Weekly Edge

How to successfully manage your business and your life

Heather Frame - Wednesday, February 20, 2019

If you’re like most business owners, you have more to do than time to do it.

 

But too many entrepreneurs get so wrapped up in their business, they forget to take care of the other aspects of their lives.  And the results can be devastating!  Families are neglected, friends are lost, and physical and mental health of the business owner declines (just to name a few).

 

So here are some tips to successfully manage your business and your life:

 

§  Put systems in place – Mistakes are made when processes are not systematized.  When processes are consistent, fewer mistakes are made and there are fewer fires to put out.

§  Take the day off – Despite the temptation to work a 7-day week, take at least one day for yourself.  You will see  your productivity and your health improve (not to mention how happy your family will be to see you)

§  Go home – Set a time schedule for yourself.  Schedule the number of hours you will work and stick to that plan.

§  Set your priorities – There’s always another crisis to save.  So be sure to make special occasions with friends and family a top priority.  Don’t allow a business ‘disaster’ to hold you back.  After all, there’s bound to be another one tomorrow.

 

You’ve probably heard all these tips before, but unless you are willing to take these suggestions to heart and make a change, then you’ll never be able to effectively manage your life.

 

And remember, nobody ever lay on their deathbed wishing they had spent more time at the office!

Pace your Passion

Heather Frame - Wednesday, May 09, 2018

We are so fortunate that our 4-year old son loves to read.  He’s obsessed with books with flaps to fold down, things to move or touch and shiny bits.
 
He’s always been very fascinated with turning the pages. So much so that by the time he was 18 months old he would turn them quicker and quicker laughing more and more and all the while making it impossible to read the words, or for him to fold down the flaps he loves so much.
 
Bless him, in finding one part of the process he loved whilst missing the other parts.  Thankfully these days he’s much more into the story.


Reflecting on our son’s frantic page turning pace phase it reminded us of times in our own careers where we’d discovered a passion for part of a job.  We’ve then proceeded to do that part to the best of our abilities, with all of our passion, only to sweep other parts of the job (that we didn’t enjoy as much) to the side, forgetting, delegating or under-loving that part of the role.  Only problem is, just like our son, in doing this you miss the whole story.
 
For example, the ice cream sales person who loves to sell and create beautiful tasty treats, but doesn’t like to clean their workspace ends up in trouble.
 
The property manager who loves to interact with clients, but hates to write a proper condition report ends up in trouble.
 
The travel agent who loves to book exotic locations, but doesn’t dot the I’s on getting the dates write… well we all know where he ends up!
 
If you just want to turn the pages, you miss the book.  Very few of us have such a specialized job that we’re going to love each and every part of it, but what if you just blitzed through the mundane and revelled in the exciting?  

 

What if you get the boring stuff done first, and leave the stuff you’re passionate about for the best part of the day? End on a high note, not on a hiding note!

 

 

Until next week,

 

Heather & Marcus

The two equally important parts of all businesses

Marcus Everett - Thursday, December 07, 2017

This tip is a reminder that business has two major parts.  And both of them are equally as important as the other.

 

You’ve got to put half your time, efforts, and investment into distribution – getting your products and services to the marketplace.  The other half of your time should be spent on sales and marketing – getting the marketplace to come to your products and services.

 

The challenge is that most business owners, and therefore their entire business, put about 90 percent of their time into distribution and only about 10 percent into marketing. 

 

You’ve got to market if you’re ever going to make real money.  And by marketing we don’t just mean to new prospects, it’s what you do to keep your current customers buying from you time after time.  Typically it’s so much easier to sell again to an existing customer than it is to find a new customer.

 

So here’s a few questions to keep you focused on marketing to your existing customers this month

  1. Do your customers know about your full range of products/services?
  2. Do they know what the potential benefits of your products/services are to them? 
  3. When was the last time you graded your customers and made an offer back to your best customers?
  4. What do you do (or can you do) to make their experience with your business exceptional for all the right reasons?

 

Here’s to keeping a close eye on the marketing and sales side of your business…

 

 

How to successfully manage your business and your life

Heather Frame - Monday, October 30, 2017

If you’re like most business owners, you have more to do than time to do it.

 

But too many entrepreneurs get so wrapped up in their business, they forget to take care of the other aspects of their lives.  And the results can be devastating!  Families are neglected, friends are lost, and physical and mental health of the business owner declines (just to name a few).

 

So here are some tips to successfully manage your business and your life:

 

§  Put systems in place – Mistakes are made when processes are not systematized.  When processes are consistent, fewer mistakes are made and there are fewer fires to put out.

§  Take the day off – Despite the temptation to work a 7-day week, take at least one day for yourself.  You will see  your productivity and your health improve (not to mention how happy your family will be to see you)

§  Go home – Set a time schedule for yourself.  Schedule the number of hours you will work and stick to that plan.

§  Set your priorities – There’s always another crisis to save.  So be sure to make special occasions with friends and family a top priority.  Don’t allow a business ‘disaster’ to hold you back.  After all, there’s bound to be another one tomorrow.

 

You’ve probably heard all these tips before, but unless you are willing to take these suggestions to heart and make a change, then you’ll never be able to effectively manage your life.

 

And remember, nobody ever lay on their deathbed wishing they had spent more time at the office!

Minimizing opportunity cost to you and your business

Marcus Everett - Thursday, October 12, 2017

Today we are focusing on opportunity cost, specifically minimizing the cost to you and your business..  If you waste every dollar you’ve ever made, you can still make it back again.  Yet if you waste even a minute of your life, it’s gone for good and you’ll never get another shot at it.   And that’s what opportunity cost is all about.

 

Many business owners we meet spend their day doing things that really won’t bring them long-term wealth or long-term business success.  They run their own shops, make their own products and all in the name of saving wage costs.  Now, we’ll be the first to admit that there are times every business needs to save every dollar possible, and to keep overheads to a minimum, but at some stage you’ve got to decide to grow.

 

Put simply, you’ve got to invest rather than spend your time.  As the owner of a business you’ve got to be certain that every activity you undertake, every job you do, every minute of your working day is invested in doing something that only you can do.  Always ask yourself this question: “What will give me the best Return on Investment (ROI) for my time?”

 

So, to get the most out of your time you’ve first got to understand where you spend your time, and the only way to do this is to keep a time log of all the activities you do and the time you spend doing them.  Then you can build a picture of where your time is going.

 

And remember, if it pays you back immediately with a few dollars an hour, then your business is probably loosing money. 

 

Work with the long-term in mind, not just the instant rewards.

Create Your Own Success Environment

Heather Frame - Monday, August 21, 2017

It constantly amazes us how out of control some peoples’ days are.  Their whole day is spent in reaction mode.  Reacting to incoming phone calls, emails, staff interruptions and on it goes.  You MUST plan your day for maximum productivity.

 

Here are a few common sense things you can do right now to be more proactive, more productive, and ultimately make more money.

 

1.     Make daily lists.  We each do ours the night before.  So we have a clear plan of what must be done the next day.

2.     Block off uninterrupted times.  It doesn’t matter what business you are in, you CAN do this.  This is your time to spend on proactive things like marketing plans etc.

3.     Set deadlines for each task.  The old saying ‘the job expands to fit the time’ is 100% spot on.  We set tight deadlines and run like mad to catch them.

4.     Set strict rules on access.  Staff and colleagues must know your new rules.  Take staff for example, many times they know the answer to the questions they are bringing to you.  It’s laziness that brings them to your door.  Make it clear they have to step up to the plate and only bother you with important things.

                  

We all have the same amount of time in each day.  So as successful business owners it’s vital we plan our days to suit us, not others.

What are you putting first?

Heather Frame - Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Perhaps you've heard this story. Imagine you’re sitting in a college class. It’s one of those big classrooms, with tiered seating, able to accommodate hundreds of students. The class is assembled in eager expectation; what will the professor do today?

 

At exactly 9 o’clock, he strides in and without acknowledging the classes’ presence, reaches under the lectern and produces a large glass jar. He sits it on a nearby table. Then he pulls out a box of rocks and sets it next to the jar. Finally, he fixes his gaze on his charges and with their attention sufficiently garnered, he clears his throat, gestures to the rocks, and asks, “Who would like to show us how much you can fit in the jar?”

 

Unable to contain himself, an eager-to-impress student shoots up his hand. With no other volunteers, he is summoned forward. Desiring to make a profound and positive impression on his instructor, Mr. Eager-to-Impress works quickly but carefully, astutely positioning rocks in the jar until it is satiated.

 

“Is the jar full?” The professor inquires.

 

“Yes!” the students reply in strong unison.

 

“Can you fit any more in the jar?” He deadpans.

 

“No!” is the enthusiastic chorus.

 

Then the instructor produces a bag of pebbles. “How about now?” The students emit a collective gasp; a hush falls over the room. Mr. Eager-to-Impress is in a quandary. Should he cut his losses and remain silent or attempt to salvage his bravado. Somewhat hesitantly he raises his hand and is again beckoned forward. With greater care and less haste, he places a handful of pebbles at the top and by tapping, shaking, and rotating the jar, they make their way to fill the gaps below. Satisfied he has done his best, with hopeful confidence he returns to his chair.

 

“Is the jar full?” The educator again inquires.

 

“Um, yes,” is the students’ cautious reply.

 

“Can you fit any more in the jar?” He questions.

 

“No,” they guardedly answer.

 

Next the instructor brings out a pail of sand. Many students begin to smile. “How about now?”

 

Eager-to-Impress is not so eager any more, but feels his fate has been decided. Without being asked, he slinks back to the table and using the same technique, filters the fine sand through the courser maze of rocks and pebbles. Red-faced, he sits down, anxious for class to end.

 

The teacher gleefully asks, “Is the jar full now?”

 

No one will venture a response. Whatever they might say, they fear would be wrong; plus, no one wants to stand out like Eager-to-Impress.

 

The professor ignores their silence, “Can you fit any more in the jar?” He questions. More silence ensues.

 

With practiced timing, the learners are left to squirm in the hush of the moment. Without a word the teacher reaches under the podium and brings forth a picture of water. Some students groan; others smile. Unable to contain himself, the skilful educator grins. “How about now?” He asks? He doesn’t ask for volunteers and none would be forthcoming anyway. Slowly he begins pouring the water into the jar. Gradually, it permeates every crack and crevice. He fills it to the top and then adds a bit more to overflow the jar. There is no doubt as to whether or not the jar is full.

 

“What can we learn from this?” is his final query.

 

Eager-to-Impress, wanting to salvage something from this debacle, summons his courage and hesitantly proclaims, “It means that no matter how busy you are, you can always fit more in!”

 

“No,” the professor bellows, pounding his fist on the table for emphasis. “It means that unless you take care of the big things first, they will never get done!”

 

So, looking at your own life, what’s stopping you from putting the big things first?

 

Are you living a dream or a nightmare?

Heather Frame - Wednesday, April 13, 2016

We love quotes.  Their concise wisdom is very compelling.  One of our favorites comes from the famed primatologist, Jane Goodall, when she stated, ‘Most people go to bed to dream, but I woke up into a dream.’

What a great thought.  That you don’t have to settle for daydreams, but rather you can manifest your dreams and live them.

So, here’s the big question for you.  Are you waking up into a dream or a nightmare?

Our experience is that for most people, operating their business is far from the dream they imagined it would be.

The question then is why?

While most business owners begin with zest and passion, they often end up fatigued, frustrated and disillusioned.

The reason someone opens a hairdressing salon, accounting practice, speaking business, plumbing service, or remedial massage center is because that’s what they love to do – and they’re usually really good at it.

But you also want to create a business that serves you and produces the riches you desire.  Instead, you soon learn that you need to be more than good at what you do; you need to be great at communicating what you do.

The fact is, if you’re struggling to market what you do, then NO MATTER how good you are at it, chances are your passion will become a stress filled energy draining and headache producing nightmare.

The difference between the business owner who wakes up with a sick feeling in their stomach wondering if they’ll be able to cover the bills this week, and the one who bounces out of bed filled with anticipation of what is possible, is a difference in philosophy.

One has chosen to be a doer.  They are time poor because they’re so busy trying to make ends meet that they feel forced to do everything themselves.  Plus they tell themselves no-one can do it as well as them, so they sacrifice their time just on doing what they’ve been doing, in the hope that eventually the customers will recognize their talent and come flooding in.

The other type of business owner has recognized they need to constantly work on developing their skills at communicating what they do.  They focus on being more entrepreneurial; on seeking to out source low level tasks to others so that they can keep their focus on creating a remarkable customer experience.  They recognize that time is their most precious resource and so they seek to make the most of every minute.

Here’s another quote for you to consider ‘Poor people spend their time to save money.  Rich people spend their money to save time’.

Don’t waste your life day-dreaming.  Instead, get focused on developing the areas of your business that can truly set you free to live your dreams.

Most businesses don’t work, that’s why the business owner has to.  The key to unlocking the riches in your business isn’t an issue of time; it’s a case of priorities.  When you decide to make marketing a priority in your business is when the dream can begin.

Eat That Frog

Heather Frame - Wednesday, April 06, 2016

So, you've started your day, and there's so much to do.   Have you ever ask yourself, "Where do I start?"  Many business owners we talk to do.  They've got so much on their plate: sales, marketing, finances, hiring, cleaning the bathroom (just checking to see if you are still awake), and let's not forget actually providing your product or service.  Many people, faced with so many balls to juggle just shut down.  Or, take avoidance action like "let me start with email." 

Have you ever found yourself doing that?  And then the phone rings.  And then an employee comes in asking for guidance.  And then a customer calls.  And before you know it, it is 5 p.m. and everyone is leaving the office except you, and you're thinking "Jeez, I haven't got anything done that I needed to get done today."

There's a way to stop the madness, and it's in the book "Eat That Frog!"   It’s a short read, written by Brian Tracy.  If you are struggling to fit in everything in your day then this is well worth a read


 The key to stop procrastinating, (and yes, we realize you thought all of that other stuff you did was important) is to start each day identifying the number one goal you have for the day.  And then "Eat That Frog!"  This means continually asking yourself "Which one project or activity, if I did it in an excellent and timely fashion, would have the greatest positive impact on my life?" 

And then, as Nike would tell us, "just do it".  Give yourself time at the beginning of each day to focus (and we mean really focus) and get the biggest, ugliest thing on your plate done.  You'll be surprised how the rest of the day turns out.
 

Here’s to decreasing the chaos in your life by increasing your productivity……

Time is Running Out For 2015

Heather Frame - Wednesday, October 21, 2015

We’ve talked about urgency on many occasions and how frustrated we get when we see business owners act as if they have all the time in the world.  The prevailing attitude we see is this: What doesn’t get done today can always wait until tomorrow.  Now that might be ok for employees, but not the ones working for you though.

With that said, we’re in week 42.  Time is running out for 2015.  Have you got your Christmas promotions happening?  The time to get busy is NOW, not tomorrow.  You’ve got to hustle and make a sprint to the finish line of 2015.

Here’s some tips for getting the most out of the remainder of 2015

  1. Find where the money is.  The old 80/20 rule applies right across the board in all aspects of life.  So start working on the 20% of stuff that brings in 80% of the money.  What is it? How are you going to use it?
  2. Block off times.  Set rigid ground rules for employees and colleagues and block off time that is uninterrupted time.  You need to get busy and can’t get busy when every 5 minutes you are checking email, facebook, or employees are banging on your door.
  3. Get your priorities right.  Don’t let the slightest breeze change your direction for the day.  For example, if you get a bad phone call let it go, get over it, don’t let it interfere with the rest of your day.  Let nothing and nobody get in the road of you and what you have to do.

Hey, life throws us challenges.  It’s up to us how we react to them.

 What we do know is that there are only a few weeks to go until the end of the year.  We’re in high gear ensuring our goals are going to be met.

 Are you?

Until next week,

Heather & Marcus