Outsourcing functions to operate your small business makes sense in some cases. As a small business owner, it is often difficult to let go of specific tasks, the thought of paying someone else to do something you feel you can do. Here are a few ideas to consider when trying to determine if outsourcing makes sense:
Outsourcing can make a lot of business sense to improve your business in several areas. Outsourcing will help you grow your business, increase customer satisfaction and provide you with time to focus on aspects of the business that are important to you.
Only a few days before the new year is here!!!! Following are a few ideas, tips to help you prep for 2019:
Create a schedule:
Prep for a fresh start for the New Year:
Meetings are an important part of getting work done, sharing information, and ensuring everyone is on their tasks. However, we often see there are too many meetings, and the majority are not productive - actually they are counter productive.
Things to consider about holding meetings:
1. It costs money! - Think about a meeting you recently attended. How many people were there? Then estimate how much each person makes an hour and add that up. Also consider time for IT support, admin work scheduling the meeting, and other tasks that must be accomplished to conduct the meeting. It all adds up to a realistic cost.
2. It takes time away from other work - There are meetings that are important, but consider you are taking employees away from their daily tasks to attend a critical meeting.
3. Technology has greatly improved communication - There was a time, before cell phones, online chat, email that meetings were critical to improving communication.
So when do you hold a meeting?
There are other good reasons to hold a meeting, but ensure they have a specific purpose, a deliverable that you can point to after the meeting is over.
When not to meet?
The next time you consider calling a meeting together ask yourself a few questions; "What will I learn from the meeting that I could not learn some other way?", "What is the deliverable to expect from the meeting?" Yes, you should have something to show from your meeting. (See our blog articles on agendas such as "Effective Meeting Agendas." Most importantly, "How much will it cost in money and lost time from work and is it worth it?"
For many small businesses hiring a market research firm to get a better understanding of their customers wants and needs may not be financially feasible. As a small business owner you can conduct your own market research that will only cost some of your time.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
All of these ideas can be accomplished with little to no expense. The information you gain from them can be worth a lot of sales. With the information you collect, you can predict and plan for growing your business more effectively.
For many small business owners, the client/customer meeting is critical to making the sale, negotiating or ensuring expectations for services or products are met. To get the most out of your meetings follow these simple tips:
1. Create an agenda, or at least a list of topics - Meetings can be short depending on your needs, but make sure that you cover everything you need to by having an agenda.
2. Schedule a meeting time - The best way to get your client/customer's attention is schedule a conference call or meeting time with a beginning and ending time. This allows them to prepare and focus on your meeting.
3. Share information in advance of the meeting - When possible, share information in advance of the meeting. This reduces meeting time and allows you to dive right in to the important aspects and outcomes for your meeting. Sharing an agenda where appropriate is also a good idea as it allows you and the customer the opportunity to track the progress of the meeting.
4. Close the meeting on time - Time is valuable for everyone. Respecting the time of others is critical to earning their respect and trust. If you schedule a ten minute meeting, then stick to ten minutes. If the meeting starts to go over, try saying; "This meeting is lasting longer than we originally predicted. Do you have a few minutes to continue or would you like us to schedule a follow-up meeting?"
5. Always close with an appreciative note - "I really do appreciate you taking your time to talk with me today about this project. Your insight and guidance is really appreciated." This not only reinforces your goal to assist them, but provides them with an opportunity to understand that their time spent with you is valued.
In today's world, people often look for the short story. Chances are your client/customers are busy people and they will appreciate you making the most of your time spent together.
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