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Archive for October, 2010

How to Solve Work Overload for Small Businesses

How to Solve Work Overload for Small Businesses

by Marcus Sheridan (www.lookingtobusiness.com)

One of the biggest problems for a small business is to get ends to meet, both in matters of time and in money.

When I started my first company back in 2006 I had no idea how much work it would be, but the more I did and the more I learned, the more things I realized needed to be done and improved.

I started to understand why companies have so many employees, and before long I was working 15 hours/day, including weekends.

Although I knew this wasn’t going to work in the long run, what I didn’t know was what to do about it.

That was until I started reading everything I could regarding personal development and time management, and the lessons I gleaned from these studies gave me the knowledge and freedom to start improving my business and ultimately enable it to start running itself.

So here’s what I learned, I hope they can help you as well:

1.  Focus on the 20% of your activities that stand for 80% of the value

The 80/20 rule states that 20% of the activities you perform will contribute 80% of the value to you and your business.

Your job is to focus as much time as possible on these activities and try to get rid of the other 80% that provide little to no value to yourself and your business.

How do you find the 20%?

  • Start by listing all the activities you do for your business.
  • Look at which activities provide significant value to your business and which don’t.
  • Prioritize the list in order of importance.

What do you have to do?

  • Go through the list again and see what really requires you to actually get done.
  • Can something be delegated? Can someone else perform a task as well or better?
  • Which activities can be eliminated?
  • What can be bunched?

2.  Delegating/Outsourcing – Too expensive for a small business?

This is a regular question and a just one for a small business struggling to find success.

This is why it’s always better to look at the question not in the form of, “How much does it cost?”, but rather by asking “How much can our company make?”

If you look at your list of activities you will see that some will provide a lot more value to you and your business. By focusing on them you will significantly improve your income, which will in-turn make up for any extra money you’ve spent on outsourcing.

3.  Bunching Activities

We often have a habit of checking our email every few minutes (I know I do!), but if we instead can limit that to only once or twice a day we would save a lot of time that could be put into significantly better use.

This can be done with pretty much every activity you perform.

What activities can you do only once a week or month versus ones you’re currently doing every day? By spending more quality time on these activities instead of quantity time, you’ll increase the likelihood of getting into “the zone”—thus allowing you to work faster and more efficiently. Using myself as an example, the first 100 words of this article took as long time to write as the rest of the article, 700 words.

What can the results be?

Well first of all you might be spending more money on outsourcing.

Although you may spend more on outsourcing, you’ll also spend a lot more time on what is important and brings value to your business, which will lead to your income increasing exponentially over time.

Action Exercise

1.  Right down all the activities you do for your company.

2.  Prioritize the list by importance (value brought to the company).

3.  Go through the list to see if anything can be delegated, bunched or eliminated.

4.  Take action. Don’t sit idle with this information, do something with it!

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A SIMPLE PERSONAL BRANDING TIP FOR THIS ‘ON-LINE WORLD’.

No doubt you will keep hearing that we all should have some kind of personal website, blog etc where people can get to know us. 

But what if you don’t have one?

There’s a simple fix.

Take your LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com) profile and make that your portal to “learning more about me”.

Here’s what you can do with that simple little move:

1)    Comment on blogs, articles etc in the space where you want to demonstrate your expertise. Most of them will have you fill out a 2 second form and one of the fields allows you to put your web address in it. So now you have this cool comment and people click on your name to learn more about YOU! A big mistake people make is putting their company website. People buy you first and you’ve done nothing to build your personal brand. Doing this also increases your “Googleability”

2)    Use that as your website if you have a Twitter account.

3)    Include a handy dandy icon like the LinkedIn logo as part of your auto signature in your emails with a hyperlink back to your LinkedIn profile.

4)    Use it as your personal website if you submit articles to websites. as part of your auto signature in your emails.

So there you have it. A real quick and simple way for you to continue to build that incredible brand called “YOU”!

Acknowledgement: Paul Castain (www.yoursalesplaybook.com)

P.S. Soon Consortia Marketing will be showing you how you can get ‘Brand You’ everywhere! Watch this space – and more importantly, sign up to receive updates from this Blog by subscribing on the right hand side of page!  🙂

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‘GOING GREEN’ in your business. (Weekly Business Tip).

Going green in your business.

Use “The 3 R Ethos”

A policy for environmental friendliness can be encapsulated in “The 3 Rs”. Just remember these and USE THEM and the rest is easy…

  1. Reduce: Just use less to save money and stretch resources.
  2. Reuse: If you can use something more than once – why wouldn’t you?
  3. Recycle: If you can’t use numbers 1 and 2 then recycling is your next step. It costs less to recycle something than to create it from scratch, saving energy and resources.

Examples

Turn down your heating to 19 degrees or less – you’ll save approx 8% of your costs per 1 degree lower.

Think before you print. Print double sided, and use draft/eco mode if it’s only for your use.

Turn off your PCs & other electrical or electronic equipment. It can save you around £30 per PC, per year.

Green web hosting – Never heard of it? The best option is hosting powered by renewable energy. Go to www.lightbeingcreations.co.uk for more information.

Think about renewable electricity for your building – Ecotricity (www.ecotricity.co.uk) are the best option by far, investing more in building new renewable generation capacity than all other suppliers put together.

Freecyclewww.uk.freecycle.org. Get rid of things you don’t want & pick up things you do want that others don’t. As you can tell by the name, there’s no cost and it reduces tipping.

Rechargeable batteries – These are much better these days and can be used in most devices without any issue. They can be recharged 100’s of times, but don’t mix standard and rechargeable batteries in the same appliance and NEVER try to recharge a non-rechargeable battery.

Print things that don’t have to be top quality on the back of letters etc. Make use of stuff you’re going to shred anyway.

Avoid charges for business recycling by using your household recycling (when appropriate).

WEEE (Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment Regulations 2006) came out of EU & basically says all electrical waste must be properly disposed of or businesses risk fines. Manufacturers have a responsibility of providing recycling for their products so get in touch with them to find out how you can help.

Plastics take hundreds of years to break down. Even after breaking down all you get is smaller bits of plastic! These kill & harm wildlife in the environment and enter the food chain, eventually ending up inside us – switch to bio-degradable plastic bags where you can.

That’s it Folks, some simple steps that we all can take on board to make a real difference.

Acknowledgement: Our thanks to Dan Knowlson, Green Business Audit for this post. www.greenbusinessaudit.co.uk

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