need to hear from or need some something to get your day’s work done.
  6. List any import activity you can complete by end of day (small tasks).
  7. After completing steps 3 – 6, you can create three blocks of 50 mins where you will focus on the work identified uninterrupted. After each 50 min block, take 10 mins to refresh with a break to clear your mind / recharge.
  8. Lastly, make sure you take an hour break to get away from the desk/office for free thought.
Lastly, how to automate for growth.


  1. Once you know what you should do and the value of the tasks, you should look to automate what you can or find tools to help you better manage what you do.
  2. My recommendation is to use a tool like 17 Hats that will help with lead capture, contact management, quotes, invoicing, payment, bookkeeping, customer interaction, project / workflow management, to do list & more while automating tasks and integration with other features.
  3. Another recommendation is to automate your sales and marketing functions. Depending on your business and where you are, Constant Contact or Act! CRM will help with automating customer interactions that can be programmed based on customer actions. For example, you can automate a response to a customer who sends in an inquiry or response to a newsletter using Act! CRM. These tools frees up the small business to focus on tasks that require human interaction and are unique in nature.

DWebDexter Webster, a proud Howard University graduate with a BBA in Information Systems and MBA in General Management/Strategy leads the day-to-day operations for dTc. Dexter has extensive experience in operations, customer service, technology, product and management consulting working for Fortune 100 companies. Dexter is responsible for developing strategic partnerships, and representing dTc externally. He can be reached at

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