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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
We’re here to tell you about the perks and benefits of bringing in an intern.
Interns can benefit you and your business in tremendous ways, so if you’ve ever considered hiring an intern but haven’t been sold on the idea, keep reading!
Interns are an incredibly valuable addition to any business. They are little to no cost but provide skills and a fresh perspective that could prove invaluable. By bringing in an intern, especially someone young and foreign to the processes and ways of your company, you could gain an outsiders perspective to the business.
Another perk of a young intern is that they could enhance your social strategy. Sit down with your intern and talk to them about what current social media strategies you have in place, if any. Go through your social media campaigns and ask them questions and listen to their ideas. Young people learnt social media from a personal level and may know features and tools that you haven’t thought about but could be useful for your businesses social media platform.
Interns provide an extra set of hands which could prove especially helpful if you run a small business and find some tasks aren’t getting as much attention. In saying that, don’t hire an intern purely because you need extra help. You should have a clear direction for your intern and an idea of where you want them to be by the time they have completed their internship with you. While the idea of free help is nice, and you should take advantage of that, you should also be mindful of what a fantastic opportunity it is to mentor your intern. Ensure you have time to mentor your intern, perhaps sit down and block out time with them to make sure they are getting briefed on what you expect from them and allow them to ask you questions. You get to guide them and if you provide a good experience, they will go on and tell their friends and family about your business and the workplace environment which results in free advertising for you and maintains a good reputation within the community.
By having a clear direction and plan for your intern and giving them responsibility to complete tasks that go beyond basic administrative duties, you can have a better indication of what kind of worker they are and if it would be worth employing them on a part-time or full-time basis once their internship is complete. Internships are brilliant ways to trial potential employees as you don’t lose money and you’re getting a person who you know wants to be there is willing to dedicate and donate their time to you and your business. While they undertake their internship, you should note what they do that you find valuable to your business, what your business could provide to them if they were a hired employee (e.g. learning experiences), and what their working relationship is like with fellow co-workers and yourself.
As we were saying before, you shouldn’t bring on an intern purely for the free-help. Some internships also come with financial benefits. This is another reason NOT to bring on an intern. The financial incentive may be enticing but if you don’t have a clear program or end goal for your intern, they will spend 4-12 weeks bored and will leave having wasted their time and having not learned anything. This will leave them with a bad impression of you and your business. Even if you don’t have the intent of hiring your intern once they’ve completed their internship, you should aim to have them gain something by the end of it. Be it a reference, a recommendation for another role, or just to have learned and furthered their skills within the internship. It cannot be a one-sided relationship. So, have a think about what you need and what you can offer. If you and your business are ready, bringing on an intern could be one of the best choices you make for your business and could lead to meeting a highly valued potential employee. A great book to read which outlines an internship well for both the intern and host is Etiquette of an Intern by Kate Stagg.
Earn whilst they learn
The governments PATH Internship program is a great way to employ youth. From 1 April 2017, a new voluntary 4 to 12 week Internship Programme commenced as part of the Youth Employment Package.
Job seekers are eligible to participate if they are:
- 17 to 24 years of age
- receiving an income support payment
- registered in either jobactive, Transition to Work or Disability Employment Services, and
- have been receiving employment services for 6 months or more
Participants will automatically be paid a new $200 fortnightly supplement. This will be in addition to their income support payment and will not be treated as income for social security means testing purposes. Hosts also get paid $1000 to host them throughout the placement with job placement at the end if they are successful.
Do you want more advice on ways to grow and improve your business? Come see us at OnPoint Strategy today or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Customers are remarkably important in any business.
They are a valuable asset that can help you grow and give you direction. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) refers to a specific software/system that is designed to help keep track of your leads and clients and your interactions with them. CRM software allows you to record all of your clients’ personal details and can help organise them in segments that mirror each part of your own specific sales process.
Regardless of the size of your business, having a CRM software in use is going to be a big help to you. We’re going to go through 4 big ways you can benefit from CRM!
CRM Integrations and Automation
Integration is a brilliant way to save time and allow you to focus on some of the more important parts of your role. By integrating all the many systems that manage things such as accounting, mailing, quotes, etc. that take up your time on a daily basis, you’re able to let the CRM take some of the control and responsibility as it automates the smaller tasks and allow you to focus more on your customers and less about making sure the finer details are updated.
If you look at the example below, you can have a more clear understanding of how we can use CRM and integrations. As you can see by looking at the image below, the forms from the website speak directly to the CRM software, Insightly CRM in this case. From there, the CRM automatically updates the appropriate MailChimp list, the quoting system Quotient, and the accounting system QuickBooks. Insightly also updates each incoming client on which pipeline stage they are in, being a lead, an opportunity, or placing them in the project stage.
You benefit by having integrations and automation set up in your CRM software as it remembers things that might slip your mind, in your busy day to day life. You will receive follow-ups on quotes, you have a clear indication of on-going projects and what stage your clients are in, and your mailing list will always be updated ensuring a clear line of communication with your leads and clients, or customers.
CRM allows you to store information about a large range of clients and leads and records your interaction with each of them. It allows you to see what stage of the pipeline they are in, allowing you to better understand what you need to provide them, and what they need to do to get the best out of your service. By having everything stored and recorded in one system, you avoid the awkward fumbling between files and papers in the office and allow you to simply bring up your selected client and access everything you need within minutes.
CRM not only allows you to build upon and strengthen the relationships with your clients, but it also helps manage your reputation. In order to maintain success in your business, listening to both your potential and active clients and ensuring their needs are being met quickly is crucial. A good reputation and customer relationship will bring in more business. People like to know that they’re being heard, especially when they’re paying for a service. As we spoke about in the automation and integration portion of this post, by having your CRM set up you’re able to ensure a clear line of communication between you and your client and having all of their data and information in one spot will help you answer their questions as they come and won’t leave you blindsided or fumbling through files to find the necessary information.
Going Paperless with CRM Software
By utilising a CRM system, you are going to be doing the environment a favour by cutting out all of the unnecessary files and forms that are not only bad for the environment but also clutter your office and workspace. CRM software allows you to digitalise all of the important information about your clients and customers, as well as allow you to scan and upload documents to your client files. This means you can ditch the endless stacks of paper in your office and have everything you need easily accessible through one portal.
These are only a few of the benefits that you will find once you jump in to CRM. You will find more and more ways that it can benefit you, your business, your staff and most importantly, your customers. If you’re looking to implement a CRM system in your workplace, we recommend looking at Zoho and Insightly. However, your budget and specific needs might prefer another system. Regardless of what system you choose, CRM is undoubtedly necessary for your business and we hope this blog post helps you in strengthening and growing in the customer relationship journey.
Would you like to find out how we can help you and your business with the use of a CRM? Contact OnPoint! Strategy today email@example.com or call +61 435 718 193