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Planning for Success

The Achiever Matrix: Is your day running you or are you running it?

“Either run the day or the day runs you.” – Jim Rohn

Not all URGENT tasks are important!

I repeat.

Not all URGENT tasks are important!

If you would like to get perspective and prioritise tasks based on their importance to free up your time, read on and we will show you how to do it.

And it comes down to three powerful words.

The Achiever Matrix.

The Achiever Matrix is the easiest way to prioritise the tasks that need to get done (yesterday!).

The Achiever Matrix is made up of four quadrants and helps you prioritise tasks based on their importance; allowing you to manage your time better and achieve more.

  • Quadrant 1 is The Quadrant of Urgency:

This quadrant represents tasks which are both urgent and important. These tasks might be handling an unhappy customer, meeting a deadline, dealing with a crisis, or undertaking urgent re-work.

While we must all spend some time in Q1, many of these activities were important before they became urgent through procrastination or lack of planning and risk management.

  • Quadrant 2 is The Quadrant of Quality:

These are the tasks that are important but not urgent. These tasks relate to planning, anticipating and minimising problems, empowering others, building relationships, and developing skills.

Ignoring tasks in this quadrant will increase the size of Q1, as those important but not urgent tasks become urgent over time. On the other hand, investing time in Q2 will reduce the size of Q1.

We must focus on the tasks in Q2 and spend most of our time working here.

  • Quadrant 3 is The Quadrant of Deception:

These are the tasks that are urgent but not important. The noise of urgency creates an illusion of importance, but the activities within this quadrant are usually only important to someone else. These can include phone calls, meetings, emails, and drop-in visitors.

We often end up spending a lot of time in this quadrant, meeting the needs of others, while fooling ourselves that we’re working in Q1. Tasks in Q3 should be delegated to others where possible to free up your time to work in Q1.

  • Quadrant 4 is The Quadrant of Waste:

These are the tasks which are not urgent and not important. These can include junk emails, some phone calls, time wasters, and “busy” work.

We know we shouldn’t spend any time at all in this quadrant, but sometimes we get weary from being tossed between quadrants 1 and 3, so we escape to Q4 for time out. Q4 is not about survival, it’s deterioration. It may initially feel nice, but it’s empty time and ultimately not satisfying.The Achiever Matrix (1)

QUESTION: Which quadrant did you spend the most time in over the past week?

Most people hang out a lot in Q3 – the Quadrant of Deception. The cost of letting urgency drive you is that you’re not spending time on the quality tasks that are going to improve your business.

The best way to free up your time to work in Q2 is to review your Q3 activities. These tasks may appear important at first glance, but how important are they really? Reclaim time lost to the deception of urgency and spend that time in the Quadrant of Quality.

NOTE: The Achiever Matrix has been adapted from Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Website business impact

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How many hats do you wear in business?

This is not a trick question! There are actually 10 departments that you need to be aware of within your business.

And that means often wearing 10 hats. Every business can be broken down into 10 core departments with unique functions – two are strategic and the rest are operational. It’s essential to understand the 10 departments, the function of each, and the key responsibilities of each person in each department.

Understanding these departments in your business is crucial for your productivity and business growth.

“The business is there to serve you; not the other way around.”

All are important and you should be across them, but you can also outsource some of the areas or tasks to free up your time so you can focus on the business, instead of being so in it.

The 10 departments within your business

The first two are strategic roles within the business and, while the rest are operational, you can easily get help by outsourcing various tasks.

Fixing your organisation structure could be the breakthrough you need to free up time to grow your business.

  1. Shareholder: Funds the business.
  2. Director: Sets the direction for the business.
  3. Leadership team: Implements the plan effectively to maximise business efficiency and performance.
  4. Product/service team: Develops new and existing products or services for sale.
  5. Operations/delivery: Delivers products and services to generate cash.
  6. Sales: Converts prospects into clients and customers.
  7. Marketing: Generates leads for sales to convert into clients and customers.
  8. Finance: Manages the business’s cash.
  9. HR: Manages employment-related tasks and issues and engages the team.
  10. Admin/IT: Manages office tasks and systems to maximise efficiency.

Having an organisation chart that clearly identifies the 10 departments and roles and responsibilities of each person increases efficiency and allows you to gain more control over your business.

All businesses are required to perform tasks relating to these departments on a regular basis. Our organisation can help you to establish better business functionality by devising the best structure for your team, helping you to remove some of the ”hats” you are currently wearing, and assessing any resourcing gaps.

We can help you develop your organisation chart with clearly defined roles and responsibilities.

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Planning for Success

Why you must set SMART goals in business.

“A goal should scare you a little and excite you a lot”. – Joe Vitale, author

But it should excite you more so you actually don’t get scared out of achieving it.

If you’ve never heard of a SMART goal before, it consists of 5 parameters; any goal (if you want to achieve it) must be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Maybe you have already heard of SMART goals and, spoiler alert, they’re not rocket science… but they do work.

SMART goals are an excellent filter to maximise planning outcomes.

When thinking about goals vs SMART goals, consider the difference between “I want a healthier diet” and “I want to eat less than 2,000 calories a day, 6 days per week to lose 7kg within 3 months and reduce my LDL cholesterol to 80”.

Which goal compels you to act?

Let’s break down a SMART goal in business:

  1. Is your goal specific?  The what, who, how, when and why.
  2. Is your goal measurable?  You must be able to determine your progress – how much profit have you made / kgs lost / tickets sold / leads converted? Keep your progress visual by tracking it in a spreadsheet or an app.
  3. Is your goal achievable?  Do you have the support, resources and ability to achieve it? Strike a balance between somewhat challenging and impossibly demotivating. For example, if you wish to take up running, it’s unlikely your goal will be to qualify for the 1,500m at the 2020 Olympics. Completing your local half marathon may be challenging enough.
  4. Is your goal relevant?  Does it work in with your personal plan or business’s vision? For example, if you run a vegan café, creating and selling a new beef product might not be a relevant goal for your business. There’s no point working hard on your goals if they’re the wrong goals.
  5. Is it time-bound?  Remove the temptation to procrastinate. Lock in a timeframe – a realistic timeframe – that will propel you to act.

Run the SMART filter over your current goals to ensure you’re setting yourself up for success.

And, don’t forget to reward your hard work. The dopamine hit we experience from completing tasks and achieving goals encourages us to repeat such behaviour, helping us turn our goals into habits.

Conclusion: Your business plan also needs to be SMART

Your business plan needs to be as smart of your SMART goals, because essentially it is your main goals list and strategy.

Need help resetting the goals in your business plan? There a few things you can do:

  • Set your goals
  • Provide clear budgets, targets and KPIs
  • Re-evaluate your business idea and feasibility
  • Identify your opportunities and obstacles

If your business plan needs help, you don’t have to do it alone. Call in the experts and get your plan and business on track.

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Planning for Success

P is for purpose not profit: Why does your business exist?

If I said these two words to you as a two ways to grow your business, which is the most important to you?

Purpose?

Profit?

You may think “profit” is the most important, right? But profits are a by-product of your purpose and showing your customers why you exist for them.

How are you impacting their lives? If we focus on our customers’ needs, better profitability will be a by-product.

The question you really have to ask yourself and understand is:

Why does your business exist?

Question

Why is your purpose important?

Your purpose is roughly three to seven words explaining why your business exists for your customers. Your purpose should be about THEM, not you. It is a small statement, with immense power.

FOR EXAMPLE:

Tesla: To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
Walt Disney: To make people happy.
TED: Spread ideas.

These may be big-company examples, but a clear purpose statement is just as important for small and medium-sized business.

A defined purpose statement is the antidote to a hugely profitable business… because we know that consumers are wired to take a self-interest and therefore will engage your business if your why resonates with them. Thereafter, your purpose will drive alignment of values and loyalty.

If you don’t focus on purpose, you’re likely to focus on profit

Guess what? Your customers aren’t interested in you making a profit. They’re too worried about their own profit. They’re more than happy for you to make a profit… provided you meet their needs first.

Let me give you a real-life example. One of our customers was on the hunt for a new car. It was the end of the month and during the negotiation stage, the salesman and business owner said: “We can do it for this price but I need the money in my account tomorrow. That’s the end of the month and it will look better for my figures.”

Do you think she bought the car? No. Why? Because she didn’t feel appreciated, she was just another sale to the business owner, not a valued customer.

The correlation between a business’s ability to serve a higher purpose and stronger financial performance has been proven. So, defining your purpose is a smart business strategy.

It comes down to engagement; with your team and your customers

Numerous studies have told us that a strong sense of purpose drives employee satisfaction, which will help to improve customer loyalty.

Articulating your business’s purpose to your team allows them to see that they are contributing to something bigger than themselves. Linking your purpose to their tasks and responsibilities allows them to see their connection to the outcome; how their role is attributing to the overall vision of the business – how they are impacting your customers’ lives.

If you focus on meeting (and exceeding) your customers’ needs, better profitability will be a by-product.

It’s essentially internal marketing; to achieve buy in and alignment from the team; providing motivation to deliver on your purpose whilst breeding loyalty.

Getting clear on your purpose will also transform your other marketing. Being able to clearly articulate why you exist for your customers in your marketing will tie customers to your brand and make them more inclined to refer you to others.

When that new customer does their due diligence, that is, they stalk your website and social media, it’s more likely they’ll develop an emotional connection to your business and buy from you.

Your purpose must first be defined by the leaders

Only when your purpose is crystal clear can you articulate to your team and then your customers and target audience.

Having a clear purpose is also about sustainability. There is mounting evidence that in these times of change and disruption, having a clear purpose will improve a business’s ability to transform and adapt.

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Planning for Success

The ultimate money maker: Delighting your customers for better referrals

“You can get anything you want in life so long as you help enough other people get what they want.” – Zig Ziglar

Psst. I’ve got a secret to share with you.

The most simple and cost-effective way to grow your business is so often overlooked; happy customers become your strongest advocates.

They talk to their friends, family, and associates and refer business to you.

Did you know an unhappy customer will tell 10 people, while a happy one will only tell 3.

Now, you can’t always make everyone happy, but here are 10 ways to delight your customers so that more people are happily talking about you:

  1. Meet with your customers more often and take a genuine interest in how they’re doing. At the very least call or email regularly them to check in.
  2. Run customer events. Put on a few drinks, get in a relevant speaker, and invite your customers along.
  3. Acknowledge your customers when they refer new customers to you. Send them a gift to show your appreciation.
  4. Give them a call (with no strings attached) just to check in on how they’re going.
  5. Do business with your customers and encourage your team to do the same. They are the experts in their field, and will be able to help you, after all that’s why they are investing in you!
  6. Refer work to your customers. The ‘Law of Reciprocity’ states that the more you do for others, the more likely they are to do something for you in return.
  7. Go the extra mile; under promise and over deliver.
  8. Make them feel special when they come into your business. Use their name, greet them warmly, and offer them a drink if face to face. If you are online, do video calls instead of phone calls so you can see each other face to face.
  9. Introduce them to your team so they feel more welcome and know who to speak to if you’re not around.
  10. Randomly send them something to show your appreciation for their business. Don’t just do this at Christmas. It doesn’t need to be something big – it could be as simple as forwarding something you’ve read that could be of interest to them.

Remember that, on average, it costs at least six times more to sell to a new customer than it does to sell to an existing one.

So, what are you doing to delight your customers in 2020 so they become your strongest advocates?

Need some help?

One thing many people don’t realise is that your bookkeeping and accounting software tells a story about your clients and prospects. Systems, processes and integrations can help with delighting your customers.

We are experts in systems, processes and integrations and can help you on your journey to delighting your customers and growing your business.

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