Insights Blog

Useful tools, tips and strategies to help your business learn, develop and expand.

5 Tips to Manage Your Team Effectively

When we coach businesses in London, we realise there’s a common struggle amongst business owners to get their team to work efficiently. However, it doesn’t have to be as hard as it seems. Here are my top 5 ways to keep on top of your team, and delegate effectively:

1. Don’t Be a Superhero

Don’t try and do everything yourself. You know what you’re really good at. For everything else, if there’s someone that can do it nearly as good as you, that’s good enough for now. You don’t lose control, you gain advantage.

2. Start with the Low Skill-Low Fun

Wouldn’t it be great to hire someone to do the important stuff for you, so you can take a break? That’s not the starting point – that’s the goal. Instead, begin with tasks that are in the “low-fun + low-skill” part of your tasks spectrum. Easier to train people for, and it’s cheaper. Remove these distractions and focus on your genius areas.

3. Ensure you Have a Round Peg for a Round Hole When you’re hiring a team, make sure that the person is right for the role they’re taking on. You can’t make a square peg fit in a round hole, and it’s way easier to put a round peg in anyway! Make sure they have the right skills and the right personality for what you’re asking them to do. Then they become naturally motivated to do well.

4. Ensure you Delegate, Don’t Abdicate You’re not giving away work, never to look at it again. Install a system to track the tasks and projects you’re dealing out to your team. Constant training and mentoring will be required from you to help your team become better at what they do. Click here to download the simple (and free) tool that I use to keep track of my team.

5. Record your Work to Replicate it Make sure you’re documenting everything. However, don’t take copious notes; keep it simple. One-pager instructions, checklists, bullet points, how-to videos. Make it easy for someone to learn instead creating a lengthy training course. This way, if your team ever changes, transition will be swift and effortless.

business strategy consulting London If you would like to find out the simple tool that I use to keep track of all the projects with my team, then simply click here to leave your details and I’ll send it right over to you.

And if you’re serious about your business and want to strive to become bigger, then you may want to register for the online webinar.

Learn the language of money that top business owners speak and ways to significantly improve your sales and profits.


Let Your Appointments Book Themselves

Before I begin let me first state that this is not a sponsored article. I am writing this because I genuinely believe in and enjoy this app and highly recommend it to all business owners that need scheduling capability.

I’ve found that trying to figure out appointments with your clients or customers can be a tiresome backwards and forwards process. It was really irritating to have to wait until both my client and I had a free moment to sit down, look at our calendars and figure out an optimal time for a session.

Not to mention trying to fit in the complimentary business strategy sessions  I arrange with prospective clients alongside all of that. Then I discovered TimeTrade and suddenly scheduling appointments became a whole lot easier – and it can be easier for you too.

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What is Time Trade?

Quite simply, TimeTrade is a scheduling app that allows you to integrate your calendar and set up blocks for appointments. You can then send a link to your clients or customers and they can simply take a look at when you’ve got a free slot and book in a time with you. That appointment is then automatically imported into your calendar (if you’ve connected it to TimeTrade) so you know that you’ve got an appointment. Basically, it automates scheduling your appointments and makes the whole process easier for both you and your clients.

How does it work?

If you use Outlook or Google Calendar, I highly recommend that you first follow the (pretty clear) instructions for connecting your calendar to TimeTrade. Believe me, it’s worth it. There are 3 simple steps to getting your scheduling going:

  1. Create an “activity” – that is, some sort of appointment that you want people to schedule with you. For example, one of my activities is the complimentary strategy sessions to see if a prospective client is a fit. Here you also create the time slots that you want to make available for people to book through TimeTrade.
  2. Send invites out to people so they can schedule an appointment with you. This is honestly as simple as taking a link that TimeTrade generates for you and pasting it wherever you want to. They’ve also got a function to send out emails through TimeTrade itself (though I don’t use this function personally).
  3. Your customers or clients will be taken to a calendar where they can book the available slots. Once they fill in the information, the booking will be reserved for them (so any new visitor will no longer see that slot as free) and the appointment will flow into your calendar (if you’ve connected it).

So what’s so good about it?

There are a few reasons why I recommend TimeTrade to anyone who needs to make frequent appointments:

  1. This is leverage. I’ve talked about leverage before – this is a really great example of where you can do the work once, and then let it happen on its own again and again. You just need to put in the slots when you’re free and then never worry about organising another appointment. You can even set it to be a recurring appointment. So if you always want to do your meetings on, say, Tuesday afternoons, you can just put in the slots for every Tuesday afternoon and it will keep those slots available every week.

    And if you’ve connected up your calendar, then even if you book an appointment into your calendar during one of your TimeTrade allocated slots through your regular calendar (i.e. not through TimeTrade), the calendar in TimeTrade will acknowledge that you are now ‘busy’ during that time and will not allow people to book that slot anymore!

  2. It’s easier for everyone. This doesn’t only reduce the pain of setting up appointments for myself, but for my clients too. When they’re ready to make the appointment, they can sit down with their calendar in their own time and figure out a time that works for both of us. It’s a complete win.

     

  3. It’s easy to use and edit. Setting up TimeTrade to link with your calendar is probably the trickiest part, and even that has pretty clear instructions. This isn’t some technical app that requires some serious computing expertise. It’s designed to be simple and easy to use – and it is!

Ok let’s do this! How do I get it?

You can sign up for TimeTrade by visiting www.timetrade.com where they have a range of plans for small businesses right up to bespoke arrangements for large enterprises. I use the plan that’s about £29/year and it’s sufficient for my needs right now, and I’m sure it will be for most small and medium businesses.

I’ve found TimeTrade has worked exceptionally well for me, and I often recommend it now to my clients and I would encourage you to check it out if you need to make appointments in your business.

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Are You a “Got a Minute” Boss?

How do you interact with your team members? Do you find yourself constantly being interrupted with a small task here, a small problem there?

Your time is a valuable resource, so you need to start thinking about how you use it – especially with your team.

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:

Hi, this is Shweta from London Coaching Group. What I want to talk about today is “Got A Minute” culture. In our business, when new team members come on board, I sit down with them to take them through our value system, mindset principles and I also tell them. ‘By the way, I’m not your “Got A Minute” boss.’ And I get to see some very interesting expressions, generally good ones.  

Imagine you work for Richard Branson

But before I tell you about Got a Minute culture, let me build some scenarios for you and I want you to do some imagining here. I want you to imagine that you are working in Richard Branson’s business. And let’s say you are a Senior Sales Manager in his business. You need to discuss the sales forecast for the next year. And it’s quite important because there are a few things which you are not clear about and you have some thoughts on and you need to sit down with him.  

Scenario A

So let’s imagine Scenario A. Scenario A is where you open the door of his office and you say, “Got a minute, Richard?” And Richard Branson says, “Yes, walk in.” And you sit down, you have a chat with him, you tell him what’s going on in your mind and some issues that you were thinking about. Just a lot of things, and you start talking about some other things, one, two, three, lots of stuff has been discussed. And Richard says, “Listen, do one thing. Leave it with me and I’ll come back to you with my thoughts.”  

Scenario B

That’s Scenario A. Scenario B is where you say, “Ok, I need to discuss the sales forecast for the next year, so let me see Richard’s diary…” and you book a nice 30 minutes or 45 minutes session with Richard and you send him the invite so he knows about it. You tell him it’s about the sales forecast for the next year and you also send him the pre-read because he needs to look at some of the figures to be well informed of the discussion in advance. So you send him some pre-read and you, yourself are well prepared and you take proper notes, think of all the possible scenarios and you’ve thought it through. And then you get into this meeting.

Now in that meeting, you’re focusing on sales forecasts for the next year and Richard and you are having a good discussion, he’s asking you lots of good questions and you’re coming up with answers and possible options of looking at that situation. And he’s asking you questions like, “So what do you think about this? What are the pros and cons of doing this?” So a lot of brainstorming happening, but he’s the one who’s asking questions. And with that question-asking technique, actually you’ve come up with some really good answers for yourself, he has also built on top of that and by the end of 45 minutes or 30 minutes, there is good clarity.

You’ve got good input from Richard Branson and you’re done with your meeting and you go out of his office.  

Which Scenario do you want to be in?

What do you think is a probable scenario? Scenario A, “Got a minute, Richard?” Or Scenario B, where you are very prepared for this meeting. I can pretty much say that you have chosen Scenario B. Right?  

What is the situation in YOUR business?

I just want you to pause, just for a second and think it through. What scenarios happen in your business. Is it, “Got a minute, boss?” Or does your team come to you with good preparation, with preplanning, with a proper meeting set in your diary, where you are asking good questions because you’re pretty well informed before the meeting so you can ask quality questions? And so by the time the meeting finishes, it’s not like, “I’ll think about it, leave it with me.” But the team knows exactly what they have to do. Do they go back with a clear sense of direction and execution? Think this through.

And the only thought I want to leave with you is, this: I know each one of us is a business owner, and we are in the process of building a big business. But while we’re in the process of building a big business, remember one thing. You and I, we need to behave in a true sense like a big business. Your time is as important as Richard Branson’s time, and you are the first person who will treat it like that. And that’s when your team and other people start treating your time as a valuable resource.

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It’s not as hard, or as complicated as it seems to be one of the top 4% businesses.

Register for my online webinar, and learn the language of money that top business owners speak and ways to significantly improve your sales and profits.

 


Business Reading: Do You Do That One Thing?

This has become one of my favourite books and I simply had to share it. business consultant london The important learnings from this business reading:

  • A single domino can topple many things – if you prioritise one important thing that has a knock on effect to bring you greater, wider success. Success is built sequentially.
  • There are 6 myths that are keeping you from focusing on the one thing: everything matters equally, multitasking, living a disciplined life, willpower will get the job done, living a perfectly balanced life, and that big is bad.
  • There are 4 thieves of productivity: not being able to say “No”, the fear of chaos, mismanagement of your personal energy, a poor environment that doesn’t support your goals.
  • You can stay on track by continually asking yourself one simple question: “What’s the one thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

I cannot recommend it enough for any business owner – whether you feel like you are already productive or not.

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It’s not as hard, or as complicated as it seems to be one of the top 4% businesses.

Book a free Business Alignment Meeting with Shweta to find out how Shweta can help, and whether business coaching is exactly what you need.

 


The Biggest Productivity Lie

When you end the day, do you ask yourself, “Where did the time go?” Even when you have a list written out clearly, with all the things you need to do, somehow you end up unable to complete all those really important tasks.

You sit down the next morning and wonder how you’re going to get through it all. Then your team members asks you for a minute. Then you’ve got an email coming in. Are you multitasking to be “more efficient”?

 

Prefer to read rather than watch and listen? No problem – here’s everything I said in the video as text:

Hi this is Shweta from London Coaching Group. What I want to talk about today is multitasking. I was sitting down with one of my clients recently and we were going through a job description for an Admin Manager and I noticed that he mentioned “multitasking” as an important attribute. Now this isn’t uncommon in business owners and their businesses, where they expect their team members, as well as themselves, to constantly try to multitask at any given time.

In fact it’s pretty much possible that while you are listening to this video you are also trying to check your emails, you are maybe looking at some business papers or gesturing to your team members because maybe you believe that multitasking is the way to be more efficient and more effective. You just want to achieve a lot more in a given time, right?

Multitasking is a Lie

Now straight to the point: Multitasking is a lie. In fact it’s just an opportunity to screw up more than 1 thing at a given time. And I didn’t say that, Steve Uzzell says that and I completely believe, I completely agree with this concept – it’s just 1 of the ways to be more inefficient and not efficient.

Not Meant for Human Beings

In fact you won’t believe that multitasking was not even a word meant for human beings. In the 1920s, around that time, psychologists were studying human beings and their capability, our capability of doing more things in a given time. But the word ‘multitasking’ actually came on the scene in around 1960s. That was the time when 10 MHz computer speed was absolutely mind-boggling and the word was for devised, not for human beings but for computers.

And the literal meaning of that concept of that word was actually multiple tasks alternately being processed by one resource and that resource was the CPU. Then the context flipped, it all changed and multitasking started being used for human beings and what it really meant was multiple tasks being done simultaneously by one resource which is the person.

Human Brains CAN Do Multiple Things At the Same Time

Now what you need to understand and really internalise is our human brains, our brains can actually do multiple things at a given time, can do things at a given time – we can walk and we can chew gum, we can watch telly and iron our clothes, whatever. But our brains are not designed to actually focus on 2 things at a given time. It has to switch back and forth to pay attention to that 1 thing at 1 time.

But What Does This Matter in Reality?

What is the implication of this way of working for the effectiveness in our day-to-day business life? Think about it like this – so you come in to your office and you decide that this is task A is the most important thing that you need to be doing at this time. So you start at a point and you focus on that task A and say around 30 minutes later you’ll finish that task A. This is the focused approach – no interruptions, no distractions. You just focus on 1 thing and you get it done.

Now think of very distracted scenario in your office – you start task A and you get about a quarter of the way through. All of sudden there’s a distraction: somebody knocks on your door and says, “Boss can I have a minute with you?” Now your mind has to switch, it has to reorient for that distraction, then you will spend some time on that distraction, your brain has to again switch and reorient for the task A and maybe after another hour or so you will actually complete the task. What should have taken you 30 minutes, has taken you more than an hour. And what researchers in proper studies have found out – is that in this unfocused approach, the extra time spent on the task genuinely goes up by 25% for simpler tasks and for more complex tasks sometimes it goes beyond 100%.

So Ask Yourself, Should You Multitask?

And you need to therefore think about when you finish the day, do you ask, “Where did the time go?” Do you ask yourself the questions, “Did I actually manage to achieve the things that I had to achieve today?” “Did I do them?” and the answer is “No,” then you need to go back and ask yourself, are you really trying to multitask because you think that’s the way to be more efficient? Because let me remind you multitasking is a lie. It doesn’t help you become efficient, it is a way of inefficiency.

I just want to leave you with this question: as a business owner when you decide that this is the most important thing at this particular time then why would you choose to do something else along with that most important thing at that given time? 

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