Sunrise Business Tips

May Sunrise Business Tip:

Organizing Your Office for Better Productivity

Do you sit down to work and find yourself browsing the web, or performing other unproductive tasks? Studies have shown that decreasing distractions while working can boost your productivity. If you find you are having trouble staying focused, you may wish to minimize distractions in the environment around you. An excellent way to ensure your environment increases productivity, is to organize your office for improved efficiency.
The first step to organizing your office space is to remove unnecessary clutter. Start by evaluating the objects you have around your office to better determine the necessity of having that item around. Upon thinking critically about the items around you, you may discover that the item is rarely used and doesn’t add anything useful to your work flow. In some cases, items may be old, broken or lingering around from a past project with no use in your current work. It’s important to get rid of items that you do not use and have no value. Many of us tend to keep objects around “just in case” but this can contribute to a lack of space to store items, and increased clutter. Be honest with yourself when evaluating your belongings, if you can’t bring yourself to throw away – or better yet, donate an item – consider placing it in another room or a closet.

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Once you have gone through all of your belongings, you may find that you still do not have as much space as you would like. In this type of situation, the next best thing is to find creative ways to add space to the room. A great trick to adding space is to think vertically. The walls are your best friend for this type of task. Consider adding shelves, increasing space under your monitor, under your desk and hanging item from the back of your door to better organize smaller items.
Another great way to decrease clutter, and better organize your office is to tidy up loose cords. You may be surprised how much organizing your loose cables can add space to your desk and office area. Invest in cable ties, or even use old twisty ties from bread bags. Straighten up your cables, add twisty ties, and if possible find a way to secure them to the underside of your desk, or table legs to keep them out of the way.

The desk area can be one of the most difficult areas to organize, because this is where you do the most of your work – and put the majority of your loose odds and ends. To increase desk space, consider moving your desk to a wall, and mounting your monitor or monitors to the wall. Another option is to invest in monitor stands with cubby holes that allow you to hide papers and other items. Don’t forget about the space under your desk either. Investing in a small shelf that will fit under your desk, or even some decorative boxes to organize items in will free up a lot of room.
In the end when organizing try to think about space that you don’t get a lot of use out of – and find ways to maximize that area by storing items there. Try to organize your office so your most important items are closer at hand, and items you rarely use are stacked neatly on shelves or under your desk. If you have items that you will never use, try removing them from the room all together.
We hope you have enjoyed this months Business Tips.  Good luck with your organization, we are sure you will find a cleaner environment more conducive to your work productivity.

Thom Torode is an Executive & Business Coach based in New Jersey. He has owned multiple different types of businesses and is currently the Managing Director for Sunrise Business Advisors.  Additionally Thom is a Director Consultant in the middle NJ region of BNI. When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.

Inspiring Greatness…Developing Success

Goal Check

Goals

With 4 months under our belts in 2014 and spring in the air and flowers blooming it’s time for a goal check.

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Spring Goal Check!

Remember back at the beginning of the year you sat down and wrote out some concrete goals using the suggested model:
SMART:
S – Smart
M- Measurable
A – Achievable
R – Realistic
T – Timely

Keep in mind that the actual achievement of your goals may be important, however it’s who you become in the process. “The greatest value is in the skills, knowledge, discipline and leadership qualities you’ll develop in reaching that elevated status,”  Jim Rohn

“The greatest value is in the skills, knowledge, discipline and leadership qualities you’ll develop in reaching that elevated status,” Rohn says.  – See more at: http://www.success.com/article/goal-check-with-jim-rohn#sthash.f7QcuZZw.dpuf
“The greatest value is in the skills, knowledge, discipline and leadership qualities you’ll develop in reaching that elevated status,” Rohn says.  – See more at: http://www.success.com/article/goal-check-with-jim-rohn#sthash.f7QcuZZw.dpuf

Was your Why big enough to carry you over the hurdles we face on a daily basis?
Perhaps it’s time to rethink what’s been going on and to get back on track. Start by reading Simon Sinek’s book Start With Why.

You’ll understand his Golden Circle:

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From What to Why
Also check out his Ted Talk on how leaders can inspire action.
http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action

If you’d like help establishing your why and developing your goals, give us a call and schedule a complimentary goal assessment review.

Thom Torode is an Executive & Business Coach based in New Jersey. He has owned multiple different types of businesses and is currently the Managing Director for Sunrise Business Advisors.  Additionally Thom is a Director Consultant in the middle NJ region of BNI. When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.

Inspiring Greatness…Developing Success

SYSTEM: Save Your Self Time Energy and Money

Save Your Self Time Energy and Money

In our earlier post on SYSTEM, we discussed the importance of systematizing your business processes, and some high-level ways to go about reorganizing your internal business structure to create better efficiency in your organization. In this post, we would like to further explore the concept of systematizing your business.

systemTo more easily recall the benefits of sound business systematization, we would like to introduce you to the easy to remember acronym, SYSTEM. This stands for Save Yourself Time Energy and Money. When you think of this acronym, you can quickly recall the necessity of creating a system and process for your business.

Systematizing your business process allows you to save time by automating many of the tasks you do every day. Through automating, or delegating these tasks you can focus on more important matters. With a little research, you will be surprised what can be easily and quickly automated. As for delegating tasks, take a look at the small tasks you are doing each day, or week and see if they can be grouped into similar themes. These may be better assigned to another individual in your organization.

Through saving yourself time, you will have more energy to put toward other tasks. Expending energy on a variety of small tasks which others in your organization could be handling for you is not an efficient use of a business owner’s time. You are the individual with the vision for your business, and it’s up to you to get it there, wasting your creative energy on repetitive tasks throughout the day is only a hindrance.

As a direct result of saving time and energy, you will be saving yourself money. Less hours will need to be put in to complete the same amount of work in a day In addition, by making your business a well oiled machine, you will have less risk of costly mistakes, as every part in the machine has its own individual function that it performs expertly. As the business owner, you are meant to oversee this machine, keep it oiled and maintained, but not be a cog in it.

Business process word cloud

Now that you have learned the acronym SYSTEM, and the benefits of having a sound system in place, we hope that you can begin saving yourself time, energy and money by having a more efficient business process.

Thom Torode is a NJ based Executive & Business Coach. He has owned over 5 different businesses and is currently the Managing Director for Sunrise Business Advisors.  Additionally Thom is a Director Consultant in the middle NJ region of BNI. When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.

Inspiring Greatness…Developing Success

Creating a System for Success

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Most of us run our lives on a handful of systems. Between our cellphones, our planners and our e-mail inboxes, we have organized ourselves and our time. And if you ever doubt the importance of these systems, recall your panic the last time you lost your planner.

Yet as important as these systems are, most of us don’t take advantage of what systems can do to improve our businesses. Systems are simply ways of automating or structuring processes so that they can occur systematically without so much thought or attention—and by more than just one person, so that the business can continue to run if the owner takes a vacation.

Figuring Out What to Systematize

For most of us, there are dozens of similar repetitive tasks, large and small, in our businesses or jobs that could be systematized. To identify where you can apply systems, step back from your enterprise and try to look at it objectively. Ask yourself questions such as below:

Where are your frustrations? This is an important test for two reasons. First, you are more likely to be frustrated if you are redoing tasks that bring no particular satisfaction. Second, you are going to be frustrated if you have to relearn a task or “recreate the wheel” every time a specific need comes up.

What is holding back your business? What are the choke points? Do you need to generate more prospects? Do you have prospects but a low rate of conversion? Do you convert customers but lose them through poor follow-through? Strategically focusing on your business this way is more likely to spot high-value opportunities for systemization.

What causes you stress? Is it preparing for the quarterly performance reviews? Finalizing your printed catalog? Preparing for your annual make-or-break tradeshow? Even if you know the steps by heart, systematizing at least part of these stress-inducing activities could yield big benefits to your business—and your well-being.

Start by Writing It Down

The first step in systematizing a process is to write it down. What exactly is the process you go through to handle a sales lead? Place a want ad for your shipping clerk? Train a new receptionist? If you are struggling to get all the steps down, try the “backwards” approach. Start with the end result and then determine what you did right before that, and so on, for each step.

Another valuable exercise is to document what everyone in your organization does. Forget job descriptions: You want to know what they actually do. This may highlight high-value opportunities to build systems that can be leveraged throughout the organization.

Often, the documentation you create in this process is all the system you require. The next time the task comes up, you can pull out the file and save the relearning. It also becomes the core of the training manual for new employees, which is often one of the most valuable systems you can build.

Do the Cost-Benefit Math

Here are some guidelines for figuring out which of the myriad choices are worth the effort of creating a system:

What are the odds you will be doing this again? How often?

How hard is it to automate? Creating paper checklists is easy; programming Outlook to sync your phone contacts and automatically generate follow up emails isn’t so easy. However, don’t give up if the software approach is too expensive or complicated. Productivity guru David Allen sells several slick software products, but his core recommendation for organizing tasks is to create a set of clearly labeled file folders. Again, a well-documented, step-by-step manual is the core of many highly successful systems.

How painful is the task? And how painful is failing to execute it well? High-value tasks, such as annual trade-shows and the like, are good candidates for setting up systems in order to reduce risks and the associated stress.

Can you hire it out? In some cases, the best system is to hand the documentation for the process to a junior employee. In particular, those stress-inducing tasks noted above can be partially off-loaded. But you will need to do the work up front of carefully recording the steps involved, and how to achieve and measure the necessary outcomes.

Get Out of the Box

As you go through this analysis, don’t be afraid to start with the question: Why do we do this process in the first place? For every process you find that could be automated with a new system, you may find another that can be eliminated altogether. Systematically reviewing your business this way may be the most valuable system of all.

When selecting a system, ask these questions:

• How is it going to make the process better, easier, or faster?
• What kinds of measurements are in place to ensure it is going to do its job?
• Is the system too complicated to make it effective?
• Have there been complaints or good testimonials?

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Thom Torode is a NJ based Executive & Business Coach. He has owned over 5 different businesses and is currently the Managing Director for Sunrise Business Advisors.  Additionally Thom is a Director Consultant in the middle NJ region of BNI. When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.

 Inspiring Greatness..Developing Success

What Does Business Networking Mean?

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When running or marketing your business, you will often hear how critical the aspect of networking is to the process of growing your business and achieving your goals.  Through reaching out to a network of personal and business connections, you can leverage these contacts to provide a steady supply of business.  Business networking is one of the most effective low-cost marketing methods available to you.  Often times, networking is absolutely free – the only thing it costs you is a small amount of time.  When there is a cost involved in networking, this cost is generally for attending conventions and other industry events.

The individuals you connect with on a regular basis are often the people who understand your business the best, and who have their own network of prospects they can turn into referrals for your business.  Through networking properly, you can drastically increase your business through word of mouth marketing alone.

Consumers trust recommendations from individuals in their network, and are more likely to become a customer if referred to by someone they know or work with.  For example, a recent study by Nielson shows that 92% of consumers worldwide trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other form of advertising.

When beginning the process of networking, it is easy to become frustrated and overwhelmed.  It’s important to approach networking for business growth in a strategic and focused manner.  Reach out to individuals who you think you can develop a mutually beneficial relationship with.  Remember to be proactive; you should always keep networking top of mind when you are meeting new people. When forming new relationships, consider how you may be able to leverage the relationship or partnership, and also what you can do for them.  The key to networking is reciprocation, you have to give as much as you get – but with a strong network, this will be easy to accomplish.

There are many groups available for the business owner.  These networking groups are full of individuals, like yourself, seeking to reach out and meet other professionals.  Because there is an expectation of networking in these groups, it is often the easiest place to begin.iStock_000012461219Small

In the end remember the old adage, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. Learning and mastering the skills to build strong relationships will create a competitive advantage that any savvy business professional can utilize to create endless business opportunities.

If you’d like to learn more about Networking and how it can help your business, lets talk.  I can help you learn about groups in your area and help you to evaluate why one group may be a better fit over another.BNI

Thom Torode is a NJ based Executive & Business Coach. He has owned over 5 different businesses and is currently the Managing Director for Sunrise Business Advisors.  Additionally Thom is a Director Consultant in the middle NJ region of BNI. When not helping business owners and their teams create the business and lives they want and need, he can be found following his kids activities.

Inspiring Greatness…Developing Success!