What is your Business Mode of Transportation?

Hello fellow business owners,  I hope things are working out well for you this week. 

I have been doing a lot of thinking and assessing lately.  Every now and then, I get the urge to reassess my business, my vision, my achievements etc.  What has been coming to me lately is how to streamline what I do, so I can be more effective and provide a better service to my clients. Being able to critically analyse the present state of my business will enable me to choose the right mode of transportation to move my business forward.

Now I understand that many of us like to dabble into a little bit of this and that which is quite common with start-ups.  This might happen for a while as you try to find a good fit for you and your business.  But the time comes when you have to sit back and analyse the past few months of running your business.

What has been good, what has failed, what can you improve?   

These questions will help you decide on the mode of transportation you want to travel in to get to your next business destination. Whatever you do, don’t pay the fare until you are sure of where you want to go. 

Modes of Transportation

Now I have used the various modes of transportation in my business, some have worked well, and some have been a near disaster!

Aeroplanes

We all love to fly so we can arrive at our destination as early as humanly possible.  There is nothing wrong with that if you know exactly where you are going. But think of a pilot in front of a plane who is yet to master his navigation system – a recipe for disaster. There might come a time where you and your business can board or even fly a plane, just make sure you board with your pilot licence i.e. your business growth has been constant and you are ready to step up to the next business level.  . 

Trains                                                                                                                                                                                           This is another mode of transportation we can use as business owners to propel our business vision.  Trains are not as fast as planes – well if you are not on the Eurostar. This may be a better option for those who are somewhat sure of the direction in which their business needs to travel.   There are tracks laid out ahead of you (better understanding of your business), so navigation is a lot easier. Get on this mode of transportation knowing that the stations and stops are far in between (established competitors don’t disembark often).  You may not get as many chances to make amends quick enough, so you must be able to match business demands with supply.  

Bus: With buses, you know as long as you pay the right fare, you will get a reasonable good ride and a cheaper mode of transportation too!  You may not find a seat immediately but as people get off (competitors exit), there are more chances of you been able to sit down.  The same applies to business start-ups – when you get on the entrepreneurial bus, initially the journey starts slowly, and then you can speed up as you encounter bus lanes – these are dedicated routes for your industry.  

The bus may seem rather rowdy initially but if you persevere, you could get a good seat for you and your business (once you know your target market).  But don’t get too comfortable though, due to the frequency of the stops, people will be getting on and off the bus.  Some of these people (competitors) are going to the same destination as you.  You must think of ways to keep your seat on that bus until you are ready to get off and get on a train. 

A good business idea has the potential to grow as long as the owner takes small steady steps in the right direction.  Do not be hasty to get on an aeroplane straight away, travel on a bus to get a good feel of what you business is about. As you do that, enjoy the ride!

Till next time, I wish you good success.

Temi. 

www.businessfirststeps.co.uk

Emails and Time Management

If you have a work inbox, you most likely will get emails everyday. Some from your clients, your suppliers,  email listings and some unwanted.  So how exactly are you suppose to deal with your inbox on a daily basis so it doesn’t take over your business life?

Choose a Time Slot

Find a time slot in the day when you choose to open your emails.  If you are easily distracted, do not make it the first task in the morning as it may spiral out of control if something catches your fancy.  I choose to open my emails first thing as it helps set my mind for the day, especially information from my clients and email subscriptions.   Allocate a specific amount of time to deal with your emails, mine is twenty minutes maximum. 

Filter Your Emails

Some of your email will be urgent, some will be for further reference and some are meant for trash or junk mail.  Try to read through the important ones rather than save them for later.  Reduce the mail in your inbox as you go along – do not be afraid to hit the delete button.  Compartmentalized them into folders such as resources, email subscriptions, junk etc.  Make sure that your ‘read later’ pile is kept to a minimum and do ‘read them later’.

No Entry – Friends and Family  

                                                

Politely ask your family and friends not to send personal emails to your work inbox.  Less mail from loved ones can drastically reduce your workload and sifting process.  If they must send one (for business), ask them to make it short and to the point. 

 

Reply in a Jiffy

If you need to reply to an email, summarise your points  and do not go into an elaborate write-up. 

Maintain Good Practice

  • Once an email is read, remove it from your inbox either into another folder for reference or delete it. 
  • Try to keep your inbox as clear as possible, if an email is lingering there for too long – maybe you do not need it after all. 
  • Unsubscribe from email listings you no longer find useful and keep subscriptions to  a manageable level.
  • Make it a habit to junk the mail you did not solicit for or need.  
  • Keep your work inbox for work and not for leisure activities, if necessary create a mail box for that purpose and make sure you notify people to use it for your personal emails.   
  • Shift through your inbox once a week to weed out emails that have been lingering unread for days. 
  • Show junk and spam mail no mercy as they are major time-wasters. 
  • Do not visit your inbox too many times during the day, I visit mine thrice a day morning, lunchtime and before I close shop for the day. 
  • If you are expecting an important mail, then be strict with yourself to check in and check out without loitering!

Don’t forget to glance through your junk mail as some important mail might slip through the net.  As you tackle your inbox this week, be firm so you can spend your time doing what matters. 

Wishing you every success.

Temi

www.businessfirststeps.co.uk

Coming soon to a site near you – Time Management Tips for a More Effective You.

Photo courtesy of sxc.hu Kveselyte, WR-fife