Category

Time Management

Stop Letting Time Slip Away

Time Keeps On Slipping

By | Time Management, Uncategorized | No Comments

Stop Letting Time Slip Away

“Half the time men think they are talking business, they are wasting time”

 

Edgar Watson Howe (1853-1937)

 

We leak quite a bit of time. How much of your effort is not bringing you the results you desire?

 

I was once coaching an individual about his business. I was volunteering for a business incubator and had discovered that he had very little revenue and faced the possibility of losing his home. When I asked him what he planned to do for the next two weeks, his response was: “Work on my website.”

“For two weeks? How are you driving people interested in your service to your website? What are you doing to convert website visitors to customers? What you have is a revenue problem that can best be resolved with a little more shoe leather. Since you do not have the money to spend in advertising, you are going to have to distribute flyers, knock doors, subcontract or get a job.”

What in your business are you doing that does not have a clear method of moving people through the stages of service?

 

Too much material when you're done?

Shrinkage

By | Accounting, Cost Controls, Finance, Time Management | No Comments

Eliminate Waste!

“To me an unnecessary action, or shot, or casualty, was not only waste but sin.”

 

T.E. Lawrence (1888 – 1935)
The real-life “Lawrence of Arabia”

 

Last week I built a wood shed in my back yard. It’s nothing extravagant and only holds about a cord of wood. As I started building I realized that I had not adequately drawn out my plans.

 

The result: Wasted materials and wasted time.

 

It’s fine now. I got it put together and ready for our first cord for the winter. However, I could have saved myself about 30% of the time I spent building it and saved myself 20% on materials. I also have some materials left over that I know can be good for something besides burning it to heat my home.

 

Every day, businesses waste time and materials. Material lost between product and sale in accounting terms is called “shrinkage”. (By the way – this is not the same shrinkage Seinfeld joked about.)

 

After completing a project or a batch – look around at what is left over. Create a plan to reduce the waste.

 

If your business is about service, how can you complete it more quickly?

funnel-150x150

Stop Leaking

By | Marketing, Time Management | No Comments

“One leak will sink a ship: and one sin will destroy a sinner.”

 

John Bunyan (1628-1688)
English Christian Writer and Preacher

 

I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about leaks. Businesses are full of leaks.

  • Lost Leads
  • Return Customers
  • Expenses
  • Extra Product
  • Time
  • Effort

 

So I think for the next few emails, I will expound on these leaks and look for ways to overcome them.

 

Let’s talk about lost leads, first. Often we talk about customers and putting them into a funnel. We identify who they are and then strategically move them through the process. The idea being that eventually everyone who starts in your funnel will move down.

 

What this concept lacks is the fact that leads and potential customers choose to leave the funnel for a variety of reasons.

 

Before you can create the systems to catch and keep these leads, you have to first understand who they are and why they leave. Just talking to lost leads may get your wheels turning on how you can capture them.

 

Bonus Tip: Sometimes just calling them is enough to get them back into the funnel.

sudoku

Sudoku

By | Leadership, Time Management | No Comments

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”

 

Jim Rohn (1930 – 2009)
Entrepreneur and Author  

 

 

 

Sarah (my wife) loves Sudoku. Not only does she enjoy it, she’s good at it, too. Saturday, I started a Sudoku. I think I’ve discovered the secret:

Systems and Discipline.

 

There are three ways to make sure a system is used:

  1. White-knuckled will. In his book Willpower, Roy Baumeister discusses how willpower is truly like a battery The more you use it, the less you have until you recharge it. The harder the choice to make, the more willpower it demands. Too many decisions in a short time will leave us unable to make good choices.
  2. Develop an accountability system. Create a way to track completion, effectiveness and success. Develop consequences and rewards for following systems.
  3. Create a system that eliminates the need for decision making. It is easier to decide to eat healthy food if you have eliminated the option of junk food and begin preparing meals before you are hungry.

So which solution are you depending on?

 

Eliminate the Need For Willpower:

 

Leadership Boot Camp

Next-Level Leadership

(Cafe Noir – October 5, 8a-12p)

  • Leadership FUN-dementals
  • Creating and Selling Your Vision
  • Managing Hidden Agendas and Conflict
  • The Next Level of Leadership

 

 

===People crowd walk follow leader holding flag

Leadership Vs Management

By | Leadership, Time Management | No Comments

“Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out. “

Stephen Covey (1932-2012)

Author: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

 

I’ve talked before about the difference between leadership and management. I believe that leadership is casting the vision, deciding the direction, effectively communicating it, designing the process/steps necessary, and assembling the right people to make it happen.

Management, on the other hand is the plodding march that must take place to achieve that vision. It means making the hard decision, cutting the fluff where necessary, and holding everyone accountable for their part. The toughest part of management is not holding others accountable. The toughest part is holding yourself accountable.

Jumping from 7 Habits to E-Myth:
Leadership is an Entrepreneur skill.
Management (not surprisingly) is a Management skill.

Most of us have a hard time being both. Figure out which you are good at. Find someone to help you fill out the other.

You can’t survive without both of them.

time drip

Where Did Your Week Go!?!?!

By | Time Management | No Comments

“By failing to prepare,
your prepare to fail.”

 

Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790)
Known as “The First American”
(Note: This quote is also attributed to John Wooden)

 

We often get to the end of the week and ask: “What did I do all week!?!? Wasn’t I busy all week!?!?”

 

I usually ask this question when I have not planned my week. I let my week drive me rather than me directing it. I would go from appointment to appointment and work on projects when I thought of them. At the end, I had lots of OK meetings – sometimes not with the right people. I had worked on several projects – but not completing any of them.

 

Here are a few things I have found to be most effective for me:

  1. Plan the year
    Know each month what your marketing, operations improvements and staffing changes you will need.
  2. Plan the month
    Get important events on the calendar – chamber luncheons, education opportunities, family commitments. Make sure you block out time for doing your books, making new contacts and working on following through with your annual plan.
  3. Plan the week
    Plot out on your week when you will work on which project and what part of the project. Make sure there is time for your paperwork and accounting – I have found those are the most procrastinated tasks.
  4. Plan the day
    Make a to do list before you start the day. Some prefer to do it the night before, others first thing in the morning. I don’t believe it matters. Once you have your to-do list, put a time to it. Respect your own time and don’t let other people destroy your plan.

Would love to hear if this helps you or not. Is there something that you do differently? Send me an email or leave a comment!