Time Management


In the past, we have discussed the importance of hiring the right people. This may sound like a simple process, but how can you be sure your company currently has the right people in place? And if you don’t, how do you go about finding them? More importantly, how do you retain them? These questions are overwhelming, but are important ones to answer, as the benefits of hiring the right people are increased effectiveness, efficiency and improved profit. As a sales trainer for financial advisors, I often use the Moss Adams profitability and compensation survey results from financial advisors. The public accounting firm concluded that the top tier firms paid employees 10% to 20% more than other financial advising companies. The firms that increased employee compensation also saw a rise in profitability by more than 30%. This means financial advisors are receiving more productivity from each employee. The question now is how do we go about hiring the right people? Gino Wickman, founder of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) and author of Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, suggests evaluating employees on the GWC scale: ‘Get It, Want it, and Capacity to Do It.’ Let’s look into how this approach plays out. Get It Getting it means understanding the big picture as well as recognizing the smaller pieces that are needed in order to get the job done. Does the employee understand his or her mission? Can he/she achieve the desired outcomes? Want It The employee needs to enjoy what he/she is doing and be motivated to excel. In essence, your employee needs to have a drive. This might not exist for every project, but in total, all members of your company should have a desire to succeed. Capacity to Do It The last function in the GWC scale is having the education, experience and ability to handle the job. Education and experience are easy enough to measure; however, ability is far more difficult. Ability is how an individual applies his or her knowledge in order to make decisions. Before I began incorporating the GWC scale into my hiring process, I contracted an individual who had run two offices for a prominent wealth advisor. Prior to that, she was in charge of operations for two separate financial advisors, so she was familiar with what we were trying to accomplish. She enjoyed managing others and had a history of assuming leadership positions. Her previous roles had granted her the education and knowledge needed; however, when it came to capacity, she was unable to apply her ability to communicate, make decisions or accomplish projects. If one of your employees lacks one or several of these traits, it...

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In part one of our series, we discussed how having an organized team of employees and established procedures in place can turn your small business into a money-making empire. While implementing policies and procedures into the workplace can help keep employees on track and unify team efforts in order to reach goals, there are other pieces of the puzzle needed to increase productivity and generate profit. More and more small businesses are looking to improve opportunities for growth by outsourcing day-to-day back office tasks. The right approach to outsourcing often varies from business to business. Some small businesses may have an adequate number of in-house staff responsible for handling daily administrative tasks; however, the time may come when such employees begin to seek outside help to undertake new projects that don’t necessarily require another full-time employee. Recruiting Contractors to Eliminate Back-Office Burdens When it comes to project delegation, almost any task can be outsourced. Because of the abundance of qualified professionals leaving structured companies to work as independent contractors or freelancers, many more activities are needing assistance from outside individuals. Tasks that may easily be outsourced to save the company time and money include contracting: Web designers Virtual bookkeepers Ghost writers Graphic designers Executive assistants and/or a project manager Optimal Outsourcing: Increase Productivity While Maintaining Authenticity With daily tasks continuously growing, many small businesses opt to hand over activities that are of little to know interest to employees; however, this can be problematic for anticipated growth as many assignments that appear unimportant or minimal in nature have a considerable impact on the strength and progression of the company. There are a number of key areas that are essential to business management and therefore, must remain under the responsibility of the employees. Areas such as human resources and talent management must remain authentic in order to drive business. Outsourcing such areas would hinder a business’s ability to promote a service that is both unique and attractive to clients. Instead, focus on the areas and tasks that exhaust employee time and money and interfere with the achievement of company goals. Such opportunities include: Accounting – By connecting with a skilled accountant, you can save valuable company time and have the certainty that your company’s financials are in the hands of a professional with the skills and knowledge to keep your small business afloat. Banking – As a small business owner, it’s important to manage finances with an institution you trust. Enlisting in the help of a specialist can assist companies in making smart decisions about loans, grants, and the general cash flow of the company. Editing and Social Media Management –...

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How many hours a day do you spend on your computer, tablet or smartphone? If the answer is too difficult to count, it’s time for a digital detox. In training for the U.S. Aquathlon Team (triathlon without the biking), the most important thing I can do is have a rest day, which I schedule for Mondays. One day each weekend is dedicated to doing a two-a-day and the second day is a long workout session.  Besides giving my legs and heart a break, resting on Monday also helps me transition into the workweek by reenergizing and recuperating. Recharging is the best thing I can do, because training is all about recovering and repairing the muscles. With that in mind, I believe that we need to do the same in our work life. This is where detoxing comes into play. Digital Detox—How to Unplug You probably have heard of folks detoxing from food and alcohol, but how about a detox from the digital world?  As a sales trainer for financial advisors, I hear of financial planners getting torn away from reality and becoming engulfed by their businesses. As a result, I recommend a digital detox.  Remove yourself from email, Twitter, LinkedIn and any other form of social media you find yourself utilizing on a daily basis. During the 2013 Christmas season, I visited my brother in Nicaragua, and I left my phone in the airport (believe it or not, the airport held it for me until I returned). It was the best thing that I could have done, because I was able to disconnect and enjoy my time with family. When I returned, I was rejuvenated and eager to jump back into the business. Here is a great example of how you can create your own digital detox:  http://www.loveinfographics.com/categories/food-and-drink-infographics/8-minute-digital-detox-with-tea-infographic# Creating a weekly digital detox on a regular basis will improve your focus and productivity and allow you to be more intentional about your business. Next Steps Looking to try a weekly digital detox but worried about how your business may operate without your assistance? We can help. By creating a process and utilizing checklists prior to removing yourself, you can be assured your business will run smoothly while you are away each week. Dive into one of our many posts on checklists to get started. photo credit: premasagar via photopin...

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It’s a well-known fact that people who get things done generally get more requested of them. The more you complete, the more you are not only expected to work on, but more importantly, get done, while the requests just keep coming. If you like to keep busy, it’s can be a good challenge. But juggling the work can often create stress. People often ask how I get it done. So here it is. Make The Time What actually prompted me to write this blog entry was a recent conversation with a financial advisor in Oregon. She was trying to increase her client base and was seeking help in targeting clients. She was working on getting her CFP and wanted to grow her business. However, rather than start off the day by working on these two important items, she instead took customers’ requests beginning at 8:30 a.m. What was meant to take no more than 60 minutes often turned into three hours of customer service requests. Servicing clients is an important task and if you are a one-person office or even if you have an assistant, you may often find yourself consumed with clients’ requests. The trick is to schedule a time to get those requests done. Be warned: this can be difficult and on some days, you will not be able to hold to that schedule. However, if you are intentional about what you want to get accomplished and are able schedule your day around those items; you are far more likely to succeed. One of the benefits of planning your day is that it helps you know what tasks are most important, so you can focus on them. Also, scheduling times to complete tasks helps give you a timeline as to when you will accomplish those items. Last, planning your day helps hold you accountable to get things done. Analyze The Past Week And Plan Ahead   One of the first things I do when planning my days and weeks is to spend time at the end of each week organizing my calendar. I review the past week to see if I need to get anything done and look at the week to come in order to schedule my time. There are several things that I plan each week, including time to make cold calls, time to review emails and return client calls, time to write and time to meet with my team and/or individual team members. This kind of schedule often leaves me with very little free time, but the time that I have scheduled is the time that I need in order to make sure I get...

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