Archives for September 2016

Tips to Cut Down on Office Time Wasters

“The trouble is, you think you have time”…powerful and poignant words, my favorite of all the fake Buddha quotes – deep stuff the enlightened one never said. Of course what he would have meant by this is that the one unifying constant in all of our lives is time slipping away…and that’s doubly true on the job. Efficiency is an industry because organization is hard; lack of it has given lots of us the opportunity to update our resumes.

 

There are hysterical ways to burn the corporate clock when you want to…duct taping the height adjuster on a coworkers chair or mismatching their shortcut icons…both classics and hilarious but what’s funny about losing ten minutes looking for an email?

 

Throw in a little managerial pressure and the typical workday stress and you’re cooking up the kind of frenetic exasperation that begins with mumbled nonsensical expletives and soon escalates to a Griswold karate chopping reindeer outburst that honestly is a level of crazy you don’t want to parade at the office.

 

No Laughing Matter

Today’s workplace is about technology and technology is both our greatest tormentor and savior. If you’re in sales, project management or any business with customers there are moments when it’s game-on. Your reputation and earning potential ride on how efficiently you handle your business.

 

Practical jokes aside, wasting time at work is no laughing matter. Data from Salary.com reveals that not only do people waste time, the problem is getting worse. In 2013, 69% admitted to goofing off. By 2014, that number was up to 89%…and the time they wasted got longer. In fact, 4% of workers said they waste half the day or more.

 

How is Employee Time Wasted?

Much of it is spent chatting and texting – on the phone, with co-workers or on social media. That eats up a lot of time. Then there’s surfing the web, snack or smoke breaks, distraction from other people being noisy (also known as eavesdropping), meetings, and email.

 

Finding Solutions

Workers waste time when they don’t feel valued at their jobs, or their jobs are boring. Start by finding positive ways to motivate your staff. Get creative and have some fun with it.

 

Your employees want to be empowered. They want to contribute ideas, make decisions, and have a voice in company direction. They will appreciate flexible scheduling and the opportunity to work from home when they have a sick child.

 

We’re all global now, so does it matter that an employee does his best work in the evening or early morning when it’s quiet, and likes to take afternoons off or come in to the office at noon? Allowing them to choose their own workday means you’ll get peak performance and they won’t be distracted by a doctor’s appointment or school play they’re afraid they’ll miss.

 

Working out flextime means you have to ensure you have enough people in the office at all times, but don’t worry. Many people are perfectly ok with 9-5 most of the time. You’ll be able to work something out. Even offering special occasion trade-offs is valuable.

 

Giving Them the Proper Tools

The first and second points on Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People are “be proactive” and “begin with the end in mind.” There is software tailor-made to help you do just that.

 

Customer relationship management software, or CRM, is designed for the sole purpose of making you better at what you do, so it definitely increases productivity. A good CRM not only manages your contacts and their information but ties any notes associated with a specific client to them. It will boast an integrated calendar and to-do list to keep you organized, and project management software with a financial tool that you can use to manage virtually anything you’re working on.

 

All that efficiency will pad your annual review with praise and put lots of minutes back on your clock. Who knows, you may even save enough time to laminate that official looking legend of voice commands for the office microwave or just wait around the break room for someone to try your complimentary chocolate covered tuna balls.

 

 

The 6 Keys to a Successful Website

Successful websites require time and investment. Your investment may be time or money, or a bit of both, depending on your skill set and resources. Here’s our guidelines for developing a strategy that produces success in the short-term, as well as future sustainability.

 

Purpose

 

Your website is the ultimate sales tool and must offer value to your business. Build your site for the user, with your business goal being top priority. What action do you want your audience to take? Perhaps your objective is for a purchase to be made, or to have users sign up for your newsletter, or contact you directly. Whatever your call-to-action may be, build your site accordingly. Your website page paths should focus on delivering that goal.

 

Functionality

 

One of the most crucial factors is usability. It’s impossible to know how your user will pass through your site, particularly if the navigation is illogical or your purpose is unclear. Ensure there is an efficient path that visitors may follow for your site. Your pages must be built with both your audience and purpose in mind. Focus on design and content, as well as the smaller details, such as text style and size.

 

SEO

 

Get back to the basics! Begin with quality content that entices your audience. Next, focus on the words you are using. Does your text match up with search engine queries? Test your keywords in order to understand what words to emphasis on your page. Online tools can help you master SEO but don’t fall victim to keyword abuse. At the end of the day, your content needs to be understandable to the reader and flow effortlessly. Search engines rules are constantly changing so you’re better off to focus your efforts on creating gripping, relevant content.

 

Data Analysis

 

There’s only one way you can determine if you’re hitting your goals and that’s by measuring your web traffic. The more skilled you become at measuring the appropriate things, the more successful your website can ultimately become. Site traffic isn’t the only data worth looking at. Hone in on unique visitors, devices used, time spent and conversions. Make changes based on your findings, re-measure and repeat, in order to ensure an optimum functioning site.

 

Quality Content

 

Is your message even worth reading? Ensure content is compelling, consistent and offers value. Consider your style of writing. Ask yourself – Is this readable? Personable? Does it make sense? Be sure to write for your audience and tell them exactly what they want to know. Providing original information that showcases your expertise and that provides value that your customers can’t find anywhere else will ensure they see your brand as an industry leader.

 

 

Operating a website can be a daunting, time consuming task. Just remember, profitable sites are more about quality, over quantity. You can absolutely be successful spending less money, as long as you streamline your efforts effectively.