Tag Archives: delegate

How to Take a Vacation From Your Marketing

CHuntly

As a business owner, the most important thing you can do for yourself is take a break. It also happens to be the hardest thing to do if you are trying to run your business because the moment you go silent on the marketing front you will lose audience interest.

With the holidays right around the corner, it is the perfect time to take a breather from 24/7 entrepreneur brain. Taking both a physical and a mental break from your business (even if it’s a staycation) will help you avoid burn out.

If you’re looking to take some time off this holiday season, don’t let your marketing efforts suffer. Here are a few things to consider to keep that momentum going throughout your time away.

  1. Blog early: You should have a regular posting schedule for your blogs so your audience can come to expect content at a certain time. Keep that schedule going while you are away by writing your blogs ahead of time. Most blogging platforms will allow you to schedule each blog to go live at a specific day or time.
  2. Automation is your best friend: This requires a bit of planning, but if you work ahead of time, you can schedule content to go out while you are away. Work with a program like Hootsuite, Buffer, Mailchimp, etc. Try to stay away from the bots that automatically like and comment on posts as those can seem too contrived.
  3. Delegate tasks: If you already have a team in place, make sure you put someone in charge while you are away. Empower them to make decisions without you, but let them know that you are available for emergencies. If you are a solopreneur, hire someone you trust to look after things while you are gone. Start working with them at least a few weeks in advance so they are fully comfortable while you are away.
  4. Prioritize tasks: Not everything has to be done right now. Have a look through your to do list and rank everything by due dates. If there are things that need to get done before you leave, then get them done. If you have tasks with no due date or ones with later due dates, leave those to get done when you get back.

After taking some time for yourself, you will find that you return more refreshed, which usually leads to more energy to put into your business. Taking time away from your business will allow you to approach your business from a new perspective. It will make you a better business owner – and your marketing strategy doesn’t have to suffer.

Candace Huntly is the Founder and Principal at SongBird Marketing Communications, an award-winning agency working to take organizational and individual brands to the next level. With a passion for all things related to creativity and strategy, she specializes in business intelligence, marketing & branding, content strategy & development, media & influencer relations, and social media. Basically, if you need to put your brand, product, or cause in the public eye, she will find a way to do it, while making the approach unique to you.

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Business Without Borders – The Advantages of Outsourcing

Praveeni

The word outsourcing has a notorious reputation in the business community, you’re either a lover or a hater. Often times there is very little middle ground when it comes to views regarding outsourcing work. As a Canadian business owner it’s easy to get swayed one way of the other on the idea of letting someone else, possibly on the other side of the world do work for you.  However outsourcing can have some tangible benefits especially for small business owners. Here are a few advantages I’ve noticed while outsourcing some of my projects :

Cost Efficient
In most cases outsourcing will cut down your expenses significantly if you choose the correct market to work with. I say this because outsourcing services  are often advertised via online bidding websites such as elance. These sites allow you to choose from different bidders many of whom are located in emerging economies whose currency exchange rate is fairly low when compared to the Canadian dollar.

Focus on Core Principles
Delegating work via outsourcing will leave you more time to focus on your core business practices first. In many cases back office operations such as administrative and HR services can be outsourced. It’s easy to get caught up in back office tasks and lose focus of your core business processes. Outsourcing allows someone else to handle them so you are free to examine the heart of business and what makes it tick.

Time Differences
Although working with international partners can sometimes be challenging, a large time difference can also be advantageous. While you’re a sleep they’re working and vice versa. There is always someone working on improving and maintaining your business. Communication is key when working across time zones so make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to dates and deadlines.

Flexible Staffing
As a small business owner your workload can fluctuate. Hiring on-site staff whether permanent or on contract can often be cost intensive. Outsourcing tasks according to demand will allow your business more financial flexibility as you can increase or decrease the number of outsourced projects easily. Essentially you can expand or scale back your staff as needed.

 

Praveeni Perera is the CEO and co-founder of Professional Edge Consulting a corporate training company based in Ottawa offering training and coaching services to clients around the world.  She can be reached via WebsiteTwitterFacebook or her Blog.

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6 Tips for Managing Your Employees

Praveeni

Managing people is a tricky job, even for the most skilled business school grads and experienced professionals. Running a business and managing staff is more than just delegating tasks and supervising employees; it means you are accountable to both your clients and your staff.

Here are a few tips for managing people :

  1. Delegate work according to skill level and capability
    As an entrepreneur your staff is there to help you achieve your goals and grow your business. Being in charge is doesn’t give you the right to palm off tasks you don’t enjoy on your staff. You must delegate work according to your staff’s skill level and capabilities. Each member of your staff is unique and has different strengths and weaknesses;  it is your job to recognize their strengths. You need to get to know your staff and their capacities in the workplace. Remember to be fair in your delegation, resist the urge to pile work on your strongest staff members and delegate easier tasks to those who might be struggling. Make sure everyone has a fair share of responsibilities within their assigned roles.
  2. Hold weekly meetings
    Weekly meetings are a common practice in most workplaces as it gives co-workers and managers alike a chance to discuss progress, plan the coming week, and initiate new tasks. Make sure you get status updates on the work you’ve delegated and ensure the participation of all your employees in weekly meetings. This  will allow you to assess how employees are dealing with the workload and determine where changes need to be made.
  3. Schedule open door time
    The “Open door” policy isn’t always the best approach to increase productivity. As a business owner and manager you may need time alone in your office to work, brainstorm, meet tight deadlines, and sort out your thoughts. However, your employees will have questions and concerns to discuss with you, designating a time when you will be available to address these concerns is a great way of showing your concern and approachability. It’s a good idea to schedule “open door time” every day or at least 3 times a week; this way employees know they can talk to you about their concerns.  This practice is often adopted in academia where professors have “Office Hours” within which students can meet them to discuss grades, assignments etc.
  4. Exercise open and effective communication
    Open communication is the key to effective management. Bosses are often the bearers of good and bad news. Inform all employees at the same time. Some business owners feel that they should only share information with certain employees who they determine “need to know it” or for whom it is “relevant”. However this scenario often results in closed door meetings between bosses and just a few staff members, leaving other employees feeling left out, suspicious and anxious.  Engaging in closed door meetings of this sort is highly discouraged as it promotes division and suspicion. Of course some information needs to remain confidential but as a business owner you must be discrete about how you go about disclosing information to staff.
  5. Keep it professional
    Sometimes as a business owner it may be tempting to befriend your employees since you hired them and they work directly for you, but it’s important to keep it professional. You may be closer to certain members of your staff than others but attempt to maintain the same level of interaction with all employees. Avoid going out to lunch with  the same staff members every week or sitting next to the same people at meetings. This makes others feel like you’re playing favourites and will result in jealousy, competition, and workplace conflict as everyone wants to be close to “the boss”. You can engage in conversations with employees outside of working hours but remember to keep your composure.  Be polite and keep it professional, don’t get too personal.
  6.  Introduce team building initiatives
    Initiating team building activities is a good way to foster a collectivist environment within your business and make employees feel included and welcome. Introducing office outings such as a lunch out of the office will allow you to connect with your staff in a new environment and boost morale. If going out is not feasible, organizing a potluck or simply celebrating employee birthdays with a cake or dessert is a great way to promote interaction. As a business owner you need to make sure employees are team players working toward a common goal.

Praveeni Perera is the CEO and co-founder of Professional Edge Consulting a corporate training company based in Ottawa offering training and coaching services to clients around the world.  She can be reached via WebsiteTwitterFacebook or her Blog.

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3 Things Efficient People Do

Jennifer J

Being in the throes of life can seem overwhelming. There is so much to do but so little time. You are constantly running around, responding to emails, answering and making phone calls, amongst a whole myriad of other things. All this hard work must surely mean you are getting the best possible outcomes from your time. Or, it is likely, more often than not, you are spreading yourself too thin.

It would be great to devote your time to things you love to do and that give you the most reward. Here are some simple ways to become a lot more efficient and get the most out of your limited time.

The 80/20 rule or The Pareto Principle

The 80/20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle was named after Vilifredo Pareto whose work included the law of income distribution whereby he demonstrated a predictable distribution of wealth in society. That is, 80% of the wealth was held by 20% of the population. He developed the principle by observing that 80% of the peas in his garden were contained within just 20% of the pea pods.  This is idea has become a common concept in business whereby,for example, 80% of sales come from 20% of your customers.

Now take a step back and try and apply this theory to your personal and business life – What are the 20% causes to your 80% problems? Is it that you are spending a majority of your time on customers who do not provide the majority of your revenue? Are you spending the majority of your time on tasks that are simply eating your time and energy with no reward at the end?

It may be difficult to take a step back and dissect your life and realize that you may in fact have done things “wrong”. But look at it from another angle. Once you apply this principle and eliminate time wasting, you will become significantly more efficient, thereby having time to focus on those worthwhile tasks.

Delegate

Easier said than done right? However, burning the midnight oil is not fun and you’re not fooling anyone, you are losing productivity.  We have the tendency to bite off more than we can chew but you will get more done when you delegate tasks to those who are better at them than you are. The opportunity cost of an expert completing a task is that you would have wasted significant amounts of time doing the task rather than doing many other things that you should be doing.

Planning

Although planning a task may seem tedious and time consuming, most efficient people sit down and determine the approach they will take to complete a task. This is vital so you are better able to determine any issues and the best approach to take. Planning inevitably  streamlines your processes which eliminates time wasting.

 

Jennifer Jampala is a budding entrepreneur, traveller and yogi. She is passionate about building businesses, relationships and experiences. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferJampala

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Time is of the Essence : 5 Time Management Tips

Praveeni Perera

The old saying that Time and Tide wait for none rings true even in the modern and developed world. This can explain the reason why time management has become a very important topic in the business world today. Time lost can never be gained. Follow the tips given below to better organize your time only manage your time and make maximum use of the time available to you. Good organization is key to good time management.

1. Plan your day to sail smoothly
Effective planning  is crucial to time management. When planning your day, make sure to list the tasks according to the level of priority. Prioritize your work according to their importance. This way you can be sure that the important tasks get done.  Place a check mark or strike out the tasks once completed. You can also stipulate a time frame within which you need to complete each task. It’s important to remember that you are bound to be interrupted and disturbed while you engage in completing your tasks, so schedule time for such disturbances and interruptions. Once you complete your task list, you have a better idea of what your day is going to be like.

2. Set a goal and go for it
Planning your day without a goal is very detrimental to achieving success in time management. It is important to set goals and targets for yourself as you go through your planned tasks or activities. Your goals and targets should be achievable and realistic. You can dedicate a few minutes of your time before a task to plan how to carry out that task to success and a few minutes after the task, to figure out if you achieved the result you wanted.

3. Set deadlines for yourself
Each of your tasks should  have a designated deadline within which to be completed. This way you will not spend extra time on one particular task or call. Some tasks can prolong for a day or two but it’s essential that every task have a stipulated completion deadline. Blocking out distractions and even placing a sign that says “Do Not Disturb” is a good way to stay focused to meet your deadline.

4. Delegate, delegate, delegate
Delegating work is another tip to adhere to for good time management. No one can do everything by themselves. There will be opportunities and necessity to delegate your work to another person, and when these opportunities arise, make use of them. A person who has a specialty or interest in a task that you have to accomplish, will be able to accomplish that same task more easily and also faster than you. Be alert and look out for such opportunities as they will free up time that you can devote to another task. As an entrepreneur it’s a good idea to invest in an intern or personal assistant. This way you can delegate everyday tasks and have more time to focus on growing your business.

5. Take a “ME” break from TIME
Get into the habit of saving precious time by doing the right thing at the right time. Plan and take time for yourself either to make a personal phone call or update social media. This will give a breath of fresh air and rejuvenate you to tackle the tasks lined up for the rest of the day or at least for the next hour or two.  It is not possible to focus steadily for a whole day and get good results. The odds are that 20% of your activities for the day produce 80% of the results.

Effective time management is the result of good organization; being proactive and focused on the results you want to achieve for yourself. Good organization also means that you know what is on your desk at any given time. Unwanted papers belong in the waste paper basket and not on your desk. Files and documents can be organized in an orderly fashion so there will be no time wasted in looking for a document or file.

Much time is wasted in offices globally on “Gossip”. Gossip is not only a time killer but also a relationship killer. Anyone interested in managing their time should have no time for gossip.

Effective time management results in being focused on the end result. Set reminders, use calendars. There are many tools and software available to the professional today for effective time management and it would do one well to make maximum use of them.

At the end of each day, go through the plan you did at the beginning of the day and determine for yourself if your day was productive. Following these guidelines will help you build a productive day and a productive life style.

Praveeni Perera is the CEO and co-founder of Professional Edge Consulting a corporate training company based in Ottawa offering training and coaching services to clients around the world.  She can be reached via WebsiteTwitterFacebook or her Blog.

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