All SMEs are restrained by time and resource but seldom by enthusiasm or energy. Here are my top ten things I would advise you to do tomorrow. They won't cost you a penny.
1) Make every email a call. Instead of returning emails with emails, reply to every email with a call. Ask your staff to do the same. A simple conversation converts more opportunities into business then words on a page ever will.
2) Make lunch break a team break. Sit everyone in the same room for their lunch break. Clearly someone needs to man the phones. But simply by sharing time together without pressure increases the flow of information across your business for beneficial results.
3) Create a priority list for the week. We all need business strategy. But equally we need to be able to plan in the short term. A shared priority list for the week gives everyone a sense of direction and a sense of achievement when that list is fulfilled at the end of the week.
4) Run your day - don't let your day run you. Many people in business now run their day according to the next email that comes into their inbox. This is equivalent to listening to the loudest voice in the room. We all know that the loudest voices do not necessarily always have the best ideas.
5) Seek out the quiet one. On every team, in every office there is a 'quiet one'. One that comes in, gets on with their job, doesn't complain or get over excited and goes home at the end of the day. Seek them out and have a coffee together. Their views on your business are often incredibly revealing.
6) Social media can be a sapper. Social media platforms can sap time, energy, money and productivity from your business. For the supremely connected and intelligence based communities clearly they are incredibly effective. But if you only have 200 followers, are you just dancing in the dark?
7) Give a client a call to ask for their views. A call that simply asks whether you are doing everything you should be doing for them can often elicit some fundamental feedback for your business that will be just the stitch in time your grandma was going on about.
8) Question the value; another trade show? Another convention? Work with the team to add up all costs and expenses (everything from taxi fares to petrol) and resolve the number of leads that you need to win to make this activity profitable. Perhaps you can secure a speaking slot at a future engagement to harness attention? Securing airtime on your local radio might be a more efficient investment of your resources.
9) Stand up for the day. If you have teams working the phones, try standing up for every call you make. On our feet we think faster, add greater animation to our voice and create a performance from our conversation. Standing up is good for business.
10) Measure success. We sold x units today, what is the target for tomorrow? If we achieved payment of three invoices today, how many can we take payment on tomorrow? Measure the wins in the business, celebrate the individuals that delivered them, and encourage others to do the same.