This guest blog is written by entrepreneur and business expert Tamara Monosoff. Her newest book, Your Million Dollar Dream, will be published April 28, 2010.
By Tamara Monosoff
One of the most important aspects of running a business, or a department, in the twenty first century is efficiency. Whether managing a department, a sales quota or a small business, managers are challenged with increasing productivity requirements, while cutting costs—and this is within the context of today’s business environment where customer expectations remain high. Even as the current economic environment improves, I don’t think this trend will change…nor should it. Chapter 12 of my book focuses on many of these best practices and tools.
Today, virtually every company has the opportunity to create efficiencies that have not even been considered. For example, how many email messages do the combined employees of your company send out each day? If you have 20 people sending just 30 messages a day–that is 600 messages each day or 18,000 each month! Marketers might call those “impressions”—more importantly, “free” impressions. But, does everyone’s email signature have the same consistent marketing message for that day/week/month? This is one simple example, but perhaps the most important place to look for efficiencies in our businesses is in individual’s activities.
This is demanding that managers of Twenty-First Century Businesses become more efficient than any before them. Fortunately, there are numerous opportunities to overcome this challenge and in fact far exceed expectations. Some methods are basic and driven by simple shifts in behavior. Other opportunities will require organizational participation.
Time is every manager’s—and individual’s– most valuable asset. Not only must entrepreneurs and employees deliver more each day at work, they are also facing greater demands from their family. Seldom does a week pass when I am not asked to help at my kid’s school, or help my own parents with a decision. This is true for many of us. So, vigilance must be given to time management and there are many places to look for savings.
Plan each day’s activities the night before. It as important to have set daily goals for what will be accomplished as it is to have an organized time-schedule.
Take time to organize your electronic files (hint: the computer desktop is usually not the most efficient electronic file-folder system.)
To avoid work-flow interruption, check email and voicemail messages at set times and not all day long.
When making appointments, pay attention to who gets your best meeting times. In other words, the most easily—and requested—meeting times are 10am and 3pm. Save these times for the appointments you most need to advance your goals. These are the times I offer to clients or sales prospects, media or others who will directly impact my business. Internal meetings, vendor meetings, etc. are scheduled early or late when I cannot schedule client meetings.
One of the biggest complaints people have is “too many meetings”. In actuality, the problem isn’t “meetings”. The problem is time-wasting meetings. Meetings are essential when they have a clear purpose, an agenda and are managed efficiently.
The most exciting aspect of this is that the best innovations have yet to be discovered leaving incredible opportunities for today’s most creative managers and entrepreneurs.
Author and business expert Tamara Monosoff is the author of The Mom Inventors Handbook, The One Page Business Plan for Women in Business, and Secrets of Millionaire Moms.