Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Monday, October 12, 2009

Three Tips for Effective Time Management for Professionals

Is time management one of your biggest challenges? You are certainly not alone if that is the case. Many small business owners and other professionals are always looking for ways to make better use of their time. If finding a way to implement strategies for effective time management is something that appeals to you, you may find the tips and ideas presented here to be beneficial. Keep in mind that not everyone has the same time management problems. Look for tips that can have a positive impact on your own personal time management challenges.

3 Time Management Tips for Professionals
1. Get Organized – If you are disorganized, you’ll end up spending a lot of time each day looking for things, which is a complete waste of your time. Instead of wasting time searching for items, set aside a chunk of time to get organized and include time in each week’s to-do list to spend time getting re-organized. When you get in the habit of doing this, everything in your office will be in it’s proper place so you won’t find yourself wasting time searching for items that aren’t where they should be.

2. Reduce Socializing at Work – If people tend to stop by your office regularly to socialize, and you find yourself getting embroiled in lengthy conversations that keep you from taking care of your work responsibilities, you have a time management challenge caused by too much socializing. Consider rearranging your workspace so that it’s difficult for people to camp out in your workspace for long periods of time. Try placing the visitor’s chairs in your office so they aren’t right by the entrance to your office, or place stacks of books or files in the chairs. You may also want to get into the habit of standing up when people enter your office. This can be a signal to them to keep the conversation short and sweet.

3. Plan Your Work Wisely – When coming up with a plan for getting your work completed, think about what times of day or days of the week seem to work best for certain tasks. If you experience a drop in energy during the afternoon, schedule tasks that you consider mundane – such as filing or updating your computerized contact directory – for that time of day. If you are at your most energetic during the morning hours, use that time to contact prospective clients and to work on those parts of your job that require maximum creativity and energy. If the phone seems to ring endlessly on Friday afternoons, make sure that you’ve taken care of all of your deadline work for the week before then.

Article taken from the Small Business Channel at American Banking News - October 11

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Business Marketing Tips

As interviewed: John Jantsch, Founder, Duct Tape Marketing for Score.org

What are some starting points for crafting an effective
marketing strategy?

1. Talk to your customers. They have a better sense of what makes you unique—the things that generate loyalty and referrals. Ask them what you do that they like, and you may be surprised by the responses. It may well be the little things that set you apart.

2. Build a network of strategic partners. Surround yourself with best-of-class providers of products and services that customers need. Recommend them to your customers and they’ll do the same for you. During the recession, organizations that delivered these kinds
of referrals didn’t suffer much.

What are some helpful metrics a small business should consider for gauging the effectiveness of a marketing strategy?

Setting goals for revenue and profit are obvious choices. But also consider percentage of business from referrals, and satisfaction factors that your customers say make the difference for them.
Again, you’ll likely uncover qualities about your business that you’d never thought of.