Tag Archives: Tips for Business Success

Simple Steps to Beat Workplace Procrastination

Simple Steps to Beat Workplace Procrastination

Tips to defeat workplace procrastination Business help Windsor OntarioLet’s face it, as business owners, there are problems and tasks that we avoid, put off or simply try to ignore. Most often they are bothersome or overwhelming – if we completed these tasks our stress level and life would improve.

Here’s a simple process for beating workplace procrastination:

  • Start the process the afternoon before.
  • Create a to-do list, review it and prioritize.
  • Clear your workspace and prepare it with items necessary to complete the tasks.
  • Set yourself up to work in a distraction free environment.
  • Tackle the hardest job first thing in the morning.

Once you’ve completed the hardest job, you’ll feel accomplished and ready to take on more. Your stress level will decrease and your business will benefit. So why wait any longer?
Just do it.

Aligning Your Goals for Personal and Business Success

Aligning Your Goals for Personal and Business Success

As a business owner, do you feel like you are sitting in the back seat and your business is driving your life from the front seat?

This usually happens when your personal goals are not aligned with your business goals.

What are your personal goals? What are the goals for your business? If the two goals are aligned, it becomes much easier to attain both.

Goals to consider:

Align Your Business and Personal Goals for Happiness and Success

Personal income and equity goals – What is your desired income in 3 to 5 years? Do you have a target date to be mortgage free? Are your investing practices in line with your lifestyle expectations?

Type of work – Are you passionate about a particular area of your business? What are you most profitable business activities? Can you do this type of work until you retire?

Retirement and succession planning – How saleable is your business? Do you have a succession or strategy for sale in place? Do you plan to semi-retire at a specific age?

Current and future work – life balance – Do you want to work less and spend more time with family or are you focused and driven to achieve maximum growth for your business? How is your time now best invested?

Consider successful and well-balanced happy business owners you know. The odds are, they have grown their business in alignment with their personal goals.

Passion is one consistent attribute of a successful business owner. Becoming passionate about your business is much more likely when your business is aligned with and serves your personal goals and ideals.

If you don’t know where to start, contact your accountant and consider consulting a business coach.

Small Steps to Business Success

Small Steps to Business Success

Steps to business success Hyatt Lassaline Windsor OntarioOften business owners are desperately seeking perfectionism to improve their business. Instead of trying to do business tasks 100% better, focus on doing several things 1% better and build from there.

Where to begin? Here are a few actions business owners can apply in only minutes a day:

  • Listening and communication skills – focus on listening better and giving thoughtful replies.
  • Learn a new skill – perhaps something to help you work more efficiently.
  • Become better organized – spend a few moments and tackle your desk, email inbox or paper files.
  • Talk to your customers – thank them and ask how they can be better served by your business.
  • Talk to you employees – learn their frustrations and address them to help improve productivity and morale.

These actions can have profitable, business building results. Start today!

What is Holding Your Business Back?

What is Holding Your Business Back?

It just might be you. It might be a self-imposed barrier that’s holding you and your business back.  

A self-imposed barrier is a thought or belief you have that is blocking you from seeing an opportunity.

A common example is when the business owner believes all their current customers are aware of every product or service the business offers, but in reality the customers do not.

Are you confident that all your current customers are aware of your complete business offerings?

Business advice to quickly improve profitsOne simple way to test this assumption is to assemble in a simple document a list of all the products or services your business provides. Politely ask your customers for a few minutes of their time to discuss your business’s offerings. You may uncover that your customers were unaware of many of your products or services.

The self-limiting belief described above limits potential sales to these customers. If you can open yourself to new possibilities, you might learn something new about your customer’s needs and frustrations.

You won’t know unless you start the conversation with your customers.

Take Action to Solve Business Anxiety

Take Action to Solve Business Anxiety

Take action to relieve business stress - Hyatt Lassaline Windsor OntarioJust thinking about problems in your business won’t solve them. The key to alleviate the stress faced by many business owners is to take action.

Here are a few examples:

If you’re frustrated with clients that are slow to pay you, pick up the phone and ask them if they’ve had any problems with the product or service delivery. Ask if they remember the agreed upon payment terms. Then ask them to pay the bill.

If you’re stuck looking for a new promotion, ask for your employees’, customers’ or spouse’s input. They might have a unique perspective to improve sales, you just have to take action and ask them.

If your employees are having productivity problems, jump in right beside them and help them do their job. Jump in the truck with the drivers, pull up a chair at the desk or join them on the work site. Get out there and shake things up a bit. Their productivity will improve and your stress level will decrease.

If you’re constantly irritated by a messy desk or an organized file – clean it up, right then and there. The odds are it will only take a few minutes of your time and that stressful annoyance will be gone.

If you feel you never have enough time, review your ‘to do list’, pick two things you know aren’t going to do – and just cross them off. Forget them or delegate them. Then choose two items that will take 5 minutes or less to complete – and do those.

The key in all the above examples is to take action to alleviate the stressors in your business life.

If you have any tips or tricks, please leave a comment!

The Importance of First Impressions

The Importance of First Impressions

Are there areas of your business that are a little less than 100%? If we are focused on growing a business and besting the competition, we have to ensure that we are covering the basics -so let’s start with first impressions.

Potential customers may quickly make a purchase decision from your business, based on the following first impressions:

  • Hyatt - Lassaline - The Importance of First Impressions - Business TipsIs the exterior of the business neat and tidy?
  • Are the customers greeted in a friendly manner?
  • Are the trucks clean?
  • Do the employees have a nice and clean appearance?
  • Are the bathrooms clean?
  • Are the employees focused on business or on personal matters?

First impressions can make all the difference and just might be the deciding factor in a purchase or establishing loyalty with your business.

The Importance of Mutual Respect in the Workplace

The Importance of Mutual Respect in the Workplace

Most business owners feel that the most important thing to their employees is money. Have you as a business owner ever asked your employees what is important to them in the workplace?

If you survey the employees of any business and ask them to rank what is important to them,  ‘Respect’ always ranks higher than ‘Money’. In fact, with the surveys we’ve done, ‘Money’ usually ranks third or fourth.

Many business owners feel, ‘Why should I give respect when I don’t get any back?’ If this is your sentiment, then it proves that a lack of respect does exist in your business.

Mutual respect in the workplace is valuable and free Hyatt LassalineThe solution is mutual respect – The business owner and managers respect the employees and the employees respect the owners and managers. Leadership starts at the top and therefore respect improvement programs must begin with the leadership. The desire for mutual respect should be genuine, transparent and consistent to be effective.

Consider the following communication:

“Hi everyone, as the owner of this business I would like to behave respectfully in all my interactions. I welcome your feedback on this topic. In return, I ask each of you to also act respectfully. Does that sound fair to everyone?”

How can mutual respect be demonstrated?

  •          Truly listen to your employees and act upon their suggestions or opinions whenever able to do so.
  •          Give praise directly and in a timely fashion for a job well done.
  •          Share with your employees the goals of the business and endeavor to understand their personal and professional goals.
  •          Confirm the employee’s role in the success of the business.

The bonus benefit of establishing respect in the workplace is that it’s free to give and to your employees, it’s more valuable than money.

Effective and Efficient Team Meetings

Effective and Efficient Team Meetings

As an advisor to small business, I find the businesses that hold regular meetings are also the businesses that run more efficiently.

Tips to holding business team or staff meetings Windsor Ontario1) Commit to holding a team meeting every week – Dedicate a specific time and day of the week for the meeting. If some employees cannot attend, have the meeting anyway. The non-attendees will find out what they missed informally.

2) Hold a ‘one topic meeting’ – Have a meeting and focus solely on one issue. Ask participants to read any content, watch any video, and prepare any thoughts ahead of time.

3) Publish the agenda ahead of the meeting – If you are looking to gather input and ideas, make it known ahead of the meeting. I used to ask for ideas at our weekly meetings and received very little input.  I discovered this wasn’t because the team didn’t have any – it was because I didn’t give them sufficient time to consider the question! Questions and concerns regarding the topic should be submitted ahead of the meeting.

4) Keep brief written notes of the meetings – This gives clarity to the issues addressed at the meeting and provides clearer communications to the employees who did not attend. Remember to share the notes after the meeting.

5) Keep the meetings a short as possible – If you haven’t held regular meetings before, the first few meetings will take a while to get the routine down.  Once the routine is established, the meetings will become more efficient and effective.

6)  Don’t wait for those who are late – Implementation of this philosophy makes for more efficient meetings, increases the respect of those that arrived on time and a likely improvement in the attendance of the late arrivals.

7) Define specific actions – Not applicable in every meeting, but if there are specific actions as a result, be sure the actions, roles, players and deadlines are clearly communicated.

Good communication is essential for growing or thriving businesses, and regular business meetings are a fantastic opportunity to open the lines.

Improving Communications – Business Owner & Banker

Improving Communications – Business Owner & Banker

Bankers speak one language – business owners speak a different one – when they get together without a translator, the result is usually frustration. Here are some tips to help improve this communication gap.

1)      Don’t assume that a personal relationship matters to the banker. A business owner might say, ‘I opened my account at this institution when I was a kid and I have made every payment on every loan on time – therefore lend me some more money please.’ Bankers are thinking, ‘I have a lot of paperwork to fill out for you, how can you make it easy to complete so I am not late for my lunch!

TIP – Make it easy for bankers to complete their paperwork. You need to prepare and input the correct information so the lender can easily and quickly start the process.

2)      A business owner will say to the banker, ‘I have a great business idea, I know it will work and I have a track record of making money.’ The banker is thinking, ‘Who am I going to sell your stuff to after you fail in business so I can get my money back?’

TIP – Consider what hard assets you can provide to the bank as security. They are not risk takers and rather lend against equipment or property.  Accounts Receivable is bankable and sometimes inventory. Match your request to the type of loan that they want to lend you. If it is easier for the bank to do a $25K term loan than a $25K line of credit, then ask for the term loan.

3) Business owners often find something to purchase in the morning and would like the loan approved in the afternoon. If you don’t give a banker enough time to process your application they will just say no.

TIP – Be proactive in planning for your loan requests. For example, bankers typically do an annual review of your file. If you advise them before the annual review that you may be spending $250K on capital purchases this next year, you can ask them to pre-approve the loan. There will still be paperwork to complete at the time of purchase, but at least the banker doesn’t have to re-review your entire file for the new request.

In summary, business owners are often frustrated by the banking process. All it really does is re-enforce the importance of building the financial strength of your business so you don’t need your banker anymore! How do you know when your business has sufficient financial strength? When your banker calls you up and asks, ‘Do you need us to lend you any money?’!

BONUS TIP – Take your accountant or business advisor to the bank with you to translate.

Successfully Converting Leads into Sales

Successfully Converting Leads into Sales

Every business has some ‘low hanging fruit’ to pick. There are ripe profits stuck between the leads your business generates and the actual revenue dollars you convert from these leads.

A lead is created by your referrals, your marketing and advertising efforts, your location etc. A lead could be a potential customer walking into your store, a phone call, a website hit or a cold-call by your sales team.

Out of every 100 leads, there is only a percentage that gets converted to actual sales. Some of the leads that did not become sales may have happened for the following reasons:

– The business missed answering the phone call. Perhaps the voice message was not followed up in a timely manner.
– The lead was not properly followed up by the sales team. Be certain that your sales team properly educated about the products or services your business offers.
– Nobody followed up with the potential customer after the initial contact. This could be because the sales team get the contact information or ask for permission to follow up. This could also be because the information was obtained, but the lead was still not followed.
– Maybe your staff is good with converting walk-ins, referrals and phone calls, but the system to properly follow up emails leads or website hits has not been perfected.

Create and perfect systems to ensure that every lead is followed up in a timely manner. Be certain that your sales team is properly educated in all aspects of your products or services.