Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Life's Lessons

Life's Lessons

Success is learned!

Success is not built on convenience!

When you change your thinking, you change your beliefs;

When you change your beliefs, you change your expectations;

When you change your expectations, you change your attitude;

When you change your attitude, you change your behavior;

When you change your behavior, you change your performance;

When you change your performance, YOU CHANGE YOUR LIFE!!!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Time Tips

Time Tips

Time tips: Paperwork
After prioritization aim only to pick a piece of paper up if you mean to finish working with it then. Don't be a paper shuffler. When in doubt, throw it out. Have on your desk, only the item(s) you are dealing with NOW. Memos are not for dialogue.

Time tips: Procrastination
DO IT NOW If a job is too big chop it into manageable chunks. Schedule nasty jobs for specific times and reward yourself on completion If you have to eat a frog don't look at it too long. If you have to eat two frogs, eat the big one first.

Time tips: Telephones
Stop letting it run your life.
Plan your calls Give specific call back times and stick to them. If interrupted by a call during a task, write down what you are thinking BEFORE answering the call, you will then know where you left off. Remember that the person who makes the call has the psychological 'right' to terminate it. It is better to ring back so that you have that right. Keep to the point after minimal pleasantries. You don't always have to answer.

Time tips: Meetings
Allocate start and finish times Hold them standing up Agendas should be complete - what is to be discussed, what result is to be expected etc. PLAN! Don't hold them in your office Invite ONLY the appropriate people

Time tips: Self
Ask yourself all the time, 'Is what I am doing at this minute, moving me towards my objectives?'. If not, don't do it. If you have a lot of un-plannable interruptions, plan for the average or the maximum number. Select your prime time, that during which you operate best. Some of us are morning people, some afternoon; plan for your best time so that you get your high yield jobs done then. Remember that time is a non-renewable resource. Plan 'If only' days - 'If only I had the time to...'

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Top Time Wasters

Top Time Wasters

 Procrastination & Excuses
“Someday is NOT a day of the week.” - Anonymous
If you don't start you can't finish. Reach your goals & objectives by continually working toward them. Don't put things off! Never make things more than they are. Do not wait until the last minute/ ACT!

 Running Errands & Traveling
Plan ahead. Arrange tasks in order of importance and need. Make only one trip or as few as necessary. Don't waste time making duplicate or unnecessary trips. Combine tasks and trips. Know what you need and who has it (phone, fax or e-mail ahead, if appropriate). Find a good time to get it. Notify them, so they can be prepared and you don't have to wait. Avoid heavy traffic times like rush hour.

 Rushing
You forgot, now you must hurry. . .but something important just came up (at the last minute). Don't try to do everything at once or wait until the last minute. List what must be done and the time it takes to do it. Schedule and plan ahead but allow for the unexpected. Avoid the costly mistakes and oversights of rushing. Do it right the first time. Slow down and take your time. Relax.

 Telephone, Mail & E-mail
Why are you calling/writing? Clearly define: your purpose and what you want to accomplish, exactly who you are addressing, the best means of getting what you need. . . Prepare a brief telemarketing script or rough outline(practice/review before acting). Don't waste time. Set a specific time to call/write/log on. Take and return calls/mail when it's convenient for you. Screen calls with an answering device. Give out your phone number and address only to those you want contacting you. When you accomplish your objective, move on.

 Paperwork, Reports & Memos
Have a purpose for writing. KISS it- keep it short and sweet. Get to the point immediately and be clear about it. Avoid unnecessary writing and duplications. Screen incoming paperwork carefully. Continually purge that which is of no use to you, but be careful. Keep everything where it can be easily located, updated and used.

 Meetings
Why meet? What's covered- purpose, subject, and scope? Schedule meetings carefully- time, date, location, length, type, and attendees. Address the issues. Prepare everyone. Avoid unnecessary meetings.

 Television
Informed viewer or couch potato? Why are you watching? Determine what's really important to you. You can always videotape or watch it in rerun. ALTERNATIVES: Be a self-starter, find a hobby, start a business, exercises, read a book, do something productive. Turn it off!

 Planning & Decision Making
"No one plans to fail, they just fail to plan." But this can lead to the classic "paralysis-by-analysis". To accomplish what you want, you must ACT! Gather the facts. Weigh both sides. Plan it out in detail ahead of time. Combine tasks. Delegate. Prioritize. Bottom line: Get the job done. Decide!

 Computer
Why you are using it (purpose). What's available- why make reentries or overlook existing data? Plan- Know what you need and where & how to get it. Back it up- prepare yourself for crashes, and accidental erasures. Limit your time online, it's addictive. Keep a record of it. Get what you need and log off. Avoid excessive game playing. The computer is a productive tool, but only when used wisely.

 Just Say NO
Don't bite off more than you can chew. Be honest with people (and yourself) about what you can take on and they will respect you for it. Use time wisely. Schedule your day. Know what needs to be done and the time it takes to do it. Prioritize on importance and need. Delegate. If you can't fit something into your schedule, no matter how tempting, don't accept it! Don't be a "YES man". Just Say NO!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

15 Minutes a Day to Ensure Success

15 Minutes a Day to Ensure Success

Spend 15 minutes at the beginning of every day planning and reviewing and you will be amazed at the benefits!

 Review today’s appointments and items to-do left over from prior day.
 Prepare for all meetings.
 Schedule times for “to-do’s”.
 Prioritize the day’s activities.
 Must Be Done
 Needs To Be Done
 Can Wait.
 Delegate
 Roll-Over
 Develop Action List of what needs to be done.
 Review future activities.
 Review your goals and mission!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Time Management Tip: The Smart-Money Use of Non-Business Time

Time Management Tip: The Smart-Money Use of Non-Business Time

Sure, time is money. No argument there. But more than that, time is our most precious commodity. As a business person, you recognize the importance of managing your time well. Whether scheduling meetings, doing your books, training new people or introducing a new product or service, you know that every day is a calculated race against the clock.

But what about non-work time? That has a dollar value, too. How you use -- or misuse -- your free time is the determining factor in the quality of life you and your family enjoy. That's why some people can work 70 or 80 hours a week, yet still manage to participate in a highly rewarding home life. Meanwhile, others see leisure time as an opportunity to channel surf the television and then fall asleep on the couch. Or they devote their down time to household chores and yard maintenance, even though they'd rather be out playing golf.

We spend time...just like we spend money. For instance: Pat is vice president of a computer software company and earns $75,000 a year. However, she spent her entire Saturday comparison shopping through six stores for her husband's birthday present...saving a total of $12. Meanwhile, Don is an attorney who used a week's vacation to wallpaper his dining room.

The problem: We can waste time...just like we can waste money. That's what these two people have in common. Pat saved a few bucks on her husband's sweater, but lost a whole day she could have spent enjoying his company. Don saved several hundred dollars by papering his own dining room; however, he wasted more than $1,500 in vacation time that could have been spent more enjoyably with his family.

How can you get the best value from your non-work time? Evaluate how to best use your time in light of the following:
• The pleasure factor. This can override all other considerations. If you're a true-blue do-it-yourselfer who enjoys planting shrubs or building that new kennel for the dog yourself, go ahead. If not, you might be better off hiring someone to do the work for you...and spending more time with your family.

• The dollar-value-of-your-time factor. This is a hard-cash tangible, based on how much your time is worth. If your work time is worth $70 an hour, your leisure time is worth the same amount.

• The convenience factor. In spite of the cost, it may be more convenient to hand over the shoe box to a CPA rather than do your own taxes; to call the plumber rather than fix that leaky faucet yourself; or to tote home carry-out rather than spend an hour making dinner.

• The guilt factor. This is perhaps the most powerful reason we end up doing things we'd really rather not do. After all, don't real women bake cookies for their children and iron their husband's shirts? Don't real men cut their own lawns and repair their own leaky faucets? The answer -- NO! "Real" men and women make smart use of their time for themselves and for their families.

Beyond dollars -- How to enjoy your leisure time: Many business owners are self-styled beasts of burden. We are so caught up in what we do that it consumes us. However, if we don't learn how to break away, we risk never fully enjoying the fruits of our labors. Here are some suggestions:

• Learn how to relax. Many business owners don't feel comfortable out of "business mode." So, we clutch the briefcase or do work at home. Try learning to be more than just a business person. Not only will it be fun, but it will make you fresher and more focused at work.

• Plan your leisure activities, just as you do your business time. Map out your day off to include a little yard work, watching your daughter's softball game, and an hour or two of being a couch potato. Or take a whole day off and give it to your son, daughter, spouse or friend to do with as they please.

• Don't bring work home or on vacations. Leave the briefcase at the office or in the car. Also, encourage customers not to contact you at home. Bonus: If you force yourself to get all your work done before you come home, you'll get more done on business time.

The bottom line: If you're like most business owners today, you work hard putting in long hours each day doing what you do best. One of the rewards should be a comfortable lifestyle. Make sure you take the time to enjoy it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Preparing Your Business For Mother Nature

Sometimes, we have the luxury of an extended warning period when danger is looming. This week's run up to Hurricane Irene on the East Coast is a prime example. In other cases, nature's whims are a little more impulsive. Just ask anyone along the same East Coast who thought "terrorist attack" minutes before "earthquake" a few days ago.

Resources abound for what to do in case of disaster regarding home prep, a "go bag" with key documents, water, medications. Are you as prepared with your business? With Irene still days away from the NorthEast, now's a great time to take a look at what you will need to protect your business and assets AND ensure business continuity should you sustain any damage or disruption.

There is a special section of Ready.gov called ReadyBusiness that we suggest. In it are some basic check lists for business prep and continuity planning. You've worked your butt off through a major recession. Don't let a lack duplicated, distributed documents be your down fall now!

Friday, August 19, 2011

The case for mobile computing and Wi-Fi – SAVE MONEY

OED LinkedIn Group member Alan Buckwalter continues to give us some great small business tech advice. Practical, cost-effective, and FLEXIBLE! Just the way entrepreneurs like their IT!

Do you have field employees? Does your staff spend (a significant amount of) time out of the office during the day, only to rush back at the end of the day to wrap up their “normal” work, accumulating a significant expense (in overtime, and more) for your business? If you answered yes, you are not alone.
This is a very common scenario for many businesses, and while Smartphone’s and PDA’s have helped clear some of the email backlog there is often other work to be done requiring access to office systems and services and returning to the office.
By using a local and Free Wi-Fi Hot-Spot (see “Looking to be productive anywhere? Free Wi-Fi can help!”,) and one of a variety of technology solutions your staff can be productive during random moments of idle / downtime, waiting time, etc., decreasing (or eliminating those) unnecessary trips back to the office (during or at the end of the day) and SAVING YOU MONEY.

For example:

1) If you are using Cloud services for email, file sharing, or business applications, you may only need an internet connection and a web browser to be productive like your back in the office. Instead of using a desktop, the same functionality is available on a notebook, net-book, tablet / iPad or Smartphone.

2) If you have an office server with remote desktop / access capabilities, your technology may only be a VPN or Remote Desktop connection away. Again, by using a (shared) notebook, net-book, or tablet / iPad, access to key business services and technology may be an internet connection away.

Wouldn’t you like to save money? Reduce or eliminate your overtime spend? Get your employees home to their families at a normal hour? Consider the possibilities of mobile computing. You may be surprised!

For more information or help getting started, visit Jefric Consulting, or call them at 201-370-6430. Jefric Consulting – We want to help you value technology as a strategic asset, rather than an ongoing expense.

Additional Small Business tech tips may be found in the OED Community. OED: Entrepreneurs helping entrepreneurs.
Article originally posted to Jefric Consulting's blog 10/2010.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Essential Office Technology for Pennies a Day

Alan Buckwalter, founder of Jefric Consulting and an OED LinkedIn Group member discusses how small investments can have large returns when dealing with small business tech:

Is your business email branded to your domain, “@mycompany.com” or does it end in “gmail.com”, “aol.com”, “yahoo.com” or something else? When your email is sitting in the Inbox of a client or vendor, do you want them to think of your business or the phone / cable company?

Are you able to easily share documents and collaborate with people inside and outside your organization? Is web conferencing something that can help improve productivity, save time and money across your business? Would instant messaging be valuable within your business, helping your employees communicate faster and more effectively with each other?
If you answered yes to one or all of these questions, the Microsoft Online Services may be able to help you.

Microsoft Online Services offers a solution for all four of these essential business needs, with NO onsite server required, and the ability to access your information from virtually any web enabled device. Email (Exchange), Collaboration (Sharepoint), Web Conferencing (Livemeeting) and Instant Messaging (Office Communication) are all available individually or as a suite for a low monthly subscription fee.

For more information or help getting started, visit Jefric Consulting, or call them at 201-370-6430. Jefric Consulting – We want to help you value technology as a strategic asset, rather than an ongoing expense.

Additional Small Business tech tips may be found in the OED Community. OED: Entrepreneurs helping entrepreneurs.

Article originally posted on Jefric's Blog 10/2010.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Malware- Can You Live With It?

Here's a great article we found via OED's LinkedIn Group, courtesy of Alan Buckwalter of Jefric Consulting.

Bob Violino for InfoWorld:"Get used to it: Malware can't be completely blocked or eliminated. But you can manage your PCs, mobile devices, and networks to function despite being infected

How can you be sure your organization doesn't have insidious viruses or other malware lurking within systems and applications, waiting to inflict damage? You can't.

Malware has grown sophisticated to the point where there's no guarantee that it's actually gone, even when you've applied the latest antivirus software. Making matters worse, IT infrastructures are becoming much more complex -- with an ever-growing population of devices that give malware even more possible entry points.

These days, you have to assume there are some infected PCs or other devices on the corporate network.

Get used to it: Malware is everywhere you go

The malware problem is getting worse. According to the Ponemon Institute's 2011 State of Endpoint Risk study, 43 percent of the 782 U.S.-based IT and IT security professionals surveyed reported a "dramatic uptick" in malware in 2010. Fully 98 percent of the organizations surveyed by Ponemon experienced a virus or malware-based network intrusion, and 35 percent said they had experienced 50 malware attempts within a span of just one month, or more than one intrusion per day.
"The current batch of malware we're seeing is very sophisticated and well written, and it hides itself well and avoids detection well," says Fred Rica, principal in the information security advisory practice at the PricewaterhouseCoopers consulting firm.
The good news is that this "living with malware" scenario doesn't have to lead to lost data, unavailable systems, or other problems. Companies can and do function despite these intrusions."

The full article with great survival strategies can be seen in InfoWorld.com's Secutiy Central section.