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Boost Profits with a Productivity Plan
by Stephanie Chandler in General and Miscellaneous
Most business owners know the value of a developing a business and marketing plan before a business is launched. But once the proverbial open sign is lit, many neglect to focus on day to day operations, managing with little more than an over-loaded e-mail inbox and a to-do list scratched out on a sticky note.
If you aren’t meeting your goals, it could be due to the fact that you haven’t defined them. Creating a productivity plan gets you organized and allows you to accomplish more in less time.
A productivity plan is simply an outline of tasks that you intend to complete on either a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Tasks can range from basic operations to marketing and sales activities. Use your plan to get the most out of each work day.
Designing Your Plan
Design a plan that fits your individual goals. If there are specific tasks that you need to complete each week, designate a specific day of the week to accomplish each task. For example, you might review financial statements on Mondays, schedule one-on-one time with your staff on Tuesdays, focus on marketing activities on Wednesdays, and so on.
Assigning tasks to days of the week will help get you into a routine and minimize procrastination. In addition to specific daily tasks, you can also create a list of other goals to accomplish throughout the week. For example, a consulting business might include the following tasks: attend a networking function, update three pages of the website, make a new media contact, contact three potential alliance partners, develop one new worksheet for clients, and complete at least seven introductory calls.
The tasks for each business vary greatly. When developing your list, ask yourself these questions:
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Take it Seriously
Write your plan in either a word processing document or in a spreadsheet format and update it regularly. Print it out and post it near your desk so it’s always handy. In addition to a weekly plan, you can also define monthly and yearly goals. Once you begin to check off tasks, not only will you feel a sense of accomplishment, but your productivity will inevitably improve.
Your plan doesn’t have to stop with you. If you have employees or a virtual assistant, be sure to create plans for them too. Soon everyone in your business will be working smarter and your only regret will be that you didn’t create your plans sooner.
Sample Weekly Plan
Monday: Review weekend sales reports
Meet with staff to review weekly goals
Tuesday: Update website
Place merchandise orders
Wednesday: Work on newsletter
Develop at least one new promotion idea
Thursday: Make six cold calls
Write thank you notes to clients and vendors
Friday: Spend two hours on new product development
Clean up e-mail inbox (less than 30 messages)
Other Weekly Goals:
Attend one networking function
Lunch or dinner with a client
Lunch or dinner with a business partner
Investigate new advertising opportunity
Read one trade book or report
Stephanie Chandler is an author of several business and marketing books including "LEAP! 101 Ways to Grow Your Business" and “From Entrepreneur to Infopreneur: Make Money with Books, eBooks and Information Products.” She is also founder and CEO of http://AuthorityPublishing.com, which specializes in custom publishing and internet marketing services, and http://BusinessInfoGuide.com, a directory of resources for entrepreneurs. For author and speaker details, visit http://StephanieChandler.com.
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