This afternoon Ed and I took Mr. President, our English Bulldog, on what should have been a short walk — 30 minutes. We’d be back and I’d be able to finish the week off with a list nearly completed. Well, April showers bring dirty English Bulldogs. The trail we took offered Mr. President with the opportunity to take a few mud baths. I can’t get to upset with him. We had fun, he got a great walk in and the day is picture perfect…but I still had stuff hanging over my head that needs to be completed for clients.

Running a business with your partner and spouse is not the easy division of who does what because the work is pressing and who is ever free at that moment completes the administrative or marketing task for the business. Our client work is very specific but our own marketing, networking and administrative obligations can take a back seat.

After almost two years of being in business, Ed and I have a solid idea of the percent of time we must spend in each area of managing our St. Louis-based public relations firm. Your hours might differ than the way I spend them, but this is a good rule of thumb that I’ve learned in speaking with other professionals, reading lots of books and magazines, and going through the school entrepreneurial knocks based on a typical 50- to 60-hour-work week:

  • Doing client work: 50 percent / 25-30 hours a week: Client work is first and foremost. Give your clients strategic support and fresh, continuous results that will help their businesses grow and there is a good chance you will keep your clients.
  • Networking: 10 percent / 5-6 hours a week: You need to put yourself out there to meet new people to learn what they do. Nothing replaces face-to-face contact. Be seen. You can’t do everything behind the computer. Ed and I have given much thought to which professional groups we’ve want to become involved with and the Missouri Venture Forum and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of St. Louis are two groups we’re glad that we’ve focused on.
  • Marketing: 15 percent / 7.5-9 hours a week: Marketing your firm means keeping up with your blogging, Twitter, Facebook Fan page, LinkedIn profile, media relations, Web site content, new materials, posting new YouTube video, writing white papers, etc…anything and everything you do to promote your brand and company is marketing. I dedicate a half day each Monday to what I call my “marketing Mondays.” I’ve set time aside to focus on the firms marketing.
  • New business development: 10 percent / 5-6 hours a week: For me this can tie into networking but I’m still out there learning and identifying opportunities. Ed is in charge of new business development for our company but the business owner still needs to be actively involved.
  • Professional Development: 10 percent / 5-6 hours a week: This is everything from reading books and articles, to attending lectures and association brown bag lunches. Never stop learning.
  • Administrative tasks: 5 percent / 3-5 hours a week: This is administrative stuff we all have to do. Some are better at it then others but it still need to get done. Keep up with your mail, your In-box, and your desk. Life is much easier.
I realize that this breakdown I have listed above is really meant for the one – or two-person business. As we grow, much of our work will be delegated to associates or outsourced.

In the mean time, I go into each week knowing that there are surprises like giving a 72-pound dog an unexpected bath but I don’t get overwhelmed with how to spend my time.

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Best regards,


Founded in 2008, AMM Communications is a St. Louis-based public relations and marketing firm that provides public relations, marketing, crisis communication, social media and sales management training for small- and mid-sized financial institutions, professional service firms and manufacturing companies. For more information, please navigate to or call 314.485.9499.

2 thoughts on “Manage your time to give Mr. President a bath

  1. I loved this post — I laughed so hard when Ed told me your dog's name is Mr. President. One of the most telling parts about the schedule you put out there was that you spend 25-30 hours on client work and that is 50% —- obviously both you and Ed are putting in 50-60+ hours a week. I am right there with you — even though I can (kind of) make my own schedule, I still end up putting in 50+ hours a week, sometimes much more than that.

  2. Hi Russ,Thanks for the feedback! First and foremost, I love my dog dearly! His personality fits his name! He commands attention!When you break down your time and track it, you can manage it better. You had a post several weeks ago about when to outsource. That's a great piece. I'm now starting to learn when to outsource and when not to.Best,AMM

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