Follow Up… The Proof Is In the Pudding

Follow Up… The Proof Is In the Pudding
5 Quick Tips for “Follow Up” In Minimal Time

 

So often I hear from small business owners and entrepreneurs that “things just don’t get done”.  I always ask them, “Is it that things don’t get done the way you expect? Is it that tasks fall through the cracks and deadlines are not met?”

 

Among the answers I get are:

  • I have too many projects at one time and have difficulty managing all of them.
  • I wish I had a better “tracking system” to manage everything I have going on.
  • I don’t have time to follow up with everything in my business.

I’ll bet that you can relate to some of these answers.  While you’re moving with lightening speed in your business with your marketing, product creation, speaking and traveling, etc., it definitely can be challenging to manage the day to day business of your business.  If I can be frank here, it is your responsibility to manage your projects and status of your business… even if you use an operations manager or online business manager to help you do that.  After all it is your business.

 

Here’s the thing, things that get measured get done.  I’m sure you’ve heard that before and it’s very true.  How can you do that?  It could be a bit easier than you think. 

 

Here are 5 quick tips that will help you “follow up” using the least amount of time possible.


 

  1. Make sure from the start that assignments for projects are very specific, measurable, achievable, responsibilities are clear, and they have a time limit.  Being very clear from the start can eliminate many challenges from the beginning.
  2. Choose one or two tasks or milestones a day to get an update on.  Speak to the staff member directly if possible because “face time” and communication is a key to getting things done.  Show your interest in the task and the team member. This is critical to team building.
  3. Create a project tracker form or spreadsheet.  A spreadsheet is a very useful tool. There are many that you could sample, but make sure the one you use is tweaked for your own purpose.  The beauty of this is that at a glance you can see day by day and date the critical tasks that should be completed.
  4. Require daily or weekly reports from your staff or team.  I find that daily reports are best because they allow you to get on top of items that should have been done, items that are falling behind, and you can make adjustments or offer assistance if necessary.
  5. Hold weekly “stand up” staff meetings. Set a timer allowing each staff member a defined time (three to five minutes each) to report on the status of critical tasks and projects. Essentially, projects are either “complete”, “on track”, or “behind”.  Offer the staff member an opportunity to express help they may need to complete tasks that aren’t on track.

Whether your staff or team is all in one place or virtual, these tips can and will work. Whether you have employees or independent contractors, these tips will work.  What is essential, however; is to be consistent with your follow up processes. 

 

As I mentioned before, you might have an operations manager, general manager or an online business manager whom you might want to delegate most of the follow up to.  However, delegating and forgetting about follow up won’t work.  Keep yourself involved.  


For more information
about program management, planning, and goal setting visit http://GailSaseen.com. 

Happy Planning!

Today Could Be The First Day Of Your Renewed Business

Goals

Today Could Be The First Day Of Your Renewed Business

Clear goals and objectives make the difference between getting things done in your business or not so much.  Intellectually as an entrepreneur you get that, however, have you clearly written your goals and objectives and communicated them to your staff or team? 

Many business owners and entrepreneurs struggle with the process of creating a written foundation for their business.  Most times the thought is overwhelming.  

When you’re working so hard IN your business it’s difficult to take a step back and work ON your business.  This is especially true for new business owners.  However, don’t dismiss the importance of writing things down as you go along. 

As a minimum there are 6 Key elements you should prioritize as you create a guide for your business operations.  These 6 elements can renew the focus and speed at which you and your team operate and the path your business takes.

 The 6 Key Elements for a renewed business: 

  • Mission – What is the mission or purpose of your business? 

The mission of your business is usually related to or in line with your life purpose.  What is it that you do?  Write a clear statement about what you do and why you do it.  Communicate your mission statement with your team so that everyone knows what the mission the business is.  A recommendation is to print the mission statement out and post it on the walls and send it to your team.  Everyone must understand your purpose and mission so that everyone is working on the same page.  Knowledge is power! 

  • Vision – Your vision creates the climate upon which your staff or team will operate to accomplish your mission. 

To create a vision, close your eyes and think about your mission fulfilled.  What does your clients say about you and how you helped them, how does your staff feel about working with you, do new client come to you effortlessly and easily, what is their experience?  

Write down your vision as it supports your mission.  A great example is to study Zappo’s.  See how the mission and vision were created and a culture was created that few businesses match. 

  • Goals & Objectives – Goals and objectives are the action steps to get things done in your business. 

There are several types of goals you might develop.  There are overall (big picture) business goals, yearly goals and short tem goals.  Each goal should have specific objectives that support the accomplishment of the goal.  Goals must be written using S.M.A.R.T. Principles…. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.  Without using S.M.A.R.T. goals are simply wishes.  

  • Communication – Communication is the key to getting things done. 

Business mission, goals, objectives and accountability items must be clearly communicated to your staff or team.  Communication promotes a “buy in” from your support staff to your mission.  When your support staff “buys in” they feel part of the process and will take personal responsibility to help you reach your goals.  Two-way communication, of course, is the best because the team performing the work will have unique thought on what’s going well and what is not.  This process gives you the information to make informed business decisions. 

  • Measurement – Developing a system to measure the progress of your goals (long term and short term) and objectives is critical because you won’t know when you reach your goals if they are not measured.  It really is the old adage… Numbers Don’t Lie! 

When you write your goals using S.M.A.R.T. Principles, you will have already determined the outcome in terms of how many and the time frame (deadlines).  Use a simple tool such as a checklist or spreadsheet to measure the progress of the goals.  

  • Accountability – When tasks and responsibilities are communicated to your staff or team, hold them accountable for completing the tasks within the time frame and standards you expect as the business owner. 

Simple checklists or daily reports from your staff will allow you to see who is performing and who is not.  Also if there is a challenge to getting a certain task completed you will immediately be able to key in on the challenge and make adjustments as you deem necessary.  

As shown by the illustration above, each of these key elements are interrelated.  If you are just starting out in business, don’t delay setting up your foundation for success.  If you’ve been in business and haven’t communicated and written down your mission, etc, don’t put it off any longer.  You will see your business transform and be renewed quickly.  You will accomplish more at great speed and be able to work on income generating projects.