One of the best ways to recapture energy and time is to identify timewasters. Unnecessary meetings can be major time and energy wasters for small business owners. Be mindful of how you spend your working hours. Make them productive, make them effective and make them efficient. The more you ask yourself “what decision needs to be made?” or “how will this bring me closer to meeting my goals and objectives?” the more you will start to eliminate unnecessary meetings.
With all the technology we have today, take advantage of ability to reduce travel time and expenses. Face-to-face meetings should be scheduled wisely. They should include establishing a personal connection with a potential client, sales dialogue and persuading or soliciting a decision. Most other meetings should be done virtually. For more effective and efficient meetings:
1. Make sure there is a real purpose for your meeting or event and predetermine your outcome. If your meeting involves: business negotiations, connecting with a decision maker, personal favors, promises, understandings, coordination, persuasion of others, expression of emotions, etc. they should be face-to-face. If not, schedule a virtual meeting.
2. Use technology to make scheduling easier and stop playing phone tag. Sites like Tungle, Doodle,Bookfresh and Setster allow you schedule a board meeting, business lunch, conference call, family reunion, movie night, or any other group event.
3. Use your virtual meeting to determine the need for a face-to-face meeting and cover the basics (i.e. draft an agenda, review material, etc.) Use sites like DimDim.com, gotomeeting.com, conference call lines, Skype and video conferencing to save time, gas and money and still achieve optimal results. Be sure to send visuals (i.e. PowerPoint, reports, documents, presentations, etc.) ahead of time so that you can review them together online. (This also saves paper).
As a small business owner, you can’t afford not to streamline your business operations, work with a purpose and be efficient. So before you schedule your next meeting, ask yourself, “What is the purpose?” “Is this the best use of my time?” and “How will this bring me closer to my goals and objectives?” and cancel any current unnecessary meetings.
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A.Michelle Blakeley is in the listening business. As a Micro Business Therapist, she provides an open-minded and non-judgmental ear to listen to the real issues and concerns that start-up, emerging and women entrepreneurs experience and negotiate solutions through comprehensive discussions and practical micro business plans. She is featured in Forbes.com and the Financial Post as one of 30 Women Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter, contributor for the San Francisco Examiner and Fearless Woman Magazine; the host of Simple Truths for Women Entrepreneurs on BlogTalkRadio.com and author of the NEW e-book: “Get it Right and Move Along… a collection of practical tips, tools and techniques for small business owners.”