Ways Small Businesses And Nonprofits Can Increase Productivity

By Carolyn Winston and Addison Sims, Hosts of Let’s Talk Biz

If you are like most small business owners you want to increase your productivity and have more time to do the things you like best.  Well, here are three easy steps that we talked about on Let’s Talk Biz: planning, execution, and service.  Now, let’s take a look at planning.  Do most people have a plan for life or for today?  Yes, but it may not be the right plan.  A good plan is aligned with the laws of success.  Here are some things to keep in mind as you plan:

1.  Be open to change.

A detailed and well thought out plan is good, but you can’t plan for every occurrence or situation.  Make sure any plan you create isn’t too rigid, allow room for adjustment.

2. Communicate early and often.

Communication is key to any plan make sure you get input and feedback from anyone and everyone who will be involved in the project or the end goal.

Now, that you have a successful plan, what’s next?  Execution, planning is important, but if you never put your plan in to action then you are missing the point.  As you execute your plan keep the following in mind:

1. Break into Chunks.

As you execute your plan it can be easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of work you have to do so focus on finishing one small part of the plan at a time, and avoid multitasking.

2. Focus on the positive.

Once you put your plan in to action you will run across obstacles you didn’t expect.  Make adjustments and continue. Dealing with these obstacles can drain you. So, stay focused on the benefits and carry out your plan.

What about service?  Remember that your primary reason for being in business it to serve the needs of the customer.  Problems occur when companies lose sight of this fact.  A few tips to better serve your customers:

1. Give them something more.

Whether it's a discount, free information, or a genuine smile, customers love to receive more than they thought they were getting. A gesture need not be large to be effective.

2. Show your employees appreciation.

Employees are your internal customers treat them with respect and they are more likely to treat customers with respect.

Finally, check out Let’s Talk Biz’s best pick of the week to help you with the process of planning, execution and service – MindManger.  MindManager lets you turn brainstorming into action and plan using an interactive environment that shows overviews and details in a clear format.  MindManager helps validate priorities, get buy-in on goals and strategies, and map out timelines. For more info on MindManager please visit http://www.mindjet.com/products/mindmanager/.

More tips, join host Carolyn Winston and Addison Sims next week on Let’s Talk Biz and for marketing support register for our FREE Small Business Mentor Protégé webinars, www.letstalkbiz.biz.  Until we meet again, keep talking biz!