Set Your Business Up For Success With the Right Systems

Set Your Business Up For Success With the Right Systems

At Bx, we are huge fans of systems, both for our own businesses and for our clients. Systems allow your business to run more smoothly and provide the foundations for growth. They improve the experience of working in your business for employees and provide the best conditions for outstanding customer service. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of systems, what can and should be systemised, and how to create systems for your business.

The benefits of systems

Systems enable businesses to grow beyond the owner or founder of the business. The right systems create an environment that is better for the business, its employees and its customers. Having clearly communicated systems can:

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– Improve employee performance
– Help employees feel that they are contributing more within the organisation
– Reduce mistakes
– Prevent tasks from being forgotten
– Help convert a higher percentage of leads to paying customers
– Increase average spend per customer
– Increase the number of services customers use

What to systemise

Essentially, if a process, task or undertaking is completed more than once in a business, it should be systemised. This allows the process to be carried out by anyone within the organisation. It helps to speed up the induction process for new team members and can help team members to operate effectively if other team members are absent or busy.
Here are just a few examples of repeated processes that you can and should systemise:

– Answering the phone
– Greeting a customer
– Filling a drinks fridge
– Collecting the post from a PO box
– Setting up your company email signature
– Locking up the office or shop at the end of the day
– Using EFTPOS/credit card facilities
– Using CRM systems
– Inducting a new employee
– Using the photocopier
– Company email procedures/etiquette

How to set up and implement systems

It is no use having systems if no-one knows where to find the information. That’s why in my businesses, we use Google Sites to create our Operations Manual and I highly recommend this option to the businesses we work with. Google Sites gives you the ability to control access to the overall manual and to specific procedures. It has the functionality to add users, collaborators and team members to the site. As it is online, it can be easily shared internally with staff, as well as with outside parties, like your bookkeeper or outsourcing partners for example.

As well as making sure information about systems is easily accessible and shareable, it is important to have a process in place for creating new systems and procedures. Most businesses are constantly evolving and needing new or updated systems as a result. This is another reason why an online repository such as Google Sites is fantastic, as it allows the Operations Manual for your business to be a regularly updated living document.

Of course, it isn’t just enough to point your team in the direction of the Operations Manual and leave them to it. Take the time to train your team on the systems and processes that are critical to their role. And don’t forget to encourage your team members to provide feedback if they feel any systems aren’t working well and could be improved.

Do you use systems in your business? What benefits have you experienced as a result? If you haven’t got clearly communicated systems, what is the biggest roadblock to developing these processes?

We’d love to speak about how we could help your business to improve its performance. Contact Bx – info@b-x.com.au

Are you going slow enough?

It goes against our natures as business owners and entrepreneurs; we want to be all go, all the time – after all, isn’t that how we get things done? There’s a whole different line of thinking taking hold in businesses today – mindfulness. It’s not a new idea but it’s one that might not be such a bad idea when it comes to being more productive and focused in your business.

The idea of slowing down in your business is similar to the idea of slowing down when you’re driving in the car – slowing down makes it easier to drive safely and efficiently. It’s easy to want to speed – it’ll get you there quicker – but if you’re speeding up by cutting corners, ignoring warning signs and not following proper procedures, you could end up driving yourself into some nasty terrain!

What can you achieve when you slow down?

  • Focus and Perspective; taking the time to stop and absorb your surroundings means that you can focus on what’s important and concentrate all your energy on that.
  • Insight; slowing down means you can see what’s coming up and you can prepare yourself better for it, instead of waiting until the last minute.
  • Well-thought out conversations; whether you’re conversing in person, online or through your marketing materials, taking the time to think about what you’re going to say before you say it can result in more effective conversations.
  • Reflection; slowing down can give you more time to revisit your goals, assess your progress and readjust.
  • Enjoyment; instead of rushing so fast that you can’t enjoy what you’re creating and achieving, there’s something in stopping to smell the roses and enjoy what you’re doing!
  • Rest and rejuvenation; everything listed above is fantastic, but it might not ever get done if you don’t take a break to make sure you’re well rested so you can get things done.

A study of 343 businesses has found that the companies who were focused on always pushing forward and moving at a fast pace to gain an edge over their competitors were actually more likely to have lower sales figures and operating profits. Those who took time at important moments in their business life were more likely to stay on track and meet targets, showing us that slowing down doesn’t mean that productivity suffers as a result.

It might be easy to talk about slowing down, but how can you actually start to practice ‘being slow’ in your day-to-day business life? Yet another study tells us that 46.9% of the time, we’re thinking about something other than the task we’re involved in, how do we get our mind to focus?

  • Concentrate on one task at a time. Things might get done a little slower, but you’ll be getting the tasks done at a high standard every time.
  • Eat slowly and away from your desk. It might sound a little pointless, but eating slowly means that you enjoy your food, you focus on your senses, you get a little me-time and you fill up from less food, meaning less food breaks later in the day, keeping you efficient.
  • Get moving. A  5-minute walk in-between tasks allows you to clear your head, spend time enjoying the fresh air and ready yourself for the rest of the day.

Even though it goes against everything we’re told to do, taking that time to slow things down and think things through could do wonders for your personal sanity, as well as your business’ growth.

Do you find slowing down difficult or struggle with getting organised and focused so you can be productive? We’d love to speak 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

How To Make 2017 Your Best Year In Business

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The New Year is well and truly underway now and those resolutions we made on the brink of 2017 are still fresh in our minds. Whether we’re feeling the sting after failing three days in or we’re still going strong, there’s no doubt that a new year is a time to be thinking about how we can be better versions of ourselves in the coming year. It doesn’t just apply to our personal lives – have you considered making resolutions to better your business this year? It’s not too late! Here are three easy steps to make your business the best that it can be.

Get a Vision

What does the best year in business look like to you? This is a time to let your imagination run wild. What do you dream for your business, where would you like to be at the end of the year, what do you wish you could do with unlimited resources? Dream big! No two visions are the same, but by thinking radically about your business, you’re pin-pointing all the possibilities and laying them on the table.

Daring to imagine all those possibilities might seem a little wishy-washy to you, but gather all those possibilities and shape them into a sentence or two that sum up your hopes for your business this year. Now, you have a clear statement of where you want to go, you can lead your business forward.

Set Goals

Those few sentences that hold your business vision might seem a little daunting but there’s no reason to feel overwhelmed!

Your vision is very closely linked to your goals but your goals are allowed to be a little more specific – in fact, it often helps when your goals are as small as they can be. Your vision is never going to be fulfilled overnight; it’s those small, specific goals that will keep your business moving towards the vision throughout the year.

Take apart your vision until you get it down to bit-sized pieces that can be ticked off during the year. Think about what you can be doing every day, week, month, quarter and year to be moving closer to your vision. The best way to make sure you’re doing this is by setting aside time to plan, create, manage and adjust these goals during the year.

Take apart your vision until you get it down into bite-sized pieces that can be ticked off throughout the year. What can you be doing every day, week, month, quarter and year to be moving closer to that goal? The best way to make sure you’re doing this is by setting aside time to plan, make, manage and adjust these goals throughout the year. Here’s a handy guide for you – make it your own and start smashing through your goals:

Seize Every Opportunity

You might have dreamed up the best year possible for your business, but what will you do when little unexpected things pop up throughout the year? We can plan all we like but unfortunately; we can never plan for the unexpected.

Whether it’s a setback or a wonderful opportunity, you need to be ready for anything. Be ready to see the best in a bad situation and use it to your advantage. When it comes to amazing opportunities, you might be in the right place at the right time, but if you haven’t prepared yourself, you could find yourself watching the opportunity sail right past you.

Success is when preparation and opportunity collide – don’t miss out on success for lack of preparation.
With these three easy steps, you’re on track for the best year in business you’ve ever had. Here’s to a new year of business!

In business, it’s important to start the year strong. Through our Business for Life program, we help business owners from across Australia build a toolbox of skills that they can use to grow their success. We’d love to chat about how we could help you. Call Bx on 1300 068 229 or find out about our Business for Life Program here.

10 Things To Do In Your Summer Break To Set Up for 2017

 

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The summer break is a great time to unwind, relax and spend some time with friends and family. These relatively commitment free weeks can easily be used as an escape from thinking about our businesses, but it can also be a great opportunity to gear up for coming year so that when the clock ticks over into 2017, you’re ready to go!

Sales

  1. Are you in the habit of acknowledging your clients? Our clients are the people who keep us in business. Christmas is a great time to send a quick thank you card or even a small gift to acknowledge how important they are in the everyday flow of business. If it’s too late to get started on those thank you gifts, it’s worth spending time planning your acknowledgements for the coming year. Whether it’s a card, gift or even a simple follow up call, it’s going the extra mile that keeps your clients coming back for more.
  2. Taking time out to look over your website could be extremely valuable in the New Year. What can you do to make your website more conducive to sales? Are your clients using it as you intended or have they found shortcuts? Are your links easy to find? You don’t need to make all the changes during your holidays, it is time to relax after all! Simply spend a little time looking it over and making notes, the changes can come when you get back to work.

Marketing

  1. Mapping out the first 6 months of the year can be extremely valuable. Deliberately plan when you will post on social media or when you’ll distribute marketing materials. If the Christmas meal left you feeling lazy, bounce ideas off your family and friends and write them down so you’re ready to go when you walk in the doors of your business in 2017.
  2. Is the content on your website relevant? It might be time to take a little time and consider how relatable your content is. Are you still recycling content from 5 years ago or has your blog been left desolate for a few months? Take note of whether you need to revamp and update in the New Year to make sure your clients stay interested.

Networking

  1. With online networking being bigger than ever, it’s important to spend a little time updating your online presence. Updating information can slip our minds during the busy year, but your summer break is a great time to make sure all your information is current – all those achievements and qualifications from the past year can really help you shine online. If you’re not already online networking, your summer break is a great time to get set up.
  2. This downtime is also a great opportunity to perfect your business pitch. Come up with 2 or 3 pitches of differing lengths (think 30 seconds, 1 minute or even 5 minutes). Practice on your family and friends and get their honest feedback; by the end of your summer break, you’ll be well prepared to deliver your pitch at the next networking event you attend.

Mindset

  1. Setting goals and New Year resolutions is a common task for many at the beginning of a new year, but how often do you sit down and reflect on everything you’ve achieved in the past year? You’ll find that not only did you work really hard to reach those goals you wrote down, you triumphed when unexpected situations arose. A quick reflection can give you the motivation you need to thrive in the New Year.
  2. During the holidays, it’s tempting to kick back and put all thoughts of work aside. Setting apart time to relax is extremely important but it’s also important to set the tone for 2017. Finding the perfect balance between rest, work and play in the holidays will set you up to have a balanced mindset throughout the rest of the year.

Self-Development

  1. What do you want to achieve in 2017? The goals you choose might be linked to your business or they might be private, personal milestones you want to reach – either way, it’s important to write them down so you can visualise them and work towards them all year.
  2. Make that first step towards your goals. Do you want to learn a new language so you can reach more clients? Do the research now and find an institute that can give you that skill – they might not commence class for a few months, but you’ll be ready to enrol when they do. Prepare yourself early so you can smash all your goals this year!

Have a fantastic summer break – we can’t wait to see what 2017 brings in the world of business!

 

Through our Business for Life program, we help business owners from across Australia build a toolbox of skills that they can use to grow their success. We’d love to chat about how we could help you. Call Bx on 1300 068 229 or find out about our Business for Life Program.

 

What Kind Of Influence Do You Have?

In business, as in the wider world, there are two main groups of people: those who are positive influencers and those who are negative. It’s often easy to assign those labels to people we know – there are probably faces swimming in front of your eyes right now as you think about all the different influencers within your business – however, it’s just as important to be considering which category you fall into.

Top 5 characteristics of a negative influencer:

  1. Has a passive aggressive attitude
  2. Only does what is required, never going above and beyond expectations
  3. Focuses on the negative aspects of any/every situation
  4. Is easily (and vocally) jealous of the opportunities others receive
  5. Is looking to bring others down or pick holes in their achievements

Negative influences in your business – whether the attitude is coming from you or someone else – can greatly decrease the productivity of your team. Negative attitudes are almost contagious, and by letting them inside your business you’re inviting crankiness, unhappiness and discontentedness to run riot. Everyone has their bad days, but when those bad days turn into weeks or months, it might be time to get to the core of the issue, re-evaluate and work towards turning the attitude around.

Top 5 characteristics of a positive influencer:

  1. Is looking to inspire and enable others to reach their goals
  2. Supports people through the exciting times as well as the difficult times
  3. Helps others to correct mistakes and has encouraging words
  4. Comes in with a positive attitude and a smile
  5. Goes the extra mile whenever they can

Much like negative attitudes, positive attitudes can also be contagious. We all feed off each others’ energy in business, so it’s important to have an energy that is conducive to getting work done. A positive attitude can lead us to have better strategies when facing challenges and making effective decisions.

If you’re a positive influencer – good news! You get to keep doing what you’re doing. If you’ve discovered some hater characteristics within yourself, it might be time to get to the root of the issue and work towards becoming a positive influence within your business.

In business, attitude is everything. Through our Business for Life program, we help business owners from across Australia build a toolbox of skills that they can use to grow their success. We’d love to chat about how we could help you. Call Bx on 1300 068 229 or find out about our Business for Life Program.

How To Stop Missing Goals

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Everyone has lofty goals; some of us want to increase sales or get that promotion, some even have grand plans to change the world. Those goals can be easy to set, but how often do we actually reach them? My bet is, not very often.

There are a few mistakes people make and the biggest of them is trying to tackle one big project in one go without much thought. Many people become overzealous in their attempt to get something done and jump straight in but, while doing so can often feel productive – we all want that instant gratification – taking too big of a leap can mean we find it difficult to keep our heads above the water and inevitably find ourselves overwhelmed.

Failing to specify the details of our big goals can doom us to fail right from the beginning; when our mind is unclear of what we really want, we struggle to visualise where we want to go and we give up. Losing sight of our goal can mean we lack the commitment to all the tiny details, so we start moving away from that goal instead.

“When eating an elephant, take one bite at a time.” – Creighton Abrams.

If we think of a university degree – a big goal, chased after by many people, young and old – we can see how a goal can become overwhelming. Degrees are made of years, which are broken up into semesters and then subjects. Each subject has a list of assessments while the assessments themselves are comprised of paragraphs, sentences, words and letters. The smaller your goal is broken up, the easier it becomes to achieve.

A university degree seems insurmountable when you think of everything due at the end of the semester, but it simplifies itself and seems far easier to attain when you think of it as writing one word after another.

The next time you set yourself a goal, ask yourself these questions:

What do I want to achieve? Sometimes, this could be stating the obvious, but for bigger, more complex goals make sure you consider all the details; if you want your income to increase by the end of the year, write down the exact amount so you can visualise and work toward it.

What do I need to reach my goal? Think about every little step you can take on your way to the big goal, as well as people you might need to network with and set out a timeline.

How can I break it down? Break down every task, regardless of how small each step becomes. Remember, every tiny step is getting you to that giant goal.

How long will each task take? Setting realistic time boundaries, for each individual task can help you get to that big goal, on time. Setting mini-deadlines can keep you moving forward.

Do I need help? Thinking you’re alone in this journey can be detrimental to actually achieving your goals. Think about who can best help you to move forward and contact them to see if they’re willing to help you when you need it.

What can I do right away? After you’ve written out all your mini-deadlines and tasks, you’ll find there are some small things you can do straight away to start moving forward. The best part? You can put a little tick next to that box and get that instant gratification we mentioned earlier.

Remember, your goal will hopefully have a positive effect on your life, business or career – staying positive on your journey to achieving the goal means that your goal will be even sweeter when you get there!

Goal setting plays a massive role in all aspects of business. Through our Business for Life program, we help business owners from across Australia build a toolbox of skills that they can use to grow their success.  We’d love to chat about how we could help you. Call Bx on 1300 068 229 or find out about our Business for Life Program.

Leaping With Faith

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You know the feeling; it’s that tiny voice in the back of your mind and the butterflies in your stomach when you have the opportunity to take a giant leap in your business. Unfortunately, for too many people, the risk seems too great, even when there could be a great result on the other side.

At 2015’s Bxponential, Emanuel Comino spoke about the impact just 20 seconds of courage can have when the fear starts to set in. It’s those 20 seconds when you decide to leap into a new opportunity, which set you up for everything that is still to come.

Your business can be a little like a choose your own adventure story; when you’re faced with that nerve-wracking situation, you can ask yourself two questions to decide to move onto the next page:

What if you don’t?

There is a risk in jumping into the unknown – absolutely no one will deny that. Even entrepreneurs who’ve been in the game for decades will tell you that the fear of failure is still there, tapping them on the shoulder. Instead of turning around, they stop caring about failing; they believe in what they’re giving their clients, so they can keep moving forward with confidence.

“Some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”  – J.K Rowling

The fear of failure has crippled many throughout history – some are so scared of rejection and failure that they do nothing at all. This approach keeps you in your comfort zone for now, but it means that you aren’t trying new things or pushing yourself and your business to the limits. How can you know what’s possible if you’re not willing to try?

What if you do?

Guess what? A little unease is expected when you’re faced with a big decision, conversation or opportunity. Instead of letting that fear be a roadblock, let it be your guide. When you start to feel a little uneasy, let that be the sign that reminds you it might be time to use those 20 seconds of courage you’ve been saving up.

People who have fears – perhaps of spiders, the dark or even dogs – are often told to confront those fears; looking at a spider, putting yourself into a dark room or interacting with a dog can be incredibly scary, but if you do it often enough, it starts to become normal. The fear may not ever go away, but you can start to gain control over it and maybe one day, you might look back and say ‘why was I ever worried about that?’.

Remember, it’s courage over fear – don’t waste your time trying to eliminate your fear, instead, build up your courage so that it’s ready to go when fear does start to creep in.

In your business story, are you going to choose to stay safe on page one, putting things off forever to avoid failure? Or, will you choose to leap with full confidence to see what the rest of the pages in your story look like?

 

Through our Business for Life program, we help business owners from across Australia build a toolbox of skills that they can use to grow their success. We’d love to chat about how we could help you. Call Bx on 1300 068 229 or find out about our Business for Life Program.

Behind The Scenes At October’s BxPonential 2016

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This year BxPonential gathered together a wealth of speakers, and October was no exception.  Here’s a quick wrap of the BxPonential ideas our speakers shared with the audience:

Luke S Kennedy

Luke S Kennedy was an obese alcoholic and drug addict leading a street fighting crew, constantly on the verge of death through his risk-taking and substance abuse. Not only was Luke close to death himself, he was also putting others in the line of fire through street battles.

In 2007, Luke began his journey to regaining his life for himself – he lost 47 kilos and started his own business, Punchy’s Training & Nutrition, Oatley. In the time since, Luke has become an award-winning businessman, speaker, mentor and international best-selling author.

Particularly passionate about empowering others to take back their lives and live life positively and to the full, Luke travels all over Australia speaking to troubled youth as well as visiting high schools, prisons and corporations to share his experiences, low and high.

At BxPonential, Luke compared his experiences in street fighting to his experiences in business noting the similarities between the two when it came to becoming established: he needed a big idea to motivate him, it was important to make a strong early impression, and to hustle for what he was after.

Luke shared on stage the missing ingredient during his time leading a street fighting gang was his willingness to receive feedback. “If anyone in the gang gave me ‘feedback’, I was likely to stab them,” he said. Yet what he learnt was this: Anything led by ego eventually self destructs. “I had to learn to be open to change, open to criticism. “It was only realising the importance of feedback and welcoming it from customers, family members and employees alike, that allowed me to move my business forward.”

Meet: Matt Alderton

If you’ve been doing business in Sydney over the last 20 years, you might recognise Matt – the founder and a shareholder in IWS, Australia’s largest cloud-based rostering and payroll company, as well as Bx, Aldterton Enterprises and Orderfast.

Wanting success from a young age, Matt’s passion is to share his knowledge and experience to help others achieve success through growth and development, specialising in leadership.

Matt has trained and mentored with John C. Maxwell, Les Brown and Terry Hawkins. Matt is proud to teach with John Maxwell and be a part of the John Maxwell Leadership Team.  He loves delivering an enjoyable, funny and high-energy learning experience to make sure that everyone gets as much as they can to start growing both professionally and personally.

On the BxPonential stage, Matt spoke about the difference your attitude can make in your day and in your business. Throughout his business journey, Matt has had many days where he has swung his legs out of bed and wanted to swing them right back in again; through his many ups and downs, he knows that having a positive attitude is not always possible, but it is always possible to fake it until you make it.

“Having a positive attitude can turn problems into blessings and learning experiences, it can change and define our approach to life and it can open up opportunities in business that might never have come our way before,” said Matt.

He also shared the value of taking the time to remember someone’s name. “It may not seem much, but it gives you a wonderful connection,” said Matt. “It shows how you notice and value someone. There’s no secret trick, you have to find out what work for you as a memory aid.” It may help if you think of yourself as an aural or visual learner. “One colleague will remember someone’s name as soon as it’s printed in front of her. Another uses verbal word association more successfully.”

Naomi Simson

With a hand-me-down computer and $25,000 of personal investment, Naomi Simson started RedBalloon in the front room of her house in 2001 with the goal of selling experiences and memories rather than gifts. By 2011, RedBalloon had 46 employees and today, they’ve sold over 3 million experiences and cemented themselves as one of Australia’s biggest online business success stories.

Naomi has learned a lot in her time as the founder of RedBalloon and she shares her experiences and insights through public speaking engagements, her blogs, books and LinkedIn, where she has over 1.2 million followers.

Recognisable now as the ‘Red Shark’ on Shark Tank, Naomi is a keen investor and a big supporter of the start-up community. At BxPonential, Naomi took the audience through her journey of being a business owner – through unexpected surprises (both good and bad), she knows that the learning never stops.

Naomi also has found that her two biggest choices are the decisions that revolve around how she spends her time and what she does to invest in relationships. When it comes to relationships in her business, she knows that her staff want to “belong, to be healthy, to learn, to be noticed and, perhaps most of all, they want to know that they can contribute to the lives of others.”

Naomi also reminded those of us at BxPonential that we need to be willing to ask for help when we need it – everyone wants to offer help, in their own unique ways, so by asking for help we are empowering other to serve. She also reminded the audience not to take themselves too seriously: you need a strong wishbone (your plan), backbone (resilience) and a funny bone.

John McGrath

In a small office in Paddington, Sydney, John McGrath quietly launched McGrath Estate Agents, now one of the loudest voices in the real estate industry. Armed with a philosophy based upon integrity, transparency and delivering great results to every single client, the McGrath network grew until it became the force it is today. With 87 offices spanning the length of the Australian East Coast, the network has a strong market presence and it’s only growing as it breaks into the Victorian market.

At Bxponential, John shared his passion for real estate along with his experiences and insights into the world of business. For anyone worried about being too young to go into business, he encouraged them with, “if you’re good enough, you’re old enough.” He was adamant about the responsibility every individual has to take for themselves, saying “there is only one person who holds you back and prevents you from doing something and they’re in the room right now…you!”

John also offered a great exercise on self-assessment, asking the audience to rate themselves on a scale of 1-10 where 10 is world’s best in regards to planning, time management, health etc. “If you’re not rating yourself at an 8 or above, you need to make changes.”

In John’s opinion the best real estate is between our ears, and we all have to work on our “inner market” a concept he learnt from his own mentor in regards to overcoming the negative internal voices of self-doubt and becoming “a black belt of the mind.”

 

Why Are So Many Small Businesses Failing?

Getting Ready to Change Starts with the Decision to do so

 

If you’ve ever ventured out on your own in the business world, it’s likely you’ve heard a myriad of statistics when it comes to the rate of small businesses failing within their first year of operation.  As it stands, the current figures in Australia are sitting lower than 2%. This is still cause for concern but many are adamant that it’s no longer the first year of business that small businesses need to survive, the danger point is now further down the track with more and more businesses bowing out in their third or fourth years.

So, what is it that small business owners seem to be missing when it comes to the business game?

Problem: Forgetting to work on the business.

Solution:  The first thing you need is a business plan, but many business owners often overlook this. How do you plan to reach your clients? What do you want to achieve through your business? Other questions like this should arise while you create your business plan so that you can have a clear vision of the future. Don’t forget to be flexible and willing to update your business plan throughout the life in your business life.

Problem: Overlooking personal and employee training.

Solution:  A lot of business owners take a business idea and run with it without thinking it through, but before they know it, they’re knee-deep in a business that they’re not properly trained for. As a result, they often have a ‘learn as you go’ approach to training which is not always a positive approach. Encouraging employees to learn more, defining their role clearly and making sure they’re on-board with the business vision will give them a natural desire to learn and receive formal training to be able to contribute at full capacity.

Problem: Ignoring the need for marketing.

Solution:  The digital age has brought a whole new world of marketing to the forefront of our minds. It’s now easier to get your business out there through the Internet and it’s easier to be overlooked in the oversaturation of advertisements.  Harnessing your social media and using it to advertise and connect could be the best starting point for your small business – it’s only on to bigger and better things from there.

Problem: Having no analysis strategies.

Solution: The first step to fixing this problem, is recognising it. Already you’re on your way to analysing your business! To make things easy for yourself, start with the most simple and widely loved analysis strategy – SWOT analysis.

–       Strengths

–       Weaknesses

–       Opportunities

–       Threats

By looking at your business through all four of these lenses you can start to work out where you need to improve and where you need to start taking action as well as the areas in which you can be encouraged by your performance. It’s a great way to think deeply about your business without getting overwhelmed by the bad points or distracted by the good.

If you can recognise any of these problems in your small business, it might be time to start implementing some solutions, one at a time, to get your business on the road to success.

 

Keys to Unlocking a Productive Day

Keys to Unlocking a Productive Day Bx Matt Alderton

Keys to Unlocking a Productive Day

Regardless of how many businesses you own, projects you’re starting or events you have on, each of us has exactly the same amount of hours in a day. This fact can either be inspiring or disheartening, depending on the way you approach it. The following four points should be your key to unlocking a powerful, productive day worthy of an entrepreneur.

Setting Goals

Some think that it’s better to just glide through life and see what happens, without setting any goals. Unfortunately, that’s not realistic and it’s not something that entrepreneurs do. When it comes to creating these goals, the S.M.A.R.T method has become extremely popular and for good reason – it works!

  • Specific – be clear and direct, there’s no use being vague.
  • Measurable – Measure your goals so you know when to celebrate success.
  • Attainable – aim high but be prepared to adjust your goals as you go.
  • Relevant – create goals which match your vision for your business.
  • Timely – set deadlines.

Create Systems

Have you ever done anything more than once? If there’s some task that you find yourself doing over and over again, systemise it. You can’t afford to be spending that time repeating a process over and over again when you could be making headway on a less menial task.

Do you ever feel like you can’t go on holiday or get sick? If you feel like your business will fall apart without you, it might be time to think about implementing some systems. Without systemising, delegating and automating, you start to become the business. It means you’re just making more work for yourself when you could be utilising the resources at your fingertips.

If you leave it too long, you could find that you are the only person who knows how to do a particular task and, when you hit a crisis, the burden will be on your shoulders. Instead, share the load – whether that’s with technology or with your employees – and don’t wait until you hit that crisis, create systems and process now so that they can steer you smoothly through the dangerous waters later.

Time Management

Funnily enough, being productive is not actually a talent, it’s simply a result of being organised. Time management comes under the organisation umbrella and it’s something that very few manage to master.

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein.”

– H. Jackson Brown Jr.

There are hundreds of tips out there and, if we’re honest with ourselves, not one of those is going to be the magical solution to all your time management problems. Everybody’s days look different but you need to know what yours looks like to work out how you can improve. Using Google calendars or a similar app can mean that you can see your week at a glance.

Knowing your limits when it comes to your time can also be crucial. If you know when to say ‘no’ to opportunities (great as they may be), it gives your ‘yes’ a value boost.

Support Network

Networking for your business is invaluable, but it will never beat the network you already have. Scheduling time to spend with your family and friends means that you get a great balance in your day and a safe haven away from the uncertain business world.

These four key points are all crucial to creating a week that maximises productivity, moves your business forward and gives you a great work/life balance. Carving out time to put these points into practice could be the jump start you need to create a productive working week.

www.businessforlife.com.au/b41-program/

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