You Should Simplify Your Business
Creativity, energy, and drive are three terrific attributes that will serve you well on your quest to turn your business into a success. But it’ll mean nothing if your work time is bogged down in the nitty, gritty, messy details that can sidetrack you from your aim. These details tend to lap on top of each other, creating a mess that can soon spiral out of control. As such, you need to strip away the things that don’t matter. You need to simplify. There’s not an organisation – or come to think of it, person – on the planet who wouldn’t benefit from trimming away some of the loose edges of their working day. Here are a few steps as to how that’s achieved.
The 15 Minute Meeting
Think of how many meetings you’ve held in the past month. How long did they run, on average? And how much, being totally honest, was achieved? We’re not here to make accusations; the simple stats show that too many meetings are held unnecessarily. Once you factor in the amount of time and organising meetings take, you’ll soon find that you’ve lost more time than you would care to know. If you must have a meeting – and think carefully about whether you do – then keep them limited to fifteen to thirty minutes. It might feel rushed, but you’ll soon find that if you can’t say it in this amount of time then you’ll be unlikely to be able to say it in an hour or two anyway.
Take Care Of Problems Before They Become Problems
Our businesses become a mess when problems appear from nowhere. They appear, divide our attention, then we’re on the backfoot for one task while another is just around the corner. Pay the small bills as they come in. Invest in a solid computer maintenance management system to ensure you’re on top of any technical problems that might crop up. If an important email comes in that requires a short reply, it’s much easier to spend 90 seconds replying to it rather than letting it sit in your inbox. You can’t stop all problems from occurring, but the ones that you can should not be affecting your business.
Outsource The Heavy Duty Work
There’s a lot of tasks that need to be taken care of when you run a business, such as accounting, tax, and so forth. You probably can take care of these yourself, but if you’re not trained to do so, then why would you? They’ll only distract you from performing the tasks that you can actually contribute your expertise to. It’s never been easier to outsource the work that’s just a little too complicated for you to take care of in a time- and cost-effective manner. You’ll also be able to rest in the knowledge that the important tasks are being taken care of by a professional.
Your marketing approach is going to be – has to be – sophisticated. That area is simply too big to be ignored, and you’ll find a lot of energy goes into getting the word out about your company, especially in the early days. But the different forms of marketing outlets you incorporate into your business will have different needs and voices. It’s too difficult to have one single message and then adapt it for your different platforms. Instead, you should compartmentalize your marketing strategy into a number of different areas. It might sound more complicated, but it’s not – this way, they’ll be no wires to be crossed, no awkward messages shoe-horned in one page to the next.
Focus on the Task
When it comes to setting out for your agenda for the day, be aware that any list you create is unlikely to be grounded in reality. It will be a pie in the sky wish list that is far too ambitious to be completed. Instead, don’t worry so much about setting out your tasks for the day and bringing them all to completion. Focus on one task. However many you get through, then, well, that’s how many you get through. If you’re an effective worker it’s better to do one task in a day properly rather than blast through ten only to correct them days later.
It’s not all that easy to properly devote your time and attention to any one task when there’s always the threat of being interrupted by the buzzing of phones and pings of emails. They’ll divert your attention for a few seconds, but they’ll rob you of many more minutes’ worth of your concentration. You can look into getting an automated phone receptionist if you think that’ll work, or outsourcing your calls altogether and get them screened. As for emails and your personal phone – get rid of them. You shouldn’t have your email page open if it’s going to notify you when a new one comes in. Wait until you have spare fifteen minutes and then check your emails.
Group the Tasks
In any given week you might have a whole bunch of tasks that need to be completed. It is hard, however, to jump from one task to the next, as each one requires a new burst of energy that can difficult to muster, even though it’s essential for the job to be done properly. If you have a list of tasks, group them together by theme. This will allow you to jump from one task to the next in a natural way, without having to break concentration or “start again”. Give it a try – it really works!
Stay on top of Procrastination
If you can just get going for two minutes, you’ll likely get going until the job is complete. The problem is, most people never even begin the first two minutes. Simplifying your office mentality involves eliminating procrastination. Harder said than done, for sure, but you can get creative: allow yourself to have 5-10 minutes of “nothing” time before jumping into something new. The same also goes for your office workers. You’ll be productive in no time!