Greetings, business owners! It's another beautiful #marketingmonday here in Cleveland, Ohio. One of the many reasons we love our business name (Stack Strategies) is because we love to strategize business processes. We believe our strategies help shape business owners to have a healthy, happy and balanced business life.
Being successful in business can be perceived as many things... Sure, it can mean making a lot of money. We want that for every small business! But, we also want time for you to enjoy your business's benefits. We want you to feel comfortable with your schedule and not overwhelmed. We hope you have a great business process and tools that help you manage many tasks. Planning for longevity starts with a well-established business foundation. A strong business and marketing plan ensures consistency. Time management skills contributes to your productivity. See where we're going with this?
Time management is a hard skill to master. It's an everyday challenge that each business owner faces. One of the best places to start with being better about time is focusing on meetings.
We must carve out time for meetings. Meetings happen with clients, fellow businesses, suppliers, utility companies, networking groups, community groups and so many more people in the world of business. If you are commuting to these meetings, the time you spend therefore multiples.
So how do we make the most of our time? Stack Strategies has tips to help make the most of your time and make your meetings even more successful.
🕐 Pre-discuss meeting topics with meeting attendees
Determine WHY you are meeting prior to meeting. You can't meet just because. All parties a part of the meet should be showing up with an update. Re-occurring meetings should have a set agenda (example points: reviewing last week, sales, what's coming up, marketing).
🕛 If the meeting can become an email, do that.
If we could pick the most important of these tips, this is the one. Normally, sending an email with your talking points (updates) is better than hosting a meeting. A meeting is for collaborative efforts. It's a time to share information, discuss details and make plans for the upcoming weeks and months. It's not a time to say "I don't have anything." That just wastes both persons time.
🕑 ALWAYS set calendar appointments
Blocking off time on a calendar is the only way to ensure you're going to be there. Make it a habit to check your calendar every morning or, better yet, the night before.
🕕 Reoccurring meetings work best on an every other week schedule
We like to live in a realistic world. Realistically, every week happens FAST. Try to meet on an every-other week basis. This way, team members have time to complete tasks. Then, during the meeting you can review those tasks together.
🕥 If you are going to be more than 15-minutes late, reschedule.
Being late happens. What isn't great is being the other person waiting. That other person may have another meeting right after this one. That cause business-owner anxiety. Trust us, we understand both the being late side and the waiting side.
It's best if you're going to be more than 15 minutes late to just reschedule. Be honest that you are held up elsewhere and probably going to be too late. Although you hate to reschedule, let's find a different time. Or just send an email ;)
🕒 Make a meeting agenda list
Before you attend the meeting, spend 10-15 minutes thinking about what you need to talk about. Make a short list before you hop on the line.
🕔 Take notes during the meeting
It's easy to think we're going to remember what happened during the meeting. But in reality, when we go to do the work, our brain thinks "What did we say about that thing again?" Take notes! Write down details of HOW to get the tasks completed.
🕕 Send an email follow up (the sooner the better)
In a perfect world, you would get off the line and send an email follow up to the meeting attendees and CC any other important people in. In this email say what was discussed, what you are going to do next and what the other people are going to do next. In this email, note the next meeting date, too.
🕖 Have a helpful email signature
In your email signature, include your contact information, your website, a link to schedule meetings with you, a link to your zoom room, links to your online profiles AND your business hours. It helps people get what they need from you sooner.
Stack Strategies highly recommends our preferred email signature partner Wisestamp for your email signautre. We recommend the PRO version to have a custom, branded email signature.
🕗 If the meeting needs rescheduled, plan on next week.
Most of the time, people need to reschedule because they are double-booked or because they are, mentally, not prepared. It's okay if this happens. Simply plan for next week.
If this is a re-occurring meeting -- do NOT reschedule. First, both persons should send an email if you have any updates. Just wait until your next planned appointment.
If you feel unprepared or like you both could pass on the meeting the day before, cancel then. Try not to wait until the hour before. Chances are you could probably just send an email and meet later.
🕥 Make time to do your project tasks
During these meetings, when you determine who's doing what, everyone has to stick to the plan. No step should be skipped. Try to show up to the next meeting being ready for your next steps so projects do not fall behind.
In the case of re-occurring meetings, for example, if you meet every-other-Tuesday than on each opposite Tuesday at that time do the work. So one Tuesday you meet. The next Tuesday you work on the tasks. That's a great collaborative rhythm.
Making the most of your schedule includes getting a strong handle on your meeting time. We hope these tips help make you more productive when working with others. If you start following stricter meeting protocols, you will see changes happen in your business.
These types of changes help your professionalism. They help set a business structure. And soon, you start gaining more time.
Have a great work week fellow business owners. Sending love always!