From Time Management

Messaging addiction

One of the greatest inventions for small business and one of the biggest time wasters of the modern era is Facebook. Instead of counting sheep to relax at night, the corporate world is counting the dollars spent on down time and wondering if employees ought to have access to social networking at all.

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Social networks are good business

Everywhere, small business is being encouraged to join an on-line social network. There have been numerous training sessions available. And yet, the take-up rate in Australia is well behind that of other countries.

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Rounding off 2010

Some businesses slow down over December and January as the tourism season takes over. That leaves us with plenty of time to get caught up on business tasks and here are some ideas.

Clean up your email and electronic filing system. If you need to use the ‘search’ feature often, your filing is out of control.  Design a filing system with no more than 3 levels and delete all that stuff you don’t need any more.

Read what’s in your “Reading” file.  This is all those really useful downloaded documents and trade journals you meant to read. Once you’ve read them, file them or delete!

Review your books. Keep the classics and the ones you refer to regularly. Then offer the others for free or the cost of postage to friends and associates. Or take them to the local second hand book store or op shop.

Clear up your accounts.  Scrutinise your accounts for anomalies, debtors, creditors and those small amounts you never bothered chasing, outdated client details and contacts. Sort them out and start the year fresh.

Create new templates.  Review the things you do repeatedly and consider making a template for it.  Examples include standard emails, email signatures, proposals, invoices, thank you and marketing letters.

Review and renew marketing material.  Spend some time looking at your brochures, web copy, postcards and other marketing material. Does it still reflect your business accurately and send the message you want?

Clean up your hard copy filing system. Throw away what’s no longer current or necessary and de-clutter the paperwork.

Review 2010.  The first decade of the new millennium is over.  Take stock of your endeavours.  Review how you went against your plan and start to think about how to stay successful in 2011.

Renew lost connections.  Make contact with people you haven’t spoken to recently. A phone call is best and even if you only get to leave a message, it sets you up for a more serious catch up in the new year.

Stop working!  That’s enough now. Turn off your computer and phone and go enjoy the sunshine.