Just like all of life, running a business is a constant juggling act. Any time you spend doing one type of task required to run your business is time you are not spending doing another. For instance, in order to run a business, you have to pay your bills and pay your employees. Doing so takes time, however, and you are probably better off handing these off to a bookkeeper. The time you spend paying bills or preparing payroll is time you are not devoting to sales, marketing or other efforts designed to promote or grow your business. These are sometimes referred to as “income producing activities” or IPA’s. Here are some examples of IPAs, how to identify them in your business and how to balance them with all the other things you need to do to run your business.


Some income producing activities are fairly easy to recognize because they produce an immediate ROI. Making sales calls, for instance, often shows an immediate return, which makes it clearly an income producing activity. On the other hand, time spent approving a new digital marketing campaign may not be as easily recognizable as an IPA. Sometimes, an IPA may have several steps to it before it actually results in a profit. Every one of those steps, however, is – or can be – an IPA in and of itself.

One way to identify an IPA is to think of tasks in terms of farming. The ultimate goal of farming is to collect a full harvest – but a farmer doesn’t collect a harvest the same day he plants. Nor can he plant without preparing the soil. So the “income” he eventually produces requires a good deal of preparation. Every act he engages in that leads to that eventual harvest, however, are all “income producing activities.”

When he spends the winter sharpening his tools, that is ultimately an “income producing activity” since it is in service of the ultimate goal of bringing in a harvest. Tilling the soil and planting seed are also activities specifically geared towards producing an income, since you can’t reap a harvest without planting seeds. While not all activities will provide an immediate ROI, the point is to always be evaluating whether tasks are or are not in service of the ultimate goal of generating income.


As much as it may be tempting to only focus on tasks that will lead to the generation of income, you also have to maintain the business you already have. Conversely, the more income you can generate, the more income you have to pay others to maintain your business. If it takes you 2 hours a week to update your finances, but you have the ability to generate $200 in income in that same two hours, then you focus on generating income and pay someone else to update your finances. The goal is to find a way to generate income in every hour of your day. By generating that income, you can then afford to pay others to do the work of managing the business you already have.

Are you struggling to prioritize your time and focus on your IPAs? I’d love to schedule a quick 15 minute call to see if I can help. If I can’t, I’m sure I can point you in the right direction. Click here to book now:


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