Apart from Christmas, do you allow yourself time off throughout the year?
With Christmas soon upon us, a lot of business owners let go of the guilt surrounding taking a break from their business. Whether it’s because you know your clients are off, allowing yourself that permission to have time off too, or whether you simply want time off with the family and you firmly believe its ok to unwind. Either way, use the break wisely to unwind and approach the new year with a new outlook and approach.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What has gone really well this year?
- What would I have done differently?
- Do I have any regrets?
- Have I done everything I set out to do this year?
- If money were no obstacle, what would I do before the end of the year?
Following these questions write a letter to yourself with the questions and your answers, place it in a stamped envelope and address it to yourself. Gift it to a friend and tell them to make note of where they put it in their diary to send it to you 1st December next year. It’s always a surprise to receive a letter from yourself 12 months down the track and can contain information you may have forgotten, along with pride of how far you have come.
Business is hard, its time consuming, but done right, it can be so worthwhile. To all the business owners out there reading this, here is to 2019, may it bring you everything you strategically plan to achieve.
Looking for a strategic plan for 2019? Contact us to discuss how we can help you take the next step email@example.com
What is a default diary and how does it differ from a regular, every-day planner?
Productivity is something everyone struggles with, especially when managing and maintaining a business. It can often feel like there’s no catching up and you’re being endlessly bombarded with new tasks. Creating a default diary and putting it to regular use is one of the most effective ways to manage and improve your time management.
What is it?
A default diary is a specific plan that details all of the most important tasks you need to face within a week. You might look at it as a plan for your ideal week. While your every-day planner may only include planned work commitments, whether that is business meetings, conferences, or personal commitments like going to the gym or going out for dinner with friends, a default diary blocks out time for tasks that need to get done, with space in between to allow for those last-minute meetings or unforeseen emergencies. Default diaries allow you to block out large blocks of time to help give you a guide on what you should be working on. Of course, you can’t expect to get it all done perfectly but it allows you to take a look at the time you have and work out where your time could be better spent.
How do I get started?
Sit down and work out what you need to get done in the week and take in to consideration what tasks may not be getting enough attention. Do you have to make regular client calls, are your emails getting out of hand, or are your staff and interns perhaps not getting enough attention? Ensure that you automate everything you can, this not only makes it easier for you, but it gives you extra time to devote to other tasks. When creating your default diary, consider when you work best and what gets in your way the most. What distracts you the most and what do you find to be the more difficult aspects of your role? What do you find are your strengths and where do you find you make the most progress? If you can pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses before creating your default diary, it will be easier to stick to your plan and work out your most productive timeline.
What if I don’t stick to it?
The great thing about the default diary is you can change and adapt it as much as you like! If you try it and find that it’s not working, mix it up. Take a look at what time specific tasks are getting done and try changing it. You may find going through your emails first thing in the morning works better for you, or you may like to go through them at the end of the day. You also might find that you’re giving yourself too little or too much time to do one thing. Take notes of how long it’s taking you to do tasks and rework your diary to match your pace. You’ll find that the more you do, the more you’ll learn how long it takes you to do certain tasks. The default diary is in place to help YOU so if you don’t understand it, change it so that you do! If you find printing it out and having it on your wall motivates you more, go for it! This is a tool to work and change to assist you and ensure your time is being put to good use.
Some Tips to Keep in Mind
Make sure you make time to block out your lunch. It may not seem as important when you’ve got work piled up to your ears but taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of your business.
Ensure that you block our client nurture time. If you have a day you meet your clients for lunch or coffee, make sure you include this time in your default diary. This will encourage you to keep contact even on the days and weeks that you don’t have anything booked.
Lastly, introduce the concept to your team. Get them to block out their time and perhaps go through it at weekly reviews and see how everyone is doing. This not only keeps them accountable, but you also get a clear understanding of how your team are spending their time.
You can check out an example of a default diary here. You may like to use Google Calendar, Outlook, or you may like to write it down. However you approach it, we hope creating your own default diary helps improve your time management and reduces those work-overload induced stresses.
Do you find yourself losing control of your business and don’t know where all your time is going? Contact OnPoint Strategy for help today at firstname.lastname@example.org
In our post about CRM we mentioned setting up automation using integrations within your CRM software.
We’re going to dive a little more in to that and explain why integrations are important, and how they’re going to make your life and managing your business much easier.
Integrations are a great way to keep track of your customers and what stage of the sales pipeline they are in. They ensure that the information that moves between your CRM software, your website, and your social media platforms flows seamlessly. Using integrations ensures that you don’t forget about some of the smaller, more important parts in your business that may slip through the cracks.
By integrating your systems, you’re guaranteed an excess of time you had previously wasted manually entering data. This could include invoices, it might be updating mailing lists, or maybe client or customer details. With an integrated system, you are more likely to receive accurate data, whereas there is more room for error in having multiple manually managed systems.
If we revisit the image we provided in our CRM blog post, we can explore the integration process in a little more detail.
Your Website & CRM
We can see that the website is integrated with the desired CRM software. This means that if a potential lead comes along and fills out a form on the website to reach contact with the business, the information provided will automatically be sent to the CRM and will be added to the appropriate list or segment. From there, that information will be sent to the integrated mailing system which will take the information we have collected, the email address being the most important part here as it is our way of contact and will add that person to the appropriate list so that we can send them our desired content.
We then have our quoting systems and accounting systems integrated which feed information back and forth between the two, which also link back to the CRM. You can see that by integrating these systems, information is accurately shared between each platform without you having to do much at all. This saves you precious time that could be spent elsewhere.
Integrations provide a clear and clean way of communicating information between different systems. This can help promote a stronger line of communication between you and your leads, clients, and customers. By having your systems integrated, you are less likely to find errors in your data, you are more likely to keep track of important information, as well as having all of your information located in one place for ease-of-access.
Integrations allow you to make time for other parts of your role while having peace of mind that your data and information is getting to where it needs to.
If you want to learn more about ways to improve your business, get in contact with OnPoint Strategy at email@example.com
Do you separate your business banking from your personal banking?
Come end of tax year are your accounts in a shamble’s? A simple step to streamline your small business accounting is to set up a business account for all business transactions. Need a personal wage, just transfer into your personal account each week, it’s that simple. We have personally worked alongside Gavin Lawrence at ANZ and highly recommend his service. Though all banks offer business banking options, so it’s best to find the bank best tailored to your needs.
Business Credit Card vs No Credit Card
Those that have fantastic money management skills would be well suited to purchasing using a credit card, solely because paying it off monthly would be easily managed. However, those that aren’t that skilled at money management, I would advise against it especially during the early days of business. The main perk to having a credit card is gaining spending points through other companies such as flights or for the actual credit itself.
Budgeting in your business – Hand your card over!
With technology advances, the best way to subconsciously not spend is to not carry your business card around. Keep it stored in a safe place and not in your wallet. Should you require it for an unplanned spend, make sure to have it saved on the ‘Wallet’ app of your iPhone. The wallet app allows you to Pay-pass with the digital version of your card. It’s totally safe and is only activated by the Eftpos machine when your finger is on the scanner for identification.
Connect with an accountancy software
No matter what business you are starting, to implement an accountancy software very early on makes for excellent business practice. Software such as Quickbooks enables you to scan your receipts directly into the software meaning for an easy reconciliation come end of tax year. The software gets directly linked to you accounts so you can see have you are tracking direct from the phone app if required.
Looking to set up a business? Contact us to discuss how processes in your business can ease up time for yourself firstname.lastname@example.org
Going paperless, how organised are you?
For most of us that run a business, our spouse and children rarely know where we will be on any set day. A tactic that I undertook was to implement a digital calendar that would work for both family and staff across all devices. Lose the paper, save the trees (and your sanity 😉
Here are a few perks in order to help you move over to Google calendar
Sync it | Whether you have an android or Apple Smart phone, Google Calendar works across all devices. Different apps also exist if you prefer a different layout!
Integrations | Should you use other software across your business such as a CRM, Google has integrations in place for most software providers.
Multiple calendars | One of the most important principles of calendaring is using multiple calendars, which allows personal, business and departmental appointments to be kept separate or shared as need be.
These can be created from the ‘my calendars’ drop down. Alternatively, calendars can be shared with specific people. Numerous third-party calendars can also be imported and viewed or switched off as needed.
Embed your calendar | Depending on your line of work, you may wish to show people your availability and embed your calendar (or one of them) on your website. There is a pretty easy way of setting this up if you have WordPress access to your website. Here’s how to do it.
Go to the gear icon and visit settings. Next, choose the calendar you want to embed from the list on the left. Finally, copy the text in the embed section.
Receive a daily agenda | A useful but very hidden feature is to receive a daily email digest of all Calendar events, a handy way to stop them sneaking up on you and missing appointments.
Accessed by clicking the gear icon > settings> select the calendar you want> go to general notifications and choose ‘daily agenda’ box, then select ‘email’.
Looking to organize your life? Contact us to discuss how processes in your business can ease up time for yourself email@example.com
Do you wake up each morning to an inbox half full of spam?
Most of the time we subscribe to marketing material without even realising or we are simply added without our consent. Do you have a steady stream of marketing emails each day? If so you are going to want to read what’s coming next… Unsubscribing, the new time saver!
Set up your email to handle sifting
Dependent on what email software you use, there is a way to separate emails with the simple click of a button. Google has coloured stars, Apple Mail has coloured flags. No matter what email software you use, put a colour code system in place to organise your mail.
The simple answer, it will save you time! Rather than unsubscribing one by one (a major business disruption) you simply highlight the email by flagging or starring it, in the allocated colour associated with ‘Unsubscribe’. Then once a month during a time where you have a small amount of time, dedicate yourself to unsubscribing from the entire list you have built up over the month. As months go by (and as long as you aren’t a serial subscriber) you will see that list when you wake get smaller and smaller. In the long run this will save you time on a daily basis from going through such a long list of emails.
What if there is no unsubscribe button?
Look upon these emails as pure spam, don’t respond or associate with them, simply mark as spam or delete. In time they will stop if they see they have received no response. Unfortunately due to most businesses using online practices, most businesses will be targeted by direct sale emails.
Looking to put some processes in place for your business? Contact us to discuss how processes in your business can ease you up time firstname.lastname@example.org