Busy-ness and Productivity

We are all working in an environment where we are expected to do more, with less, more quickly. So, we look to work faster and quicker in what we do. But this has led to a problem.

The problem is this.

Busy-ness = Good

From this the belief has developed that the busier we are the better. This is wrong and leads to two key problems – people feel over-whelmed and over-scheduled. When this happens to you, or your staff, how do you feel? And what are the consequences? Not good!

Being busy does not make you productive. So, what does make you productive?

Here are 3 guidelines to be more productive:

  1. Know the results and outcomes you are looking to achieve – start with the end in mind, and allow this to guide how you spend your time, effort and resources and on what.
  2. Establish clear KPIs – have a few key performance indicators (KPIs) that allow you to measure how well you are progressing (or not). This allows you to track how you have performed to what you have achieved.
  3. Review and revise regularly – look at what you have achieved and determine what you need to do in order to realize the results and outcomes you seek.

Being busy does not make you more productive, it distracts you. Use these three guidelines to help you and your teams become less busy and more productive!

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Share your thoughts and ideas here, or email me at andrew.cooke@business-gps.com.au

If you found this article of use or interest please don’t hesitate to share it with others.

Click here to find out more about Andrew Cooke and Growth & Profit Solutions.

7 Secrets for Successful Business Growth

If you want to grow your business, and I mean really grow your business, then here are a few simple but powerful secrets you can use. When you get to the end there is an eighth and even more powerful secret to share!

7 Secrets + 1

  1. Know what you do and what you don’t do.

The temptation for many small business owners is to do anything to earn the next dollar. In trying to be all things for all people you end up not being good at anything in particular. You are not even average, you are mediocre. And mediocre does not stand out, nor does it sell. No sales, no growth.

  1. Know your strengths.

If you want to grow successfully then you need to know what your strengths are. What are the things that you love doing that you do well?  What are the things which you do which have the greatest impact?

Using your strengths allows you to raise your performance and improve your results on a sustainable basis. Don’t make the mistake of trying to improve by addressing your weaknesses, all that does is improve your performance to an average level at best, and you may not be able to sustain the improvement.

  1. Be the prize.

Too often business owners are prepared to work with anyone to win more clients and earn more money. This just makes you look desperate and needy. Frankly, when were you impressed by somebody who was desperate to work with you? You weren’t! So be selective with whom you work with, and hold yourself out to be the prize they want to have and work with! By holding back, you appear more attractive.

  1. People don’t buy what you do

Sorry! The world does not revolve around you.

People are not interested in what you do. I know you are interested in what you do, and you love it, but it doesn’t matter. People are only interested in what you do for them – and there is a world of difference in this! They buy the results and outcomes that you help them realize. So, help people buy by articulating what you do for them clearly and concisely.

  1. Speak their language

Do you remember the first time you want to a foreign country where no-one spoke your language? What were the feelings and thoughts you had at the time? If you want to be understood, make sure you speak their language. Don’t use the industry jargon that you and other fellow professionals use, it just confuses and alienates your customers who don’t share your language. When people feel confused or alienated they want to avoid taking risks, and so they don’t do anything. So, speak with your audience in mind so what you say is what is heard.

  1. Don’t shout, just whisper

We live in a noisy world. Everyone is trying to gain our attention, we are submerged in a deluge of information whether we are at work, at home or elsewhere. If you try to shout louder than anyone else all you will get is a hoarse throat. To outshout others, you need to outspend them in broadcasting your message in the hope that somebody will hear you, and then hope yet again that they will act on it in the way that you want them to! Some chance!

Better to whisper.

To whisper, and to be heard, you need to have a message that your audience is already attuned to. Rather than broadcasting to everyone across all frequencies you need to pick a single radio channel and transmit to those who want to listen to your radio show. By broadcasting country music on your radio show there will be many who aren’t interested, but those who are will be ready to listen and act on your message!

  1. Being good at what you do is not enough

You might believe you are the best at what you do, but it doesn’t matter. Being technically good at what you do will not make you successful. I have come across many business owners who are good at what they do, but their business is in a terrible state. Having technical savvy does not mean you have business savvy. Look at your business through “business glasses”, not your “technical glasses”

Bonus Secret:

Now you know these seven secrets here is the bonus secret I promised you. It’s a simple three-word phrase you probably have already heard – “Just Do It!”

To grow requires action. So, don’t just read these seven secrets and think “Oh! That’s interesting!” – do something with them. Take action now. Choose one thing you can do – right now – and which will help you grow. Share the one thing you are going to do in the comments section below.

To view or download a PDF version of this blog click here

Share your thoughts and ideas here, or email me at andrew.cooke@business-gps.com.au

If you found this article of use or interest please don’t hesitate to share it with others.

Click here to find out more about Andrew Cooke and Growth & Profit Solutions.

Build Your Tribe

Do you want to get more clients?

Are you finding it hard? Are you meeting lots of people and generating lots of leads through your online and offline networks? Are you meeting with people who are expressing an interest in what you do? And are you then finding that very few of them are converting, and those that do are taking a long time to do so?

If so, the fault is not with them – it is with you!

Don’t try to appeal to a massive audience and hope that a few will fall out when you need them, it won’t provide you with a sustainable and growing business.

Much better to build a tribe.

Know who the people you want to attract, the ones that share your beliefs, ideas and perspectives. These are the ones who “get” you, and are already on the same journey as you.

So be clear on what you stand for, and what you don’t, and make your messages strong, clear and appealing to those who want to stand along you. Make them part of your tribe!

What are you going to do to build your tribe and your business? Tell me in the comments section below.

To view or download a PDF version of this blog click here

Share your thoughts and ideas here, or email me at andrew.cooke@business-gps.com.au

If you found this article of use or interest please don’t hesitate to share it with others.

Click here to find out more about Andrew Cooke and Growth & Profit Solutions.

6 Reasons Why to Emotionally Connect with Your Customers

Here are six reasons why you want your customers to connect with you emotionally. Logic may make people think, but emotions make them act! Even more, emotions underpin good, strong relationships which are essential for good, lasting business.

Reasons Which Means….
1.    They buy more You make more money
2.    They visit you more often You have more repeat business
3.    They care less about price You make better margins and profit
4.    They pay more attention to you You have more raving fans
5.    They follow your advice more closely You are seen as a thought-leader
6.    They spread the word about you to more people You have customers who act as your salesforce!

To view or download a PDF version of this blog click here

Share your thoughts and ideas here, or email me at andrew.cooke@business-gps.com.au

If you found this article of use or interest please don’t hesitate to share it with others.

Click here to find out more about Andrew Cooke and Growth & Profit Solutions.

5 Ways to Build Emotional Connection with your Customers

 

If you want to reap the benefits of having a strong emotional connection with your customers here are the feelings you need to generate in them, and the questions you can ask to help you do this.

Generate the following feelings in your customers: Do this by asking the following questions:
1.    Stand out from the crowd ·         How do they want to feel in being special and apart from others?

·         How will you help them achieve this?

2.    Have a sense of belonging ·         How will you build their sense of “tribe” and relatedness to you and your offerings?
3.    Have confidence in the future ·         What do they want to feel confident about?

·         What is important for them in the future?

·         How will you provide this for them via your offerings?

4.    Feel a sense of security ·         What is the sense of security they are seeking and why?

·         How will it manifest itself for them?

·         How will you provide it for them?

5.    Are successful ·         What will make them feel more successful and what does success mean to them?

·         How will make them feel more successful?

Try this for each of your customer segments. Remember, try to get in and understand from their perspective and not yours. Write down your thoughts, share them with others – and see how it compares with your customers actually think!

To view or download a PDF version of this blog click here

Share your thoughts and ideas here, or email me at andrew.cooke@business-gps.com.au

If you found this article of use or interest please don’t hesitate to share it with others.

Click here to find out more about Andrew Cooke and Growth & Profit Solutions.

3 Ways to Accelerate Team Performance

Improving team performance comes from both within and without

If you are running a team or project team, especially when you have new team or one where there has been a change in team membership, you need to bring them up to speed as quickly as possible.

Underpinning is this how you can capture, use and capitalise on the team’s knowledge, expertise, experience and insights. Here are three ways by which you can do this:

  1. Encourage collaboration and co-mentoring

Capture and share the individual and collective knowledge of the team, this is an invaluable asset that you can use and leverage. This can cover a wealth of subjects related both directly and indirectly to that which you are working on.

You can do this or informally including lunch-time presentations, or people sharing what they have learnt from recent courses or experiences, brain-storming sessions, encouraging and enabling people to working across and learn from different departments etcetera.  Doing this helps you to understand others’ perspectives and to remove and reduce erroneous assumptions. This helps to reduce the communication, knowledge and understanding gaps between your team and others.

  1. Internal Processes and references to capture knowledge

Capturing knowledge, insights and experience from your team helps everyone to benefit and learn from what has succeeded and what has failed and why. Key to this is having a “learning” or “growth” mindset where you have the attitude that failure is not a bad thing, but an opportunity to learn and improve what you do and how you do it.

Establishing regular, daily start-up team meetings allows you to take the initiative early on to gather as much information from as many people as possible. Build into these meetings a “lesson-learned moment” – this moment can be team-specific or outside of the project.  The purpose of this to focus the team, individually and collectively, to develop a continual improvement mindset.

  1. Encourage cross-learning

Rather than learning from just your own mistakes and success, look to learn from what others have done elsewhere. This can be in the same industry, sector or project type, or it can also be from others, and help you identify where and how you can improve what you do. This can include areas and topics associated with what you do, or in different areas.

Good knowledge management will prove to be the linchpin that turns you and your team around allowing you to work more efficiently and effectively, to manage your team’s expectations as well as those who work with your team, and to achieve better results and outcomes.

So what are you going to do to build, retain and leverage your team’s knowledge and expertise? Share here the one action you will take, right now, to address this.

To find out more about how to build your own business and to attract the right prospects, convert them into great customers and deliver great results for you and your clients in building a sustainable business please click here.

To view or download a PDF version of this blog click here

Share your thoughts and ideas here, or email me at andrew.cooke@business-gps.com.au

If you found this article of use or interest please don’t hesitate to share it with others.

Click here to find out more about Andrew Cooke and Growth & Profit Solutions.

How to Avoid Staff Turnover Impacting Your Teams

How to reduce the risks and costs of changes in your teams

High staff turnover is a major cost and drain on an organisation.  Apart from the costs associated with recruiting and replacing an individual, a major cost (which is often under-estimated) is the loss of knowledge, expertise, insights and relationships.

This becomes a real problem when an experienced individual retires, takes redundancy or leaves for another job.  When they go they take their relationship and everything that is “up top” in their head, and which has often not been captured. This creates a relationship gap and a knowledge vacuum it is difficult to fill. This reduces the effectiveness of your people, your team and your organization.

So how do we maintain key relationships and capture this intangible knowledge, insights and expertise?

Relationships

Don’t become reliant on a single person for a key relationship. Look to include other people who can develop and build their own relationships with your clients, suppliers, third parties etcetera –  this provides continuity as and when people leave. This takes time, so you need to do it well in advance of the need for it occurring (i.e. people leaving and/or your becoming reliant on certain people internally).

Knowledge and Expertise

Treat knowledge management as an on-going project that is part of what every project team does. Create an environment where team members are encouraged to share ideas, experiences and learnings and document this on an on-going basis. Formalizing a knowledge transfer system, including helping people learn from those more experienced as part of their personal development plan. Doing this allows you to:

  • Improve your team’s knowledge, capabilities and capacity
  • Become more flexible and insightful in running and managing the project
  • Build a more robust and resilient team which is less at risk when key people leave
  • Maintain and improve your ability to deliver on schedule, within budget and to accepted quality standards.

So, what are you going to do to anticipate where and how you need to build relationships for the future; and what do you need to do to build, retain and leverage your team’s knowledge and expertise? Share here the one action you will take, right now, to address this.

To access regular valuable and practical tools and insights on how to build your own business and to attract the right prospects, convert them into great customers and deliver great results for you and your clients in building a sustainable business please click here.

To view or download a PDF version of this blog click here

Share your thoughts and ideas here, or email me at andrew.cooke@business-gps.com.au

If you found this article of use or interest please don’t hesitate to share it with others.

Click here to find out more about Andrew Cooke and Growth & Profit Solutions.