Category Archives: business strategy

Increase business productivity

Manage Your Day For Productivity

How Do You Manage Your Day?

We all get the same 24 hours every day, but how many times do you get to the end of your day wonder, “Where did the day go?” and that leads to, “What did I accomplish?” Once the hours are gone you’ve lost that commodity.

Chances are, if your day is getting away from you, it’s because you didn’t have a plan. Without a to-do list it’s easy to waste time on tasks that aren’t meaningful. With a to-do list you can mark off tasks you’ve completed, celebrate the milestones and also uncover those times when you haven’t accomplished what you set out to do?

Three ways to manage your time and keep tasks moving forward:
• Determine your top three priorities for your day
• Set a timer for 30 minutes
• Work on your first priority for those 30 minutes, reset the timer and go onto the second (and so on) You will be amazed at what you can do if you know you’re under a self-imposed time constraint

To add even more value to those three steps:
• Work on top priorities first. It’s easy to check off the simple tasks and leave the more difficult ones hanging over your head but that just drains your energy. Even if you can’t complete the entire task in 30 minutes, you will at least have made a dent.
• Put up a “do not disturb” sign. Even if you work from home you need to limit your interruptions whether from phone calls, emails or family issues.
• Once the timer has gone off, move onto the second task even if your first has not been completed; this will incentivize you to go back to that task and continue on with it.
Imagine the feeling of accomplishment you’ll have knowing that you have tackled three of your top priorities.

If you’re constantly putting out fires and are spinning your wheels trying to “get it all done” and grow your business. Contact us, as a certified E-Myth Coach we incorporate the seven teachings of the E-Myth to help you innovate and succeed. 

The Power Of One

Do you ever wonder if there is power in one? We believe there is and as business coaches we work with our clients to help them break down the business activities they need to participate in into bite-sized chunks.

In some cases doing one more thing can reap amazing results. Here are some powerful “ones” you can incorporate:

  • Suggest one more service to every client you speak with. Just as the fast food restaurants ask, “Do you want fries with that?”  you should be asking your clients the same thing.
  • Make one more client visit or cold call every day.  To determine whether this method might grow your business, consider your current conversion rate and multiply that by the power of one more call a day.
  • Commit one day per month to developing your skill set. Regardless of whether you attend a training networking event or sign up for an online class,  stay connected and educated keeps you relevant.
  • Read one book a month. If you already read for your area of expertise, pick up a work of fiction or something in a genre that has nothing to do with your work life.
  • Ask one client a week for a referral or testimonial.
  • Show up an hour early. If you believe the early bird gets the worm, then you want to be that early bird, you want to be the one whose doors open earlier than the competition and you want to be the business owner who answers his phone an hour earlier than “the other guy.”

What type of “ones” can you incorporate to help grow your business?

Entrepreneurs Need To Set Boundaries

You cannot do it all. What does this mean to an entrepreneur? It means you need to set boundaries (and likely learn to delegate) but in order to truly get anything done, you need to set boundaries with colleagues and even family in order to get to the tasks at hand.

We know it’s tempting to work all day, every day, especially when you’re in growth or start up mode, but doing that means you leave yourself at risk of illness and honestly the more you work, the less productive you become.

What can you do to set boundaries and remain productive? Here are three suggestions:

  1. Social media and anything online can take away valuable time from the tasks at hand. Turn off your email and social media notifications and set your mind to a particular task. Once that task is complete, treat yourself to a little online interaction.
  2. Is there a task you’re procrastinating? Did you know that procrastination takes more mental energy and saps your reserves than simply jumping into a task you’re dreading? It does. Give yourself a time limit — 15- or 30-minutes — and delve into a task you’re dreading. Anyone can work on any objectionable task in small chunks.
  3. Be deliberate in your plans. If you make a goal concrete rather than vague you are more likely to complete it. For example, saying, “I will make client follow up calls Wednesday” instead of, “On Wednesday from 10 am until noon I will make client follow up calls.” Even better would be to attach a number to that, “I will make 10 client follow up calls between 10 am and noon on Wednesday.” If you don’t set a time frame to it, the day will come and go and that item will remain undone.

Set limits. Write your goals down. Note if your productivity increases.

Business Reports That Matter

When social media was first “taking off” everyone touted the numbers of followers and likes they had on their Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn pages, but did those numbers matter? Were those people engaged with you and your content? Chances are some were, but there were those that were not.

In everything you do in your business you should be tracking your numbers and your successes as well as your failures. But to make it valid and to make those numbers mean something, you need to track the correct ones.

After you’ve set a goal, here are some numbers you may want to monitor:

  1. The time frame for your goal, broken down into measurable, actionable items. Track whether those goals are being met.
  2. What numbers actually mean success? Is it dollars? Numbers of new clients? Additional engaged followers on your social media pages? More clicks on your newsletter? Once you choose the numbers, it’s best to put a dollar value to them. Why? You’re in business to make money, right?
  3. Compare the goals you’ve set with the goals you’ve met. It doesn’t do any good to set a goal if you’re not checking in to see if you’re achieving the results you’d set for yourself.

What are you measuring? Are you following up to make sure they are numbers that make sense? We work with clients to help them set goals and targets. If you need assistance, contact us.

A New Year Means New Goals

Before 2015 makes its appearance, it is the ideal time to look at your achievements from the current year and set forth goals for the upcoming year. Do you look at the new year as a clean slate? Do you make it a practice to clear out last year’s goals before year end?

Here are items to reflect upon before the new year arrives. Determine now whether you need to change the way you track and monitor your goals and successes:

  • Are your goals clearly defined? You need to set goals that have measurable outcomes trackable performance indicators.
  • Are you tracking the correct metrics? Are you using the proper tools to measure goals?
  • Do you set aside time, on a regular basis, in your calendar and on your to-do list to check-in with your goals and make certain you’re on track? Taking time to regroup and set a new course early on is the best course of action; you don’t want to get to the end of the year and wonder what went wrong.

Take time now to write your goals down and kick start the new year with a plan of action!

Business building steps

Business owners — whether you’re a new entrepreneur or have been in business for decades — still need to spend time marketing themselves and their businesses in order to achieve growth and success.

Here are our top three business building steps:

  • Word of mouth and credibility will take you a long way. New entrepreneurs will need to work to prove credibility and this can be done by consistently performing at high levels of service.
  • Once you’ve signed a client to a contract, the work isn’t over, it’s just beginning. You need to be available to your clients and responsive to their needs and concerns. You also need to be visible at networking events, volunteer organizations and other places in which you can network with others to grow your business.
  • Share your expertise and skills. How can you do this? By blogging. By being on a board or a member of a group in which your talents will shine through. It is your unique expertise and the knowledge that you bring to the services you offer that set you apart.

Being a business owner is only the first step in the process of success. Continuing to network and market yourself and to continue keep up with trends in your industry are crucial.

Is Your Marketing Plan Working?

Are there times when you feel you’re spinning your wheels when it comes to your marketing and prospecting efforts? If that’s the case you need to understand that in order to make your marketing effective you need to have a strategy and tactics in place that suit your particular, unique audience.

That being said, there are items that every marketing strategy should have in place:

  1. Understand what the life cycle of your prospect is, in other words do your sales usually follow a particular path? If so, your strategy must incorporate that unique process.
  2. How do your prospects want to be contacted? Email? Telephone? Text? Face-to-face meetings?
  3. Is there a way to automate any of the sales process? Either through mailings or email campaigns or other ways in which you can reach a target group of prospects all at one time?

When you’re looking back at the effectiveness of your 2014 sales and looking forward to 2015 and increased sales, you want to make sure the steps along your sales path are clearly defined.

Do You Foster Collaboration?

No man is an island. This adage is true in life as it is in business. Successful entrepreneurs know that to grow a business they need to collaborate with others. How can you make certain your collaboration skills are as strong as they could be?

Here are some steps you can take to strengthen them:

  • Make certain your associates feel a part of the process and that their contributions are given thoughtful consideration.
  • Do you include all relevant team members in discussions? Do they feel part of the team?
  • What do you do with that one person in your organization who tosses out ideas — that may at first seem out of the scope of what you’re doing — to make him or her feel part of the whole?
  • When you’re attempting to formulate solutions to problems, do you involve team members from a cross section of your organization?

What can you do to foster collaboration and input from all team members?

Do You Possess Leadership Talents?

“I’d like to run a business.” If you proclaimed that, but didn’t add in the question of, “Do I have the leadership talents necessary to do that?” You may want to take a step back and consider that question.

Here are three leadership talents that we believe entrepreneurs should either possess or hone:

  1. Are you able to articulate your mission, vision and purpose? You need to be able to do this whether you’re hiring and training new employees or if you’re at a networking event.
  2. What makes you an influencer? Do you now how your own character and personality influences others?
  3. What is your overall plan for execution of business growth and execution of a business plan?

Ponder these three questions and determine whether you have these leadership talents or what you can do to hone them.

Do You Have A Prospect Follow-up Plan In Place?

Why isn’t the phone ringing? You’ve been attending networking events and conference and handing out your business cards so it stands to reason the phone should be difficult to keep up with, right?

Perhaps the reason it’s not ringing is because you don’t have a plan in place to follow up with those individuals you have me and networked with. Here are three steps you can implement that just might have your pool ringing off the hook:

  1. Make time for follow up phone calls or to send follow up emails. When you’re planning out your work week, you need to plan for prospecting and follow-ups. While it’s nice to believe that your prospects might just call you back, they are likely just as busy as you are and you need to be proactive.
  2. Write a thank you note. If someone has done something nice for you, send a thank you note. If you meet someone at a networking event, rather than sending an email follow up, break out of that routine (hint, that is what everyone does!) and send a handwritten “great to meet you” note.
  3. Make certain your prospecting goals are realistic. Don’t jot on your to-do list that you will make 50 follow up calls this week. That number is daunting and likely not realistic. Set a goal of making two or three calls a day or set aside an afternoon and make ten calls. Make sure the goal is attainable or it will become insurmountable.

What plans do you have in place for prospect follow ups?