Tag: Business Planning

#GiftYourBusiness – The Gift of Time

For most small businesses, time is often a source of frustration. Not having enough time, how to balance time between life and work, time is money, and many other aspects of time management that can be overwhelming. The truth of the matter is, taking the time to figure out how to best utilize this precious resource is vital to running a successful company. This month’s series is focused on gifting your business what it needs for growth in the new year. Gifting your business the commodity of time will lower stress and increase profit. 
Be Strategic
December is the month for thinking about what you will do next year. Diving blinding into it without a plan is wasting valuable time, effort and energy. Take a few hours to plot out what each month should look like – goals, priorities, and desired results. Having a month-to-month outline will help you stay focused and on task. If you aren’t sure how to accomplish this, or what your year should look like, it may be time to invest in a business coachto help you get on track.
Use Technology
New apps and devices are being created every day with the goal of helping businesses get ahead. It is important to find tools that both streamline and automate processes. Does it make your life easier? Does it speed up output? Then it is worth investing in. Be cautious of having too many tools and spreading yourself too thin.  Also, if a tool is more hassle than you thought it would be, don’t hesitate to change your game plan. The time involved in trying to figure out a complicated tool or in bouncing between various options is a waste. Take the time this month to ask fellow business owners and entrepreneurs what tools they love – and absolutely hate.
Eat the Frog
We all have a project that we put off because we know it is going to take more time and energy than the others – or simply because we can’t stand doing it. A popular time management phrase is ‘Eat the Frog’, which basically means do this project first. Get it out of the way. That way you can power through your other tasks without this one looming overhead.  
Outsource & Delegate
Another approach to dealing with tasks you don’t like or don’t have time for is to either delegate or outsourcethe work. It can be hard for some leaders and entrepreneurs to give up some of their work. However, this could mean freeing up your schedule to focus on business growth instead of daily tasks and projects. Find a reliable, talented and trustworthy individual and begin unloading time consuming tasks to others.
Evaluate Meetings
Meetings are often unavoidable. However, try to keep them to a minimum. Ask yourself just how valuable or necessary the appointment is. If it’s absolutely necessary, be sure to go in with an agenda or outline to keep everyone on task. Time each agenda item. If the problem hasn’t been resolved within the timeframe, task attendeesto go back and problem solve and come up with solutions at a future meeting. Don’t allow people to sidetrack or derail the meeting.
It can be easy getting caught up in checking voicemail, responding to emails or checking social media. It’s true that these tasks need to be accomplishedbut it’s ridiculous how often, and how many times, you do this throughout the day. Put aside time each day to accomplish these low priority tasks. Time yourself and do it at the point of the day where you are typically least productive. If your most productive energy is first thing in the morning, don’t waste that time checking your email. If the 2 PM slump usually slows you down, that might be the perfect opportunity to tackle the least important projects.
Time is an easy resource to waste. Not having a plan up front will ensure that time is not used wisely. #GiftYourBusiness the full extent of the time and resourcesyou have available by giving thought and planning to how you will use your time to #BeAwesome next year.
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Hollie Clere, of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn,FacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+ , YouTube,Pinterest, Instagram  and the tools to manage them. 

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Using Newsletters in Email Marketing

September 15, 2011

Posted in Articles, Business Development/Planning, Sales & Marketing, E-mail Marketing Print By Hollie Clere

If you have a website, maybe a social media presence and the need to reach a large base of vendors, partners and customers, email marketing — and specifically email newsletters — are a great way to nurture those relationships. Sharing company blogs, links to company social media sites, company announcements and surveys are ideal for email distribution plus the cost for newsletter subscription services are low and the reach can be substantial.

So, where do you start?

Content. It all starts with content, including blogs, promotional pricing, links to specific sites and topics that could be of interest to the reader and are relevant to your company’s products/services. Remember to include only original information; do not plagiarize other sources. However, you may be able to secure permission from an author or publisher to use their work.

When developing your own content, think about every word as a driver for a specific goal. For example, if you are promoting a 10-day discount on widgets, you will want to specifically mention the widget, describe the details behind the discount, provide information on why the widget is a “hot” commodity, why the viewer should choose your widget and provide a link for the viewer to get more information about the widget.

It is also a good idea to embed images relative to your topic. Like articles, you need to have permission to use these images, so you should consider using your own photos/charts or subscribe to a stock photo service where you can purchase the rights to use the photos.

Length. The goal of the newsletter is to encourage the viewer to click through to a desired Web page with further information. Here is an example:

10% discount on our Super Fast Pink Widgets through October 21, 2011. Click here to receive your discount code.


It is a good idea to maintain your widget by cleaning the parts monthly. (Insert the URL LINK to the page that talks in more detail about this topic.)

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