Getting Organised Amongst Business Chaos

Everyone is time poor – how often, when you ask someone how they’re doing, do they respond with a simple “busy”? Sometimes, it’s with a smile – after all, being busy in business usually means money is coming in. Other times, their expression is more akin to utter exhaustion – being busy can leave us feeling drained and weary.  How do we get organised amongst all the business chaos?Getting organised in small business

We all have the same 24 hours each day, so how do we make the most of that time, feel organised and avoid becoming depleted of energy along the way?

Of course, there are simple things we can be doing every day to make sure we stay productive, have a great mindset and stay sane amongst all the chaos. Eating healthily, exercising throughout the day, taking scheduled breaks, maintaining a great filing system and using technology to your advantage are all great ways to get the most out of every day and stay organised.

Here at Bx, we strive to be implementing every single one of the above but we are huge fans of using apps and other bits of technology to our advantage.

Why apps to get organised?

Technology is everywhere – there’s no denying it, but instead of treating the influx of technology as a negative, we’ve chosen to treat it as a great opportunity. Apps can integrate with our phones as well as our desktop and keep us organised and productive throughout our days, no matter where we are. Which apps do we swear by?

Asana

Free for up to 15 users, Asana is a project management tool that keeps all your employees on the same page and across every detail of every project. It’s like a to-do list on steroids. It has changed the way we work at Bx in the last few years and turning back won’t be an option.

Life Cycle and Sleep Cycle

Using both these apps together lets you track your days and nights so that you know exactly how you’re using your time and what you need to do to improve your productivity. Life Cycle tracks your days, taking note of where you go and how long you spend doing certain activities. This is great for those workaholics amongst us who don’t even realise they spent 90 hours working this week. Meanwhile, Sleep Cycle tracks how long you sleep as well as the cycles within your sleep and wakes you up when you’re in the lightest stage of sleep.  

Evernote

If you’re carrying around your laptop, phone or tablet anyway, it doesn’t make sense to decide to add a notepad to your luggage so using Evernote is a great way to have the convenience of a notepad combined with the convenience of technology. Evernote allows you to take notes any time just like any other notebook app, but you can pull other documents into the app, videos, photos and snippets from the web to compile a notebook that fully encompasses your vision for whatever you happen to be working on.  Keep it all in the one place so you’re not wasting time searching for that great idea you had last week!

Have you found some great ways to use technology in your business? We’d love to know more about what works for you and your business and help you out by sharing our successes too. Call Bx on 1300 068 229, or find out more about what we do here http://www.businessforlife.com.au/ProgramFindOutMore

 

Do people skills matter in business?

In days gone by, technological expertise was more highly regarded than people skills. It was all about what you could do, not necessarily how you interacted with others while you did it. Now, that attitude has shifted quite dramatically. With technological advances, more and more jobs that involve manual labour are being replaced by automation and machines. People skills are more important than ever!

What are people skills?

Whether they’re referred to as social skills, people skills and interpersonal skills, they are essentially all the same; someone’s ability to communicate and interact with others in a positive way.

Those with people skills often exhibit:

  • Behaviour that builds trust easily
  • A reluctance to involve themselves in drama, power grabbing schemes or gossip
  • Respectful behaviour towards the people around them.
  • Great communication skills when it comes to explaining what they want
  • Tact when it comes to delivering bad or inconvenient news
  • Fantastic listening skills
  • A willingness to participate

Fortunately, artificial intelligence hasn’t grasped the concept of emotional intelligence just yet, so now is the chance to be developing our people skills in our businesses and making our businesses known for their exceptional interpersonal skills.

Not only do social skills really improve the relationship between owners and employees or amongst the employees themselves, these skills can also help when it comes to customer interactions or networking with fellow business owners.

How can we develop people skills?

Consciously considering what you’re good at when it comes to interacting with others in your day-to-day business life can be a great place to start developing those people skills. Awareness might be the first step but there is a multitude of different practical ways to be better at interacting with people:

  • Stand out! Are you prone to lurking in the corners at networking events or letting all your customers deal with an online feedback form rather than being accessible? Get out there and make yourself known to other people – just by taking the step towards being accessible is an improvement.
  • Ask personal questions. These shouldn’t be so personal that they make the other person feel uncomfortable. Simply asking what they’re passionate about or what they would do if they won the lottery could open them up and build trust between you.
  • Accept offers. Have you ever been at someone’s house or office when they’ve offered you a glass of water or a snack? How often do you say yes? Saying yes puts your host at ease, makes them feel like they’re being useful and it breaks the ice ever so slightly – if you’re not already in the habit of saying yes, now is the time to start.
  • Listen. It seems simple enough, but it’s one of the hardest things to do. Next time you’re in conversation with someone, listen intently, make eye contact, don’t interrupt and think about what has been said to you before you speak.
  • Ask for feedback. Not only does this give the other person a chance to talk, it shows that you’re willing to improve and it’s another way to build trust in business relationships – you care about what they have to say, and they’ll care about what you’re providing.

People skills are more important than ever – challenge yourself to start trying some of these ways to improve your own interpersonal skills and see how your business benefits from the stronger relationships you form.

Are you harnessing and developing your existing people skills to take your business to the next level? We’d love to speak with you about how we could help your business to improve its performance. Call Bx on 1300 068 229, or find out more about what we do here http://www.businessforlife.com.au/ProgramFindOutMore

Creating Loyal Customers & Raving Fans

It’s common knowledge that it’s easier to keep existing customers rather than winning over new ones, but this fact can sometimes get lost in amongst the pressure we all feel to be bringing in new customers and growing our business. We get distracted and we start neglecting those customers who have already engaged with us in the past.

Why should you shift your focus to your existing customers?

Have you ever considered how much time and money you spend trying to engage new customers through your marketing? Of course, you have to spend resources in order to make sales, but could some of those resources be better spent looking after your existing customers? Marketing is essential for growing your business, but how much of your marketing is going to people who were once your customers but left for a better solution? Save your time, money and energy by focusing more on your existing customers.

While we’re still talking resources, have you ever considered what will happen when all that marketing pays off? Does your business have all the resources ready to go if, suddenly, a swarm of new customers want to engage? If you become overwhelmed and can’t provide the new customers with the service you promised them or the existing customers with the service they’ve come to love, you could be running the risk of losing everyone all together.

How can you foster loyalty?

You’ve got customers, so how can you make sure they stay with you? It’s less about meeting their expectations and more about going above and beyond!

Be Transparent

Have you ever wanted to buy a product online, only to find they had no clear guide to shipping costs? Maybe it’s an oversight or perhaps it’s a deliberate omission to hide their astronomical prices. Either way, it’s not a good look. Laying everything out clearly for your customer to see is the best way to foster trust.

Be Accessible

Most of the time, it feels like you’re shouting into the void – your email campaigns might show increases in sign ups or sales but it’s less common to have your customers telling you exactly what they think. Provide them with an option to give you feedback and make it front and centre. Not only does it feel less like you’re talking to yourself, but it gives your customers a voice and opens up the communication between you.

Be Knowledgeable

If you were asking someone for directions in a big city, would you trust them if they weren’t even sure where they were or changed their mind constantly? Similarly, in business, it’s important you know where you’ve been, where you are now and where you’re going. Know everything you can about your business so that when, inevitably, a customer asks a question, you can give them a confident answer. How can they trust you if you’re not sure about something you’re supposed to be good at?

Be Consistent

Customers are big fans of consistency. It’s comforting to know that you’ll get the exact same great result every single time and if you are consistent, your customers will become even bigger fans of you. Never sacrifice quality for quantity, no matter how efficient you seem – it will ultimately make your customers lose faith in the service or product you provide.

Be Genuine

You might be selling your product or service but you’re also selling the experience of doing business. Having genuine, honest conversations will keep customers coming back for more and owning up to your mistakes, when you make them, will show your customers you care about the end result. It might seem like a small (and easy) thing, but being genuine could be the reason your customers choose you every time.

Start implementing some of these easy tips today and watch as your customers become raving fans!

 

If you want to find out more about creating Raving Fans or about what we do at Bx, feel free to book a quick 15-20 minute chat with me and we can talk. Book in HERE.

 

What Makes a Great Mentor? How to Find a Great Mentor.

Mentoring can be an extremely valuable experience, not only when you’re new to the business world, but right through the life of your business. There is a lot of time and effort involved in creating a successful and effective mentoring relationship and it should never be one-sided. So, what should you expect from your mentor and what should you be doing in return?

Your mentor should:

  • Be a sounding board. Sometimes, you need someone to bounce ideas off and mentors generally have more experience and business knowledge, making them the perfect sounding board for all your ideas, crazy, ambitious or even unrealistic.
  • Give you guidance.  After you’ve thrown ideas at them, you might be expecting your mentor to tell you exactly how you should make those ideas a reality, but unfortunately, that’s not what they’re there for. Rather than give you step-by-step instructions, their role is to offer guidance on what might work – the hard yards are all on you!
  • See the big picture for you. When your head is stuck in your business and deep in paperwork, it can be easy to lose sight of why you’re doing this in the first place. A mentor makes sure you don’t get bogged down or lost amongst all the busyness; your mentor keeps you moving forward, even when you’ve forgotten where you’re going.
  • Set clear boundaries. Are you unsure when the best time is to call your mentor? Do you have a set time to meet every week or month? How long is this mentor/mentee relationship intended to last? If you have a good mentor, you already know the answers to these. Clear boundaries mean that both of you know where you stand and what’s expected of you.

 

Your mentor should not:

  • Run your business for you. A mentor’s job is a little bit like someone helping you to run a marathon. They’re there to prepare you, to give you advice on what it’s like out on the course, but they’re not going to run alongside you every step of the way and make the decisions for you. You can expect them to cheer from the sidelines but expecting them to take up a role in your business is both unrealistic and unreasonable.
  • Tell you what you want to hear. Just like a great friend or a parent, a mentor doesn’t tell you what you want to hear, they tell you what you need to hear. This means that your mentoring journey won’t always be easy, but you can be assured that all of their advice – even if it’s confronting – is for your benefit as well as your business.
  • Be at your beck and call 24/7. The reason you have a mentor is because they know a thing or two about business – this usually means that they have their own, successful business to be running. As a consequence, calling or emailing them several times a day will wear thin very quickly. Respect your mentor’s time and be fully prepared for the designated time you spend together each week or month so you can get the most out of them while you can.

With clear boundaries, mutual respect and an enthusiasm for business, you’ll be on your way to creating a successful business mentoring relationship.

Do you need a mentor? Some coaching? Or just a conversation around getting a mentor?

Feel free to book a quick 15-20 minute chat with me and we can talk. Book in HERE.

 

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