Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Lift Productivity In Your Business With This Knowledge


Business owners are always conscious of the money going out in the business. They want to get good value from every dollar spent. When it comes to productivity though, it can be hard to see if the money the business is giving a good return on the expense. They would do well to pay attention to also what the hidden cost of not spending some money might have in terms of productivity gains being stifled.

"On average, Australian workers spend 16% of their day 
on activities that waste their time and effort."


How do you measure productivity within your team?

Some statistics I came by recently are from an ongoing series of surveys with responses gathered from 2100 individuals across seven Australian industries. The findings were quite interesting and held what I think will surprise a lot of business owners.

Top Time Wasters In Business
The top three areas where time is lost in business is in these areas:


  1. People can't get on with their work due to delays waiting for someone with more authority to review their work, or waiting for additional input from other parties. (16%)
  2. Time-wasting emails (15%)
  3. Technology waiting time. (13%)

Not All Employees Are Equally Productive
There is a tendency for some business owners to equate time spent on the job with productivity. In fact the survey results show this is quite wrong. 

There is no correlation between time at work and productivity. Indeed, the least productive employees often spend the most time at work! 

The most productive employees are particularly likely to be wasting time waiting on technology.
The least productive group are wasting their time in unproductive meetings

Qualities of productive employees and unproductive employees were striking to say the least. As shown in the survey, despite the gender pay gap and the difficulty older people have in getting employment, the most productive workers were more likely to be female and older workers. 

productive employees characteristics
Characteristics of Most Productive Employees

unproductive employees characteristics
Characteristics of Least Productive Employees


Yet typically the recruiting processes commonly followed are likely to screen out those very people who are potentially MOST productive employees!

Productivity By Industry
These industries represent those surveyed and this is their productivity ranking.

productivity by industry australian EY survey

Declining productivity

Where productivity has declined over time, the reasons employees cite for this are issues controlled by management. While of these four reason given, one is defined as poor management communication, the other three can also relate to a communication issue.

Workers attributed productivity declines to:
  • Poor management
  • Lack of motivation and incentives
  • Staff being treated poorly
  • Poor management communication

The Role of Managers In Productivity

While it may be the individual workers' combined efforts that lead to higher productivity, getting the best from the team is a job for and a reflection of the owner and manager.

Killers of high productivity

  • Needless complexity
  • No environment that values and provides training 
  • Tasks given to employees, but not the authority required to go with the responsibility
  • No performance management strategy
  • No vision for the employees to buy into
  • Time wastage due to inadequate technology


Productivity Improvement: The Upside

As you can see from these sets of data, the gains in productivity can be huge by just improving some areas of business.

That means taking stock of what's happening in the business, and taking steps to improve the efficacy of the business, and the competence of the management, and the flexibility to adapt to a changing marketplace.

That's good news for those businesses willing to improve their productivity and face their own internal devils.

Related:
Business articles 




Like to discuss your business? Contact Lindy Asimus on 0403 365 855 or use the contact form on this page. Lindy Asimus Business Coaching

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Marketing For The Year You Live In

Gary Vaynerchuk is an interesting character. He doesn't pull his punches and his language can be a bit in-your-face but his thinking is spot on - and contains no fluff.

Too many businesses are doing 'marketing' that feels good to them - not what feels good to customers.  Customers are looking for new things and new ways of getting their information so your marketing should be meeting them where they are not where your head is and what's comfortable for you.

 
  

Many business owners are still confused about all the changes that have happened with the growth of online tools and social media.

These things are not going away. Your business needs you to understand the new business marketplace and customer needs so you can address them in a practical way and be relevant - and proximate - to your customers.

This is a basic requirement for business now. 
  

Monday, January 05, 2015

Resolutions Versus Goals: The Difference

Resolutions Not The Same As Goals 

These terms are often confused, and many think that making a resolution is the same as setting a goal. Worse - these resolutions are often made without a clear understanding how to make them work effectively, and precisely what they are an undertaking to do. So when they fail ... it firms up any belief that we might have or secretly suspect, that "Goals/Resolutions don't work".

People work.

Goals and resolutions both, are just methods used to facilitate a desired outcome. One in the longer term (future) and one that happens right now!

So goals and resolutions are not the same thing. But how do they differ?

To make a resolution is to decide right now to do something or stop doing something. It takes no planning - any consideration is already done.

Setting goals effectively requires planning, determining the ecology of the goal - so that you achieving one goal doesn't cost you in other ways you didn't expect.

Goals should ideally be part of a comprehensive plan to improve all areas of life so that they are compatible and not counter productive.

That means attention to detail on:
  • What you want to set as a goal and achieve
  • Time frame in which to do it 
  • That it is reasonable and has some capacity to be achievable
  • That you have the resources available to achieve the goal
  • That you have a way to know when you have achieved the goal and 
  • HOW you will go about achieving the goal - the steps needed. 


By contrast a resolution we can decide to do right now.

It is a determination to stop doing something we are doing now. Or start doing something we are not doing now.

Resolutions work hand-in-hand with goals.

Here's an example. We may have a goal to makeover our home in a new design. But we don't have the money to do everything at once so we may work on the goal and in the process resolve to:
  • Get rid of old boxes from the garage that have been there since the last move. 
  • Throw out or give away clothing that is in the closet that does not fit any more. 
  • Ensure that everything we keep has a place for it to be stored easily and make that space for it.
By following through on these resolutions that we can do right now, we are also working toward making our goal happen. 

Another example might be to set a goal to lose weight.  That's not going to happen all at once and will need some planning and goals set to formulate a way for this to be achieved. 

But in the meantime we can resolve to: 
  • Stop buying packets of snack food at the supermarket (reduce temptation at home)
  • Have three meals a day
  • Keep some nuts or carrot sticks in the refrigerator in case you feel like a snack
  • Cook meals 
  • Not buy takeaway dinners 
  • Buy vegetables and fixings for making meals from scratch. 
  • Learn how to cook 3 new recipes to empower us to have healthy meals (if we have not been cooking until now)

Resolutions - Make Them Easy To Be Good At! 

Resolutions don't have to be hard. Make them easy things that you can see work and get practice at achieving the things you promise yourself when you resolved to do that thing, (or to stop doing that thing).

Small Changes Big Impact 

It is amazing how much progress we can make to improving our life just by starting with a resolve to tidy up all those easy things that are just minor annoyances in life or subtle changes in our habits that have been stopping us from having our life be the way we would prefer.

Sure there may be big things too. A resolution carried out gives us confidence in our ability to do what we say we will do. That's important to maintain our credibility with others but perhaps even MORE important that we know we can rely on our word to ourselves.

So - what's the easy thing you can resolve to do today that will make a difference to your success this year?

Related articles on Goals






Like to discuss your business?
Contact Lindy Asimus on 0403 365 855 or use the contact form on this page.
 Lindy Asimus Business Coaching
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Saturday, December 20, 2014

This Help All Business Needs On Social Media Marketing


 Many business owners are active online to some degree. They have listened to a webinar about online marketing or attended a workshop or some other event where the idea of being on social media for marketing has been the topic pushed at them.

Then they come to this point, which was explained very succinctly recently in an email I received.

"Generally I am finding that there is so much information out there, it's hard to figure out where to concentrate on for small wins, where improvements can be made with the website/ social media channels etc, marketing plan and so forth

As mentioned I am really trying to read and read and read when possible but some guidance / coaching is probably going to help me reach my goals a lot sooner"

Points for this business owner being perceptive enough to know that trying to do it all alone can be both a false economy and a source of needless confusion and frustration. 

Are you feeling lost in the maze? 

What all business needs to know on using social media marketing 

Integration

Your website is integral to your business presence online.  That means that it must be effective not just on the page for visitors but also "in the back" where Google reads it.   

Your efforts to promote your business online can't be spent all on promoting online properties you don't own. If you want to promote Facebook, get a job there, don't do your work for them on your business Page free and imagine that they can't take it away in a moment. They can and they might. Meanwhile you can use it all you like but don't build your whole presence on a rented platform. 

Integrating your website with your social media platforms means that your social efforts are captured with your website and customers can find their way to your site for more information, to check you out and to see that you are the real deal! Trust is a high value commodity online and one of the things that you and your business needs is the means to develop trust. That's where social media can help. 


Audience (Really Your Online Network)

Well let me start by saying "audience" is definitely the wrong word for what you are building. It's wrong because at the most basic level, broadcasting to your online network is not the thing. 

Before you can occasionally broadcast a promotion, you need a network of people who are willing and interested in following you and receiving your updates, and people are interested in people who are interested in them.  That comes way before you can effectively build your useful network of eyes (people) to see your offers. 

There is no shortcut to this. Engagement is essential.

If you have a high level of traffic into your business then you can begin to build your online network with those who are already familiar with and like what you do. 


Message

Knowing clearly what the single message is that you want people to know about your business is vital to being able to create the types of content and target that message to get to the people who want to know about it. 

If your products and services are geared to satisfying customers who are male, 30 - 50 and single then your message is going to be significantly different and needs to be in front of another set of people than if you were looking to develop a network of senior citizens with an interest in buying a retirement unit. 

For social media your business can use successfully, you need a clear message and a clear persona of who your content is meant to delight and help solve their plight.  

Content 

It's fantastic that we all have cameras  with us now everywhere we go. What's not so good is the confusion that this can bring about. Your products and services need more than just Instagram photos to show them off well.  Some products are easier than others to capture well in an image. Professional images need to be a priority for some uses online. That's your website, your promotional material and some other work you might want to share as a template that you can adapt and re-use.  If you are selling meals, professional product photography is an art form. Not an iPhone filter. 

Building trust is not what you get with stock photos on your website of people who don't work there. It's like a high resolution statement that your business is not to be trusted. 

Graphic design in the form of banners and marketing collateral will make you stand out as well prepared and fastidious, and your own photos taken through the day supplement these to show you as being real. 

The topics you will write about, the articles that you curate and share with a comment, all of these add up to elements of your content and context marketing. This is a critical part of your online marketing strategy and needs proper resourcing and skills, and experience to do well. 

Platform

Don't like Twitter but like Facebook? That may be irrelevant. If your people who love what you do and are potential customers love Instagram, you better learn to like it too.  Remember this social thing is not about playing on Facebook, it is work and it is about having your business in the right place at the right time for the right people. I notice that when people tell me they don't like a platform, it follows that they don't understand it and have no idea how to use it properly. Opportunity, once it is seen, is hard not to like. 

Online is alive too. 

No matter how much we might like being online, many times the people we would like to get to know and develop some influence with are not online. Or not yet on the platforms that we might prefer. Consider how you will bring people online from offline so they can follow you and make your business updates part of their day. Enrolling people to your online properties, signage, promoting online profiles offline... all of these are part of your online business marketing.

Research

It doesn't matter what you know today, there is much you don't know about how to make this work for your business. Whatever you know today, be sure, that it will not be the same a month from now. This online environment changes by the hour. What tricks some are using to work today, will work against businesses tomorrow. Count on that. What won't change is a good strategy. Your tactics might flex, but the strategy will see you through that in good health  Staying up-to-date with these changes is a full time job and not one that many businesses have either the time or the understanding to manage well. 

Research is an ongoing facet of the online marketing space and this must have a place in your marketing process. 

Each of these topics above mean hours and hours of work to prepare, to promote and to get really good at in your business. 

You can try to cover off on all of these things alone, or you get some help to do more and get to your goals faster, and with less hassle.  One more thing help buys us is a fresh set of eyes. That can be just the thing we need to find our way out of the maze that is social marketing. 

Money for jam

Once you have established your working network online, you have the basis of your own business sales channel. You can then feed it and help it grow. 

That's something you can't buy ... but you can fund. 

And it can be amazing!

Related posts:
How to start blogging for business - and what to write about
10 Steps To Local Marketing Online
The Dirty Secrets Business Needs To Know About Social Media
Why You Need To Build Your Mailing List And How To Do It
How To Get Your Local Business Found Online
How-To: Developing A Social Media Strategy For Marketing
Quick & Dirty Business Review
Test Your Website For Roadworthiness
What You Should Know About Social Media For Business




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  Lindy Asimus Business Coaching
  Subscribe to Actionbites Blog

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

New Habits Feed Motivation For New Behaviours


Want to get motivated? Try some new habits!

Here's something that might surprise you. What you think motivates you... probably doesn't.

We have a lot of ideas about who we are, what drives us. What prevents us from doing the things we profess to want to do. The sobering truth is that we people are really not that good at separating what we think we do and our actual behaviour. Some social psychology studies reveal interesting myths we tend to believe and it is far different than what actually changes behaviour.

Goals and Motivation

Some look at motivation as something that we go to a workshop or seminar to 'fill up our tank' with motivation. The problem with that is that after the expensive seminar, we are back home and leaking motivation till the tank is empty again.

Rather than look outside ourselves for motivation, it is more useful to find that essence inside that connects with that is truly of value to us at a core level.

Setting goals for things that don't matter is pretty pointless. If it is just stuff that has no meaning, put it on a shopping list or drop it altogether. Pretending to set goals we have no intention of changing our habits in order to achieve just trains us to be unreliable, untrustworthy and all that does is erode self esteem.  If you are not going to do something, own it. When we make promises we have no intention to honour we erode our self respect. Whether we know it or not.

Be clear on what it is you want
Be clear on what purpose having what you want achieves for you.
Be clear on what not having this will mean for you and those around you.
Be clear on the steps that need to happen and the order in which you will carry them out in order for this to happen.
Budget for whatever resources you need to make this happen. That might be in money or time, or both.

Set Your Expectations And Make New Habits.

If you are setting out to achieve a change in your behaviour then you will be looking to isolate the current habits that you have which are preventing you from getting the results that come with the new behaviour.  Once you have identified the habits that are stopping you - then you need to identify a new set of habits that underpin your new behaviour and assist you to reach your intended outcome. Work this through to make sure this new habit has the potential to do what it needs to do for you. That taking on this new habit will achieve the resulting behaviour but won't create unintended downside effects that make problems or add stress to your life or for those around you.

Let's look at an example.

Say you feel pudgy and tired all the time and stressed out. You want to get more physically active but time is a pressure for you. You don't feel like you have any time to yourself and if you take time to go for a walk or other activity then you will be putting pressure on your partner to manage the household alone.

 New Behaviour

You want to walk for half an hour
Take time to meditate for ten minutes
Get ready for work without being rushed.

The Why - Purpose: Is to feel better, less stressed and more in control of life.

New habit: Set the alarm for an hour earlier and take this time to do whatever is required for your new behaviours.

Previously, you set the alarm for 6.30 am.

Now you set the alarm for 5.30 am. And you get up when it goes off.

Feel like you are missing out if you don't get a bit of a sleep in? Set it for 5. 10 and be up and out of bed by 5.25 am. Refreshed.

Sabotaging Your Adult Self

Now what happens, some people will look at the idea of getting up at 5.30am as a kind of punishment. Something that your parents might make you do, like you are a little kid. Like a little kid you might be tempted to "cheat" and oversleep.

But there is nobody to cheat. Only you.

New Habits

Now you are walking each morning
Taking time to meditate and reflect on life
Clearing the time to get ready for work at a leisurely pace
Not taking time away from your other commitments

A Gift To Yourself 

Getting an extra hour a day just for you, is a long way from a punishment. It is the greatest gift that you can give yourself. A whole hour to just do your thing without being required to do anything else for anyone. No obligations, no expectations from others, just a set of things for you to do, that gets you the results that you want, and makes life easier and your energy more abundant.

Now that's something to get you motivated, and rewarded!

Resolutions - They are not the same as goals! 
How to set goals you will reach
When you want to be motivated - use your habits to help! 




Like to discuss your business?
 Call me on 0403 365 855 or
 Lindy Asimus Business Coaching
  Subscribe to Actionbites Blog

Monday, November 17, 2014

Set Up Policies & Procedures For Small Business



Update:

I wrote this a while back and reading it again I was wondering what I'd change. Not much but I would add that the technology to manage this is so much more accessible now.  That means that there is no excuse for businesses to be struggling through poor attention to creating efficient systems to use for repetitive tasks. Too often poor systems translate into work billed not being paid, and extra cost for business that it doesn't need to spend. And no money going where it can bring in new business. 

Documenting your tasks in the business and producing well-written accurate procedures and policies is your key to a well-run business.  This allows you to systemise your business and that means managing your resources and your compliance obligations efficiently.

 The spin-off advantage - your employees know what they are supposed to be doing - and how - and also why it is important.  That saves you time, ensures consistency and that makes good financial sense.

It reduces stress and lets employees function at high performance and be more productive and happy at work. 

Tasks To Be Performed

Start by capturing every duty within the role for that job. This is a great time to assess if this action is still working effectively, or if there are modifications that can be made to streamline and more efficiently cover that activity.

Starting with tasks means that those doing the role now can take responsibility for completing the tasks and documenting them as they exist. It also allows you to see if some tasks are better assigned to a different role, or perhaps delegated to a new role as the business grows. Of course for new businesses you may be carrying out ALL of these tasks yourself!

Policies and Procedures

























Some policies and procedures centre around obligations that a company has to ensure compliance with work health and safety. Others are just good management devices that ensure things get done on time and in the right way. Part of your role as owner or manager of the business is to make it easy for your employees to do the right thing the right way. They should never have to 'guess' what you want or how you want it done to your company specification. Getting this right can be tricky, but this is where you need to be very clear in your instructions and cover every section!

The Employee Manual 

Creating a manual for employees gives you a head start when you want to hire a new person for a role and lets them 'hit the ground running'. You can include your vision and cultural statements and history of the business to date, as well as policies they are to follow and a clear diagram showing to whom they report, their duties and he standard that they are to perform.. Issues around uniform, behaviour and pay dates as well as holiday protocols can all be set out, as well as any drug and alcohol policy, etc. Awards that apply and any additional opportunities for training or career development that may exist can also be included. Also induction procedures.


Organisation Chart

A well articulated heirarchy showing to whom each employee reports does several things. One it shows clearly to whom the employee should go for instruction and to report - and who not to! 

This also serves to clarify to those people to whom the person reports, just where their obligations to the employee reside and makes it easier to recruit new employees if someone leaves or the workload grows and requires more employees to be added.

Training & Testing Knowledge

Having policies and procedures documented is a great start, but it is up to management to ensure that employees - and managers including the owners - understand what the policies mean and that they comply with them. It isn't enough to have a policy and then for the managers to ignore them.


Performance Management

When management and employees have a clearly stated case for what is expected, managing performance becomes simple. You can see if the policies and procedures are being adhered to and should this not be happening, remedial action can be taken as it happens, to correct the behaviour, add any resources that prevent the processes being followed and get everyone back on track.


Getting this all happening can  take some time but it is well worth it. Once policies and procedures are set up you can keep them up-to-date and manage the business more efficiently and without the headaches.

If you need help in getting started, get help.
If you would like me to work with you on this, you can contact me at the address below.


Lindy Asimus
Business Coach
Mobile: 61 + (0) 403 365855
lindyasimus@gmail.com

www.lindyasimus.com

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Get your business on Google ...free!
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Local business: Tips to online marketing 
Getting started with your business blog
Social media help for your business



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Saturday, August 30, 2014

How To Set Goals You Can Reach


Setting goals is a common topic especially around each New Year but of course the best time to set goals and start making them happen is NOW. Learning how to set goals you can reach is vital.


Start With A Process


Have a process that will let you take the steps to help you achieve what you want. It seems odd but sometimes people set goals that they don’t want – because it will mean they have to give up something they won’t give up. And sometimes people set goals they achieve, without understanding that in getting that goal – they have put something else in jeopardy that they didn’t intend.


Ecology Is Important.

Ecology isn’t just about conditions in the environment. Our personal ecology - internally and how that creates action in our external environment – is important to remember. Be very clear and remember, just as you learned in high school science class – actions have equal and opposite reactions. For example ... You get in control of your weight – that might not please an insecure partner who shows love by giving you food.


Congruency

Your alignment between your stated ambitions and your personal actions need to be aligned. When you are congruent in your thoughts and actions, you are on target to achieve your ambitions.
Get Your Unconscious Mind On The Job Too!

Congruency needs help from the less-than-conscious mind too. It is the You which breathes for you and goes on doing all the things on autopilot so you don’t have to worry about them happening on time.  Help train your unconscious mind to track opportunities and keep you on target by telling it exactly what you want in line with your goals and a great way to do that is to write your goals and creating a mind map or visual representation too is an even bigger help.



Put Your Goals Into Your Future

Take yourself forward to a time when you have achieved your goals. Picture what is happening in your life now that you have achieved them. What do you see, what do you feel, what has changed in your life now? What other things are you able to achieve beyond this now you have arrived here? Bring it to life in your imagination and feel it and see it and deepen the image and the feeling and you will know ‘when you get there’, and reach it next time for real.


Get Accustomed To Delaying Gratification

If you want to lose 50 pounds and you want to eat that chocolate bar, then you have a choice. Which impulse is going to win? The one you want or the one that you don’t bother to shutdown and choose and just let “happen”?  You may not know it, but you choose either way. If you choose the one you “don’t want” then guess what. You’re kidding yourself.  Make up your mind. If you want to pile on more weight (or whatever self sabotaging behaviour you pick) you are entitled to do so. Just own it, and don’t be pleading for sympathy while you sabotage yourself.  That short-term gratification is killing your chances of a gratifying life. But hey, it’s your choice.   Going without can seem like a punishment. Here’s news. Submitting to every impulse to feel good for the moment is the real punishment. You are what you ate. You are right now, living in the sum total of all the decisions you’ve ever made. If you would like something different for your life then your actions have to be different.


Give Yourself Some Treats


Mark your progress with some treats to show for your good habits. Make a list of things you have not done that you’d like to do and make them a part of your routine as a reward. Maybe a hike somewhere that you like or a drive to somewhere you don’t often get to for a weekend away.


Plan Goals For All Parts Of Your Life


Setting goals for only part of life can leave us neglecting other areas that  need to be in balance too. We can sometimes focus on just one thing, while we fail to see that other elements in our life are leaving us hungry for something we haven’t considered.

Think about making goals for all these areas:

Health
Relationships
Career or Business
Education
Financial Wellbeing
Spiritual
Contribution

Self Care

What would you like more of in these areas? What would you like less of?  What actions might you be taking in all these areas that you’ve not spent time on thinking about, but would enrich your relationships and your life in general, both now, and in the medium and longer term.


Summing Up

Remember ... we are all a work in progress.
That’s a good thing. It means that we hold the key to the future that is most in line with what we’d really prefer. Knowing ourselves well, helps us know what that is.




If you have some thoughts you'd like to share please add your comment.

And if you'd like a copy of the worksheet to go with this post go here



How To Set Goals - And Reach Them

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