How Tired Business Owners Save Time: 10 Terrific Ways

How Tired Business Owners Save Time: 10 Terrific Ways

How Tired Business Owners Save Time: 10 Terrific Ways

We all have the same amount of time in every day, yet we all want to save time, too. Isn’t that the universal problem? Maybe the question is what do we do with the time we save?

Plan the Day Ahead of Time

Plan the Day Ahead of Time

Plan the Day Ahead of Time

When you know what you have to do, doing those chores goes a lot faster. Then checking everything off your list is satisfying, and almost like a game that you can play. Like the Gamification of Social Media, the gamification of your to-do list can move things in the right direction.

So spending 10 minutes to plan doesn’t have to be a big deal. For those times that your iPhone timer isn’t enough, here are some other timers you might like. I love that there are specific ones for coffee and grilling (that’s what you can do with all the time you save!).

Sharpen the Ax

Sharpen the Ax

Sharpen the Ax

As Abraham Lincoln didn’t say, “If you have six hours to chop down a tree, spend four hours sharpening the axe.” But it’s still a great statement anyway. What whomever said this probably meant was to prepare for whatever task you’re going to do and have all the right tools. Don’t have a tiny, dull knife and try to cut up a tree. Have a seriously sharp axe!

business meeting photo

Tell the Truth About Limitations

This one seems so simple. Keep your commitments. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. This includes not overcommitting to be on a task force, or committee. Know how much energy you have to commit to new tasks. Here’s an article I enjoyed from The Wall Street Journal: Are You Too Busy? How to Know Your Limits. The takeaway? Don’t wait until you have a stomachache, or worse, to realize you’re doing too much!

business meeting photo

Eat the Frog

This is one I don’t necessarily agree with. Eating the frog means doing the hardest thing first. But why? Why not do the easiest thing first so you have a sense of momentum? Forget about eating that frog first! Drink your coffee, finish something easy, then eat the frog! And why does it even have to be a frog? How about if we reframe it as something just a little more appetizing?

business meeting photo

Work at Your Strength

Even without Strengthfinders (the book and concept), doesn’t it make sense to focus on what you’re good at every day? And if you’ve never read the book, I highly recommend it!

office meeting photo

Delegate Everything That’s Not Your Strength

As a business owner, this one is the hardest for me. I have to realize that others aren’t as interested in my business as I am. They won’t do as good a job (maybe), so I have to settle for maybe 80% getting done and forget about the rest.

Shut the Door at 5:00

If you work for yourself, this is a tough one. Client meetings often leak over into the evening hours, and that’s not always a good thing for your work-life balance. By the way, here’s why Work-Life Balance is the Unicorn of the Working World.

Learn to Make Decisions Quickly

This one has come about naturally for me. One of my friends who owns his own business can hang up on a caller within two seconds. “Not interested!” he barks, and hangs up. Are you turning into that person, too?

Stop Multitasking

We all know by now that there is no multitasking. We can’t drive and text any more than we can listen to YouTube and pay attention during a meeting! Tell me you’re not doing that right now!

Take Breaks and Get Outside

Getting outside into nature is what is going to make your brain work the best, after all. That may seem counterintuitive, but it does work.

 

 

Startups and Social Media: Planning is Sexy!

Startups and Social Media: Planning is Sexy!

Startups and Social Media: Planning is Sexy!

You might have read my recent post about the Six Issues that Startups have with their social media. I’ll be diving a little deeper into each one now. So why is planning sexy? Because you can’t spell success without sexy! Well, you can, but it would be dumb. Plus, everyone wants to succeed and be sexy! You can’t argue with logic, man.

Get Someone on Board

Get someone who lives in the social space. That means, they’re involved in social media every day. You want someone who breathes this stuff, not someone who pins one pin every month to Pinterest, or checks their Twitter account every July (no matter what!). They need to be reading Mashable, TechCrunch, using the top social media platforms, and knowing what direction social media is going.

Have Someone Who’s in Touch with the Team

Your social media manager doesn’t have to be a developer, but they should be able to communicate with the technical team. They need to be involved in meetings so they understand your product, so they can speak on your behalf. They need to have someone to contact in case of emergencies or if they are out of town, too.

The Social Media Manager Can Get the Word Out!

Social media is about connection, engagement, and social capital. Your social media manager can start to build excitement about the product even before launch. Why not share some behind-the-scenes glimpses into your world so people are interested in where you’re going as a brand? For instance, if you’re attending a big conference, you could be posting pictures of the team.

Be Generous First

Listening is such an important and overlooked (and sexy!) skill. Without listening, how will you know what your customers really want? With social media, you can be listening even before you launch! Know what the conversation is so you can join in.

Connect, Connect, Connect!

Your social media manager can build connections pre-launch

Your social media manager can build connections pre-launch

Your social media manager can build  the connections that you’re going to need before you launch, so when you do launch, you’ll get out of the gate get much faster. They can drive business offline and into real life meetings for you, make introductions, and set up everything on your social media to reflect your brand promise.

What Did I Forget?

Why else is planning sexy? Please leave your comments below! Thank you!

Startups & Social Media: 6 Issues

Startups & Social Media: 6 Issues

Startups & Social Media: 6 Issues

Your startup’s new product is almost finished and you look up and–uh-oh!–did anyone think about creating a social media strategy to spread the word about your terrific new app? Wait. Wasn’t the intern going to do that? Didn’t we write a note about it on that napkin that got thrown away with the pizza? Oh, just a sec. It was on the pizza box! Sound a little too familiar?

No Planning

Social Media Strategy Written on a Pizza Box?

Social Media Strategy Written on a Pizza Box?

Issue: You’re making a product, or creating an app, or a new platform, but don’t have anyone on the team to do the social media. If the technical team handles the social media, this means that there will be additional strain put on them to explain all the twists and turns of the product while they are learning the ins and outs of social media and while also doing a launch.

Fix: Have someone on board to do the social media before you think you need them. Yes, that’s right. They can

  • get the word out
  • be in sync with the rest of the team, and
  • learn about your product even before the product launches.

Not only that, but your social media manager can be out forging relationships with whomever you need to know on your behalf. However, if you really want to do everything yourself, you might want to read about first steps for startups.

Pivoting

Issue: You used to sell your app to consumers; you are shifting to an enterprise-only model. So you will need relationships with a whole different crowd of people.

Fix: The relationships you’ve already made aren’t a waste of time. Those people all know other people, right? Focus attention on your new demographic, and see how you can leverage the social media relationships you’ve already made.

Rebranding

Frequent Meetings Are a Must While Rebranding

Frequent Meetings Are a Must While Rebranding

Issue: You didn’t really think about your name, look and feel, or the user experience at the starting gate. Although you have a great product, you now need to pull in some marketing wizards who can do their magic and rebrand. How will you migrate the social media?

Fix: Communication is key. Everyone needs to be talking to everyone else frequently or the social media won’t reflect the new brand promise. So frequent meetings, communication between key players, and all that groundwork will go towards making a more solid social media strategy. Even a 15- or 20-minute meeting can make a difference in keeping everyone informed. The more your social media manager or team knows, the easier it will be for them to make an emotional connection with your customers.

Chaos

Issue: Too much chaos. Yes, being in a startup is a fun, fun thing. Except when it’s not.

Fix: Write everything down and put dates on things. This includes account names and passwords for all your social media accounts, at the very least.

Management Changes

Issue: Does everyone know everyone else? Was the new marketing wizard fired last week? Does everybody know that that happened? Did the CEO run off to France to do a dance in his underpants? (Just making sure you’re reading…but you get the point, right?)

Fix: Create an organizational chart! Or at least a list in an Excel spreadsheet. And inform the team with an email letting them know what just happened. Update the spreadsheet and post it where everyone has access. Even thought you might think it’s a special secret (shh!) just for you, it actually does help the entire team.

Being in Overwhelm

Deer in the Headlights?

Deer in the Headlights?

Issue: You’re struck by that “deer in the headlights” feeling whenever you think about social media.

Fix: Pick a starting point. What would get you the most momentum the fastest? Would it be Pinterest? Google Plus? Twitter? Facebook? I suggest you look at the platforms with the most traffic, not the trendier ones. Start where your customers are. Keep it simple to avoid overwhelm.

Your Issues?

If you work with a startup (or even if you don’t), I’d like to hear from you! Maybe you handle the social media for a brand. What is your biggest issue?

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