Bite-Sized Business Marketing Seminar Series

Join me at the Milford Bank on March 16th, to learn more about how I help business owners increase sales and profitability while working more efficiently. My training focuses on sales & marketing including plan development, processes, team building, communication, and financial management. ROI Business Advisors have helped businesses grow more than 40% in one year, helping them become million dollar businesses. 

Hope to see you there! 

facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

How to Get Much More Done in Less Time

Business Consultant / Coach in New Haven County, CT

How would you like to get 40% more done in the same amount of time?

One skill in which everyone could improve is time management. We all have to-do lists – both business and personal/family. If you could achieve more of your activity goals, i.e. items on your to do list, each day you could be more productive. In most cases people can achieve significantly better results by just making a few changes in how they think and what they do. The following are a collection of seven ideas on how to do so. This list will get you started on a business life that is less stressful, more efficient and in the end more productive:

1. I have read that when someone who is used to working on a messy desk then starts to work on a clean desk, they will be 40% more effective. I have people report back to me that their assistants have told them they got 60-80% more done the day made that change. How does your desk look today?

2. Work to the clock, not the task. This is the opposite of what we were taught as kids. We were told not to watch the clock, and focus only on the job until it is done. However, think about when someone is about to go on vacation. When that person knows they have a day or half-day to get certain must-do tasks done, they achieve a tremendous amount of work in 4 or 8 hours. It is scary to think about how much they could accomplish with focus on a set of tasks while keeping in mind how much time they have left. Just like Michael Jordan’s jump shot at the buzzer, finishing your list by the time you have to leave the office (i.e. the final buzzer) feels great.

3. Multitasking is less efficient than focusing on one task at a time. My apologies to those who have made multitasking an art. I know people who took pride in how much multitasking they could handle at any one time. There have been multiple studies that have proven multitasking costs you time. Start one task at a time and complete it before going to the next task.

4. The follow-on to multitasking and working to the clock is setting a time limit for each task. How many times have you seen someone that scheduled an unrealistic number of tasks to be completed in a day or a couple hours, only to complete very few items on the list? Instead, when you set a goal to be completed, it should be prioritized and given a realistic set amount of time to be completed. If you are not sure how long a task will take, a good rule of thumb is to make a realistic estimate, then double it! If you do not complete a task by the time allotted, you must make a decision. Either you schedule a time for completion of the task, or reschedule the next task and finish your current task. This strategy takes discipline, but it works. Try it today.

5. When listing tasks to be completed in a day, first they must be categorized:

a. A-tasks – which must be completed today or you will be negatively impacted. Examples are getting your monthly or quarterly tax forms completed and paying those taxes, submitting a proposal by the date promised, or calling or meeting with someone at a specific time. These tend to be important and urgent tasks.

b. B-tasks – will become A-tasks if not completed by a certain date. These are the tasks on which you spend most of your time if you are proactive not acting in a reactive manner, as a general rule. These tend to be important tasks which are not urgent (yet).

c. C-Tasks – are less important tasks, but need to be done. These will sometimes be urgent. When categorizing a task as a C, ask yourself – What would happen if you never did that task? If the answer is no, just don’t waste your time. Don’t let an urgent task make you start thinking it is important. Items here may be scheduling a meeting which may or may not bring you closer to your goals, but you won’t know until you schedule it, training at a seminar on a specific topic where the due date to register is coming up, or purging both electronic and physical files.

d. D-Tasks – are often like your D-customers, if you look at them rationally, it is clear you are better off letting them go. These tend to be unimportant and non-urgent tasks. Sometimes after considering a task, you will realize that volunteering for that civic organization was actually a C-task, and you should do it.

e. Once you have assigned a category to all tasks, prioritize each. Therefore you should have tasks listed as an A-1, and A-2, etc. until you run out of A’s, then do the same with your B and C tasks.

f. Next, assign each task a specific time to be completed. Task A-1 may be the first thing you want to get done, if so start with that task to start off your day. Remember the Eat Your Frog concept, from the Brian Tracy book by the same name. Take that task that you have been dreading, and knock that off first chance you get. That way you will not think about it, and just get it done.

6. Handle paper/messages only once if at all possible. This may sound foreign to you at first, but this has been a great timesaver for many people. Each piece of mail, paper, email, etc. must be assigned a category to save you time. It is like an Emergency Department nurse at a hospital triaging patients. You can do it with emails and paper. There are four choices when faced with a document, both physical or electronic:

a. Act – you can take action at that moment. The rule of thumb here is that anything you can complete in 100 seconds or less, you should complete that task, respond to that email, etc. at the moment you first find that message or paper. If not, it becomes a task. See #5 above on how to handle that task. These are the only items that you may touch more than once.

b. Delegate – assuming you have someone to delegate it to, have the person with the expertise and time that can handle that task, do so. Even better, ask them when they can have it done. They will be more apt to complete it by their stated goal day and time. FYI – the person to whom you delegate the task can be someone outside your company or department. Consider all options before determining you don’t have anyone to whom you can delegate a task.

c. File – either in your electronic or physical files store that item. Make it easy to find. Taking an extra moment to determine the best place to put it now, will save much time and aggravation in the future when you need it.

d. Trash – delete the email or throw away the document or letter that has no value. Touch that item only one time. Start doing this instead of handing that document multiple times and your productivity will start increasing quickly.

7. Plan your day effectively. Most people are most effective mornings or later in the day. Determine whether investing the first or last 15 minutes of the day to plan your tasks works best for you, and do it. Here is the toughest part; you need to do it every day. Then, on Fridays schedule one hour, either at the beginning or end of the day, to schedule next week’s tasks and meetings. Remember, the rule of thumb is that for every hour of planning that you do, you will save 10 hours of time. Some people I know have become significantly more effective by following just that one rule.

Start using these seven ideas today, and let us know about your results. Also, please email me at: Bob@BizCoachBob.com if you have a favorite time management strategy that you would like to share. If we have enough response, we will publish additional ideas and then add the best of the ideas you send to us. Remember, no matter how good someone is at time management, you can always be better. Enjoy your new level of efficiency and productivity!

facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

How You Can Use SMART Goals to Get What You Want

All successful businesspeople set quality goals. To create quality goals for yourself and your business, test your goal against the five SMART criteria to see if it is a quality goal. You may have heard about them before, but do you follow SMART criteria when setting goals?

To create a quality goal, you must first set a goal that is Specific. For example, having a goal of becoming wealthy is not enough. The key question here involves whether you have an exact amount of money you want to attain. “Think big” as Donald Trump would say. The second criterion involves your goal being Measurable. If you can’t measure it, you won’t know if you attained it. Examples include a specific number or the answer to a yes/no question. The third and fourth criteria involve your goal being both Attainable and a REACH. Setting a goal that you don’t believe you can achieve is de-motivating. Then setting one that you know you will attain every time you try is not worthwhile either. For most people, goals that you will attain somewhere between 67 and 90% of the time are the most effective as you have balanced these two criteria. The final criterion involves Timeframe. You must have a specific date (and time, if possible) by which your goal is to be accomplished.

If your goal passes all five tests, write it down. Then review it twice a day, take action and watch your goals being attained by your efforts.

facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

Are Your Goals Holding You and Your Business Back? What You Can Do About It

Whether you are a business owner, or work for one, a key to your success is your goals or lack of them. This does not only pertain to salespeople. In fact, the lack of written goals may be what is holding you back from where you could be taking your sales, your company and your career. If you don’t have quality goals that are written, you are not alone. In his book What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School, Mark McCormack tells how only 3% of the 1979 Harvard MBA class had written goals just prior to graduation. Another 13% had goals that were not in writing, and 84% had no specific goals other than graduating and enjoying the summer. Ten years later, the 13% of the class having goals that were not written, were earning an average of ten times the income of those without goals. The 3% with written goals did even better, averaging over ten times what the others with unwritten goals, and 97 times what those with no goals were earning at that time. Which group would you rather be in? By creating goals and writing those goals down you will increase your success. Many in the Milford, CT area are already doing so. Are you?

facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail

How Better Activity Makes You More Money

Laws regarding business just cannot be broken, and one of those laws involves the connection between activity and income. The law states that your income is determined by your activity. The better your everyday activity in your work, the more money you will make. Your financial results-profits for business owners and commissions for salespeople, are the best gauge of how good your activity really is. The following describes the three ways to make your activity better.

One way is QUANTITY, increasing the number of times you do something. For a salesperson, that may mean making more telemarketing cold calls to attain more face-to-face appointments. A second is QUALITY, improving how well you execute the strategy. For the telemarketer that may mean improving presentations, asking better questions, and improving the script being used. If your efforts in each of those areas does not improve your results, then change your STRATEGY CHOICE-try a different activity. Perhaps telemarketing is not the way to reach your target market. Try face-to-face cold calling (or as some call it, “Bold calling”.

By making your activities better, you will make more income, probably feel less stress at work, and have more fun. So try it and take Action today!

facebooktwittergoogle_pluslinkedinmail