Productivity = Success
Most business owners, managers and senior executives are juggling day to day responsibilities, growing the business and various projects. With so much to do, improving your productivity is key if you want to succeed. Here are a few top tips to help you to improve your productivity.
In today’s always-on environment, many of us have fallen into the trap of multi-tasking and trying to do too much. Instead, try to focus on doing individual tasks properly. Create a priority list each day and focus on getting each item on that list ticked off. That way you can focus on processing the task at hand.
The very best business leaders are masters of delegation. Build a team of effective people around you and delegate as much as you can. Empower them to take on projects and avoid micro managing. Delegation is the key to productivity
Learn to say no
Taking on too much at once will reduce your productivity and increase your stress levels. Say no to things that are not important.
Just because you are invited to a meeting doesn’t mean it should be a priority. Focus on the things that really matter to you and your firm and say yes to them. Everything else is just a distraction.
Cut out the noise
With email, instant messaging, social media and phone calls, we are all distracted by constant noise. Schedule specific time for checking your various email and messaging inboxes and refrain from checking your messages outside of these specific times.
A day of no meetings
Scheduling a “no-meeting day” every week can have a positive impact on your productivity. Every manager needs uninterrupted blocks of time to deal with projects, reporting and whatever else is on the “to do” list.
Leave work at a reasonable hour
The most productive managers make it home at a reasonable time. Successful leaders don’t ork long hours every day in an attempt to tick more items off their to-do list. Instead, they think through their priorities, schedule time for each, then it’s time to go home.
Regardless of the type of business that you run, you will have talented people in your team who you will want to develop and grow into future managers. So how do you go about creating the next generation of managers in your business?
It starts with leadership
The managers and leaders in a firm are responsible for developing the capabilities of their employees, nurturing their careers and managing the performance of individuals and teams. Most managers would acknowledge the importance of training and developing their people, but few dedicate enough time to it. The management team should consider that an effective way to attract and retain talent is to create an environment where talented people can develop.
Time is a finite commodity and urgent tasks tend to devour it. Managers who aren’t disciplined in time management and prioritisation may neglect investing time in developing their people simply because they have failed to move talent development to the top of their to-do list. Talent development should be a strategic priority for your business and every member of your management team should have talent development objectives in their business plan.
Build a culture of learning and development
The management team should reinforce the value of learning. They should encourage the creation of sustainable processes to support the development of employees. The business should be prepared to celebrate the successes of employees.
Real world learning
Problems faced by the business can be leveraged as opportunities for real world learning and development. Team members can be encouraged to take on new challenges which allow them to develop their skills. Mistakes should be viewed as further learning opportunities and this should be communicated across the business.
Building your personal brand
Your personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room. So how do you go about creating an effective personal brand?
Don’t make the mistake of thinking your personal brand is all about you. It’s not. Your personal brand is not about your work experience or your personal accomplishments. Your personal brand should be about other people, specifically what you can do for other people.
Focus on your professional development. Knowing your strengths and future areas of focus puts you in the driver’s seat in your own career, helping you understand what the next steps are that you must take and what goals to set for your development and overall success.
Think about your target market and research their values and beliefs. Perhaps your target audience is your board of directors or maybe your industry peers.
Ask your target audience questions in order to understand what makes them tick, what they value and what is of interest to them. Now consider your skill-set and identify the gap in your target market that allows you to align your skills with the values of your target audience.
Build your elevator pitch. You want to tell your audience about what you do, about what makes you different and exciting. Create a short message that sums up what you’re about in a way which connects with your audience. Keep it simple and memorable.
Define your values. Authenticity is the cornerstone of personal branding. Your authenticity is what allows your audience to build trust with you, to engage with you, to tell others about you.
Being authentic is about having stated values and being true to them.
Your values might be focused on accountability or driving innovation. Alternatively, they might be focused on corporate social responsibility, diversity or environmental awareness.
Keep your values at the heart of everything you do, as you interact with people, network on social media or when dealing with clients. Wherever and whenever you engage, ensure you do so in a way that is aligned with your values. Over time, you will build your personal brand.
Digital Marketing Strategy
Over the last 10 years or so, marketing has moved more towards digital, thanks to the prevalence of fast wifi connections, smartphones, social media and data analysis. In today’s hyper-connected world every business should have a digital marketing strategy.
Most businesses tend to utilise digital marketing channels, however many businesses don’t have an actual digital marketing strategy. Building an effective digital marketing strategy involves gaining insights from data in order to make informed marketing decisions. The end goal is to understand your customer’s digital experience in order to maximise new business / sales opportunities for your firm.
A digital marketing strategy doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Depending on the size of your firm and the budget that you have available, your digital marketing strategy could be as simple as leveraging social media channels and having an effective website.
Data analysis forms a key part of your digital marketing strategy. You can use free tools such as Google Analytics in order to understand the profile, location and number of visitors to your website and social media pages. You can gain insights from your data – such as “on average, it takes 150 views of your social media posts to generate 1 new business enquiry.” Using this example, lets say that your target is to generate 10 new business enquiries per week. That means that you need to achieve at least 1500 views per week in order to generate the required number of enquiries. Setting this type of objective forms the basis of your digital marketing strategy.
In order to create a truly effective digital marketing strategy, you need to understand your potential customers. Start by creating a profile of your target customers. Look at the demographic data – age, location, gender, etc. Then dig a bit deeper and identify the problems that you and your business can try to solve for these potential customers.
Don’t forget to identify the profile of the people who influence your customers. These will be the influencers that your digital marketing strategy should target, in addition to your potential customers and existing client base.
Finally, choose the media that is most likely to be used by your target customers. For example, if your customers are business people, perhaps LinkedIn is a more effective social media tool for reaching your target audience than Facebook or Instagram.