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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.