Productivity

How to Measure the Success of Employee Training | Extraordinary Business

The hiring process is stressful, any business leader will tell you. It’s not simply finding candidates with the right education and experience, they have to fit into your present ‘family’ of employees smoothly. Adding new employees to your workforce is tricky and requires more time than just about any aspect of operating a business.
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Improve Productivity By Investing In Your Employees | Extraordinary Business

productivity
Every small business owner knows that workers with a positive mindset are more productive and engaged in their jobs. Their optimism and can-do attitude can translate into higher customer satisfaction, contributing to greater sales and more profits. Here are some tips on how to improve productivity by investing in your employees.
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Improve Productivity By Investing In Your Employees | Extraordinary Business

Every small business owner knows that workers with a positive mindset are more productive and engaged in their jobs. Their optimism and can-do attitude can translate into higher customer satisfaction, contributing to greater sales and more profits. Here are some tips on how to improve productivity by investing in your employees.

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Ahhhh…Monsters and Other Scary Things!!! | Extraordinary Business

How to avoid getting chased around by a 10 foot, 1800 pound flesh-eating, stress inducing calendar

frankenstiens_monsterDo you have a task list that mounts by the day with new emails, demands and expectations that you feel like you’ve got an 1800 pound monster on your back?

Do you find yourself bouncing around from meeting to phone call to networking event, then find that you are  actually accomplishing much, only to spend the rest of your time answering emails and putting out fires.  Then everything that you were supposed to do piles up until the last minute causing you to begin running around the office trying to get everyone to move as quickly as possible to get the work done at the last minute.

I hate that. 

“Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.”

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Ahhhh…Monsters and Other Scary Things!!! | Extraordinary Business

How to avoid getting chased around by a 10 foot, 1800 pound flesh-eating, stress inducing calendar

task listDo you have a task list that mounts by the day with new emails, demands and expectations that you feel like you’ve got an 1800 pound monster on your back?
Do you find yourself bouncing around from meeting to phone call to networking event, then find that you are  actually accomplishing much, only to spend the rest of your time answering emails and putting out fires.  Then everything that you were supposed to do piles up until the last minute causing you to begin running around the office trying to get everyone to move as quickly as possible to get the work done at the last minute.
I hate that.

“Failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.”

 [···]

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The Bubble Plan from TrueFruit | Extraordinary Business

A couple of months ago, I was introduced to the principles at TrueFruit – a small business consulting firm that focuses on productivity, business process harvesting and entrepreneur extrication. Outside of being genuinely wonderful people, Gail and Veronica are very innovative consultants who bring great wisdom and insight to the clients that engage in their practice.  Learn more about them by clicking here.

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Outsource! Bring in the Pros!

Extraordinary Business: Outsource! Bring in the Pros!

There were episodes on a number of sitcoms across the networks that infallibly featured a member of the household who was to repair the plumbing or electrical work, somewhere in the house.  All of the episodes inevitably caused all sorts of mayhem in the household, from flooding to electrical fires to switches that operated incorrectly.  Finally, after someone else in the household put their foot down, the professional was called in to do what he or she does best.

There are many times when business leaders miss out on opportunities when they attempt to do things required by the business that the business owners aren’t qualified to do.   As with home repairs, at times, the damage done by not hiring professionals ultimately costs the business a lot more than it would if the work had been done by professionals to begin with.  Bring in the Pros!

Take, for example, a website:  A company’s website is often the first thing a prospective client might go to when considering doing business with a company.  (According to ZeroMillion.com, a recent DoubleClick study suggest that more than 50% of people will look at a  company’s website before making a purchase decision.)  They’ll look at site design, content, ease of use and finally, if they are serious about doing business with you, keywords that are appealing to them.

Just in list of what browsers immediately observe, there are a number of items that only a professional would have the expertise, ability and time to tweak.  Testing, promoting, optimizing and submitting the website to different search engines are some of the background tools that many business leaders don’t even check.  However, these are the tools upon which you can begin to gauge a return on your investment.

Even if you don’t pay cash or barter for the services to get your website done and do the website yourself, there is an opportunity cost to it.  Opportunity cost says that if you were not building your website, perhaps you could be doing something else, perhaps even something else related to earning revenue for your company.  The easiest way to evaluate it is to look at the return on the time spent.

If you, for example, compared 10 hours of your time spent learning how to and building a website to 10 hours spent prospecting for new clients, assuming you can sell, the prospecting activities would probably result in better payoff.  Now, if you spent a little bit of money and hired a professional to build the site, you might spend 3 hours working with them, then could spend the remaining hours prospecting and sending people to your website for more in-depth information about the company.  The result could be like having your cake and eating it to.

Intuitively, many business leaders will not wish to spend the money to get the job done the right way, the first time.  Logically, however, the results of a good decision to qualified help to get something done far outweigh the costs.

Be extraordinary.  Know when it is time to bring in the pros.  There are no compromises for greatness.  If you want to be the best, you’ve got to work with the best.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is an Operations Management and Business Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses. 

We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Specialty Consumer Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions. 

If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Extraordinary Business: Getting it all Done!

Running a business takes a lot of work – there is always something else than needs to be done – customer service to provide, product and service development, marketing, following up on leads, etc..  With so much going on, many business leaders find themselves quickly overwhelmed and moving into states of under-producing and disappointment. Time Management

Unfortunately, like most things, unless something is done about it, nothing will change.  Additionally, if not addressed, there is a good chance of it getting worse, snowballing until there is no choice but to stop.  At this point, there is often no choice but to do things differently.

In order to be proactive, here are a few tips to get things under control, be more productive and more satisfied with your ability to get things done:

  1. Keep your tasks prioritize.  Focus on those things that are important and urgent and important and non-urgent.  Everything that is urgent isn’t necessarily important.
  2. Be decisive.  Sometimes this proves to be a challenge for some, but with practice and the understanding that you are running an organization, indecisiveness leads to a weak foundation and poor followership.
  3. Be wise in managing time. Use a block schedule. If there is a history of underestimating the time it takes to get things done, add a defined percentage of time to any task you’ve timed out. Over committing takes a lot of effort and creates a great deal of stress.
  4. Have stopping points in tasks and celebrate completion those parts of a larger task. This actually help alleviate stress and make tasks less of a burden.  Celebration may be as simple as taking a quick break.
  5. Neither of these (3 & 4) means lowering the set standards, but it means, rather, taking the time to do things right. Many people tend not to work as well or do as good a job under stress (although there are those that do!)
  6. Don’t stress!  Getting physiologically flustered is inefficient.  If the same effort and energy was displaced to getting the work done, the work would get done that much faster.
  7. Considers hiring an administrative professional. Virtual administrative professionals can prove to be the best thing that ever happened to a business, without the cost and commitment of a full-time or part time employee.  Virtual professionals often have expertise in specific areas and are often quick to grasp concepts, work much faster and take responsibility for their work.
  8. Above all – don’t give up.  Focus on one thing at a time.  Other things have their own, unique set of challenges.
  9. Keep focused on the clear, concise vision.  If there is no vision, it just won’t work.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is an Operations Management and Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.

We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.

If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary Business,Management and Leadership,Stress,Time Management

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Getting to the Bottom of It

One of the challenges of running a small business is finding time to get j0400853everything done you need to get done in a short amount of time. I, for one, find it valuable to be able to post blogs on a weekly basis. I found that I was wasting a great deal of time creating my posts, reviewing them, publishing them, then finding out that they weren’t posted properly.

So important was my publishing, that I needed to find an offline editor that would work for me and my business. I needed to be able to include pictures, tags headlines, etc., and know that when I publish it, it will look like it did when it was on my computer.

Now – I have to admit, I didn’t have time for this right now. I have deliverables all over the place. I wish I could have handed this off to my secretary, but alas, I haven’t hired them yet. So I must do this myself.

This took me about an hour to do – something I normally would have completed on a Friday, when I normally do business building activities, but I need to use this for the rest of the week, so here I am. I had to make a choice – does the cost outweigh the benefit.

In this case, no, because this is something that I will use several more times this week, and this is how I add content to my website. Now, if it was something else…updating my MySpace page? I don’t think so – partially because I have very little clue about how to do this, and partially because I don’t see pulling many clients from there.

The lesson, here, is that anything you do in your business – networking, driving, purchasing new equipment or blogging – you’ve got to weight the cost versus the benefit you will get from it. While a new cell phone might be really cool, does it add to your brand or your productivity in a way that you can say “Yes – this will help to extend the company’s roots.

Technorati Tags: Management and Leadership,Cost Benefit,Decision Making
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