Maintaining Motivation

Motivation in BusinessIt’s about that time of year, when some people give up on the ambitious goals they set for themselves. However, there are a small percentage of people who are still going strong. What’s their secret? What keeps some people on track while others stray? Motivation, Passion and Visible Results!

Who wouldn’t continue doing something that was working? And who wouldn’t be discouraged by hours spent on tasks that yield nothing?

How can we get the instant gratification that we need to motivate us to keep going?

  1. Low Hanging Fruit – Focus your energy on the closest goals first. This only makes sense, while it is nothing new; perhaps you need to be reminded. Why start with ‘cold calls’ when you have ‘warm’ prospects in your pipeline? Why focus on attracting new clients if you can add services to your existing relationships?
  2. Start Small – Focus on the small items that you can accomplish quickly. Pay off your credit cards and car loans before trying to pay off your mortgage.
  3. Bite Size – Break your goals down into the steps needed to accomplish each, and then cross off each step as you achieve it. This gives you smaller achievements and quicker results; not to mention the visible results that will continue to motivate you.
  4. Focus – As a visionary, it can be easy to get side tracked with something new and exciting, and there’s always something new and exciting. Stay on track by keeping your goals clear and visible every day.
  5. Keep Track – It’s always inspiring to see what you have accomplished, so keep track of your progress and celebrate successes.

There it is – organization, strategy, dedication, and focusing on the results are the keys to achieving your goals. But the biggest key is that you have to enjoy (or find enjoyment in) your work in order to maintain the motivation and creativity needed to be successful and grow a successful business!

Of course, some goals contain a degree of invisible success that is difficult to measure. For example, the amount of time spent on social media can feel discouraging if you don’t see any direct results, but the truth is that you are improving your brand recognition and visibility.

As for our goals, we are progressing steadily with the re-branding and transitioning to Strategic Office Support, growing our team, receiving some nice press regarding our new collaboration with Luma Coaching, and have started to develop our new site Become A VA.

Our strategy includes growing our team of professionals so we can accomplish more on a regular basis, including working on our own business, expanding our products, and developing new ventures.

Share your strategy, progress, and successes meeting your 2013 goals.

5 Essential Business Goals

Business Organization and GoalsAre you lacking basics business functions and organization? Make this the year you fix that!

As a visionary entrepreneur, it can be easy to get wrapped up in exciting projects and initiatives, overlooking the mundane details that are needed to run a scalable business.

As a responsible business owner, there are certain steps and goals that you should plan to achieve as early as possible.  If any of these are still on your to-do-list, consider adding them to your 2013 ‘resolutions’ and make them a priority.

Bookkeeping – as an entrepreneur, it is essential to know your numbers; income, expenses, profit, margins, etc. The only sure way to accomplish this is to maintain accurate bookkeeping records and keep your business finances separate. This will also help you budget for seasonal shifts, capital improvements, and growth.

Legal – It is vital to complete a risk assessment and make sure that you are properly protected by establishing the right business structure (LLC, Inc, Sole Proprietorship, etc) and purchasing appropriate insurance coverage. It’s also important to be sure that each of your business interactions are outlined in clear, concise contracts.

Filing– clearing your clutter and setting up systems for client forms, receipts, training material, communications, and other important information will only improve your efficiency and effectiveness.

Plan – it’s important to have a purpose laid out, usually in the form of a business plan. This does not need to be elaborate; but you should have a document that states what your business does, why you do it, what sets you apart, and outlines financial plans. Your annual strategies, marketing initiatives, and key business decisions should all reflect back to this ‘master plan’.

Schedule– in order to improve effectiveness as a busy entrepreneur, it’s important to manage your time according to priorities and deadlines. Example: set aside 1 hour on the 5th of each month to record and review your expenses.

Tip: Look at the following areas of your business and determine your weaknesses. Then add these weaknesses to your 2013 plans.

Operations – the order in which tasks are completed and systems are utilized

Finance – bookkeeping and budgeting

Marketing – branding, social media, website, events, printed material, etc…

Technology – knowledge and use of advancements

Administration – the systematic, routine tasks that need to get done

Make a point to read blogs and articles, take classes, and even find partners to assist you with your weaknesses, so you can continue to improve your business

If you’ve been pushing aside these (less exciting) basic functions, consider making this the year you clear them off your plate and set yourself up for more successful growth.

Please comment with suggestions or additional items that can be added to this list.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

3 Ways to Avoid a Slow Summer!

For anyone not in the tourism industry, you may be experiencing a bit of a summer slow down… With the weather getting warmer and school wrapping up, we are reminded of how business seems to slow down in the summer.

For those of us that support other small businesses, it seems like productivity can take a back seat. Either because they’re too busy to communicate or because they are so slow they went on vacation, many businesses are affected by this change of season.

The e-mails slow down, the phone calls aren’t returned as promptly, and networking may seem to fall flat. We are all aware that September brings a wave of productivity, but what can we do to keep business going and communication flowing in the summer months?

  1. Focus on Organization – Complete the projects that you haven’t been able to complete during your busy time, or that you’ve been avoiding. Finish that new website, get those new business cards designed, organize your electronic filing, etc…
  2. Focus on Education – Take a training class or get a new certification that will help you grow your business. Summer classes are usually shorter in duration and smaller in size, so they can feel more tolerable and allow you more personal attention.
  3. Focus on Follow-up – Reach out to existing and potential clients, so that when they become motivated (again), they know/remember who to call.

Good luck this summer, and remember to enjoy what you do!

For more tips on productivity and organization please feel free to contact us at Office Solutions ME!