time management

Two Frogs

frogsIf you follow our blog or social media, you know that we are constantly boasting and bragging that our Virtual Assistants bring efficiency and time management to overworked clients. Perhaps you’re considering hiring your own Assistant and that’s why you’re here! If so, congratulations! That’s a big mile marker for many business owners and associations. Either way, we thought we would share some of our tips for maintaining a tight ship at the office.

Tackle the most difficult task first. If you can accomplish the task you have been putting off, you will get a boost of energy and motivation that will carry you through a much more productive day!

“If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.” -Mark Twain

Turn off alerts. A constant stream of email bings, text chimes and calendar reminders truly bring productivity to a halt. Yes, it’s true that sometimes we need to be available and accessible to clients and staff but let’s be honest, immediately responding to everything coming at us could be a full time job in itself! Treat your work time like a meeting. Phones off!

Time blocks. Start at 30 minutes, or even just 15! You’ll be amazed to see how much work you can accomplish in short, dedicated, time blocks. Sometimes the hardest part of a task is getting started. If you have long term projects that haven’t been moving forward, try working on them for 15 minutes a day, or week!

What’s stopping you? Have you come to a road block on certain projects? Or do you need more information from coworkers in order to complete a task? Take a close look at those items on your list that don’t seem to get crossed off. Determine what is stopping you from completing them and make a plan to get what you need, to get it done.

A more productive workday leads to more free time after work and we are all about that work/life balance. These small adjustments can add up and make a big difference in the amount of work you can accomplish. And a higher productivity leads to more motivation and confidence. Start your week out right by choosing a small change. You’ll be happy you did!

Fourth Quarter Success

Is it really that time already? The fall colors are coming into full bloom, football fills the television screen every Sunday (preferably Green Bay), evenings are brisk, chili is stewing in the crock pot, and the business year is soon coming to a close. Once Labor Day comes and goes, you know you need to ramp it up and knock your quotas out of the park. Hopefully fourth quarter will be your busiest and most successful one thus far. It doesn’t matter which key area makes your business flourish (new sales, mass production, promotional items, or new product lines); what truly matters is that you are prepared for fourth quarter success. How can you make this happen? Let me give you a few suggestions.

Tips to make fourth quarter a success:

  • Think “In the Now” – Not in the later! Hit the ground running and use that marketing budget to advertise. Send mass emails to clients, new customers, and prospects. Send reminders to old accounts which target new or existing products, or how they can use remaining inventory they may still have on shelves. Connect with the consumer and show them your best work.
  • focus“Gift Packages” – If you sell a product, bundle it in a new way. Make the product appealing. Send out free samples for advertising. Get the word on the streets that your product is the spotlight of the season. Possibly offer discounts, but never sell yourself short.
  • Call your BEST Customers – If you happen to sell products, call your wholesale buyers and remind them to stock up for an exceptional holiday season. If you are a consulting business, follow up to address client needs such as time management, priority management, and successful trends for beginning 2015. If you are a staffing business, call your clientele to ensure the business has prepped a successful workforce that ensures customer service goals are met and exceeded throughout holiday chaos.
  • Touch Base with Prospects – Do you have a list of those “unsure” potentials out there that were very interested in your product, but never sealed the deal by signing on the dotted line? It never hurts to check-in, give them a quick call, and see where their purchasing power resides. Maybe you’ll catch them at the perfect moment when they are ready to move forward and acquire your exceptional services.
  • Continue to Set Goals – Always remember how important it is to set goals. Without goals, what would we ever accomplish? We’d have nothing to work towards (new job positions within the company, larger office space, a bigger marketing and advertising budget, etc.). Set a specific dollar figure that your business needs to attain. Without specifics, goals become too vague and can’t be measured.  Once you have a goal in mind, break the dollars up into the remaining months and go for the gold.

These are just a few general tips on how to grow your business when you need a little extra push. For some of us, the holidays can be the craziest time of the year, and for others, a more relaxed time when money has run out for clients and work tends to slow down. Either way, it’s never a bad time to prepare for success.

My advice would be to never take your business for granted and realize that there can always be room for improvement. Touch base with clients, even if it’s a short “hello” or “how has the year been?” Simple communication can pay off ten-fold in the long term. Be courteous and appreciative to your customers, and never sell yourself short. You are an asset. Continue to set goals, build solid foundations, strengthen existing relationships, and make this fourth quarter your best yet!