The end of the year always seems to come in a rush. So much to do - so little time. Co-ordinating marketing campaigns, sales, deliveries, staffing and, of course, managing the Christmas break. The list of what needs to get done at this time of year can become overwhelming. Sometimes we are not even aware of how much time is taken up with the various projects we may have on the go at once.
That is where technology can come to the rescue. You just need to know what is available and which tools to use.
Here are 6 time management tools that can help you improve productivity.
With Toggl you can keep better track of the time you spend working on projects and tasks and is an excellent alternative to time-sheets. Effective time management starts with being clear on how much time you are actually spending on your projects and tasks, and then through careful analysis, working out how you can better manage them.
Another option to look at is...
When you’re speaking to someone face to face, it’s easy to understand what they’re saying. After all, we don’t only speak with our mouths; we actually communicate using our bodies too. When face to face, you can read someone’s hand gestures, body language, tone of voice and facial expressions. All of this makes it very easy to understand what the person is saying.
Online it’s a whole different story. When you’re communicating with someone via email, forums or even webcasts it’s not always so easy. You don’t have the ability to gather visual feedback in the same way.
However, by following a few simple rules you can make your digital communication a whole lot easier.
#1 - Write clearly. It’s often difficult to write down what is actually quite easy to say. But writing in a long-winded way can be confusing to the reader. Instead, think about what you mean to say and write in short, clear...
As a business owner no-one knows your business better than you do. Even when struggling, you actually know the steps you need to take with your business, but systemizing those steps into “do-able” chunks can be a lot more difficult. There are also many “small” questions that come up as you build our business, and having someone to turn to can be a great help. Even just having a person to run your idea by for vetting can be a life saver. In these situations, one-to-one coaching can really help.
How do you decide if coaching can benefit you? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
#1 - Could I use an impartial person to run my ideas by?
Your friends and family may be great to turn to for help, but remember they are slightly biased. It doesn’t help if they don’t specifically understand the inner dealings or your business or market.
Having an impartial person dissect your ideas and plans can be very useful, offering a new...
When your computer is for personal use, a crash can be a real pain if your data wasn’t backed up. If the computer you’re using to run your business isn’t backed up, a crash could be devastating. It could take months to replace the data you lose, and much of it you may have to be rebuilt, costing you precious time and money. You need a line of protection against this kind of loss.
The first line of protection for your computer is getting software to protect it from viruses, worms, and other malicious software that could ruin or steal information or even compromise your whole computer system. While many people spend a lot of money on software programs, there are great virus scanners, and other protective software online for free. And even if you do spend some money, it’s worth protecting your computer and everything on it.
Just because you have protective software, doesn’t mean it’s...
Crafting a marketing plan will help you understand how to get the word out about your offerings. Not only that - as you develop the marketing plan, you’ll also come up with new products and services to provide for your audience. It doesn’t matter if your business is big or small; a marketing plan will help you achieve the results you desire. Your marketing plan can be one page or longer.
Here is a checklist of what you need to do.
* Create a Mission Statement – It can be as simple as describing what you do, for whom, why you do it, and how you do it. It’s just one to three sentences. The best way to create a good mission statement is to look at other mission statements and try to fill in the blanks with your own thoughts for your audience.
* Describe Your Target Audience – You should be able to describe your target audience easily. If you do the research and get to know your audience, you should be able to pick out and describe one...
We know that some people have a natural tendency to be organized – and others, not so much. Regardless of your preferences there are numerous benefits to being in control and developing a clutter-free lifestyle.
When organized you are automatically less stressed, you know where your keys, wallet, important papers, phone charger and phone are. Similarly, if your project plan is up to date and you complete your reports on time, there’s no need to worry about on-the-spot requests for project updates or meetings.
Planning your time and keeping up-to-date means you can allocate time for everything in your life, including downtime. Being organized means, you won’t get sidetracked or panicked by not being able to find important items. You’ll be punctual and more productive.
You can be prepared for last-minute requests or deadlines because you’re not distracted by untidiness or the...
Given the current environment many of you may be working from home for a while yet.
When you're working from home you should always be looking for ways to increase your productivity. More work done in less time means more time to kick back, relax and have fun. Here are a few suggestions that can really make a difference:
Some people who are new to working from home will scoff at the idea of anything resembling a daily schedule. The truth, though, is that it can really boost productivity and prevent work from spilling over into your spare time. By starting and stopping work at approximately the same times every day, you ensure you'll have plenty of time to recharge afterwards, which is ultimately great for productivity.
Something as simple as a daily to-do list can do wonders for your productivity. Sure, deciding on the spot what to do next has a certain charm, but it leaves you spending too much time on deciding, and too little on...
Local marketing is important for any small business. Even if your business is mainly web based you may find that local marketing is still beneficial. Here are some tips to help you build your local marketing campaign:
Build your reputation. Nothing ensures local marketing success more than positive word of mouth. Build a positive business reputation by going beyond what is expected and providing excellent customer service.
Many customers are willing to pay a little extra to get great customer service and individual attention. By building your business to provide this, you ensure that you can retain your customers longer and even raise your rates a little in some cases.
Spread the word. Talk to locals about your business. Social media has become very powerful recently due to the current quarantine situation. Use the variety of social media channels to connect with your market. Promote through your own business page...
As COVID-19 slowly makes its way across the world and into our towns and cities, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to remain calm and not panic.
We have been told by authorities to say in our homes in order to prevent spread, but that does not mean that we should go crazy inside and solely focus our attention on what is happening with the world outside. Worry and anxiety is a natural reaction when we don’t know what will happen with our businesses or how we will come through this pandemic, but we mustn’t let it control us.
Try to limit how much news you watch, especially some of the reporting that only propagates fear and anxiety. First and foremost, get updates and facts from reliable sources, and then focus your attention elsewhere.
You can avoid contact with other people and wash your hands more carefully, but your ability to remain calm comes from within. That means you’ll have to take the necessary steps in reducing your stress and anxiety...
Many small business owners lack a strategic plan for their business, usually for one of two reasons: either they think that strategic planning is what big companies do therefore, it’s not for them or they don’t understand the advantages of having a strategic plan in place.
However, without an overall strategy, a business lacks the direction it needs to be successful. Businesses may set financial goals, client acquisition goals, or any number of goals, but unless these goals are placed within the framework of a larger strategy, they lose their impact. It can be very easy to go off on tangents whilst pursuing individual goals and by the time the end of the year rolls around, you are miles off course from where you hoped you’d be.
Strategic planning for a small business doesn’t need to be difficult or time consuming, but your plan does need to identify what you want to accomplish and how you intend to achieve those goals.
If you want to start developing...