Here they are:
1. Plan your day
Whatever works best for you but ideally, plan your day the night before. Make a list of your top 3 priorities that you have to do that day. Make a list of people you want to call and allocate certain time to important projects like clients, marketing, or strategy. Just that will save you valuable time the next day because you easily get distracted if you start your day not knowing what to do first.
Before making phone calls (sales calls) create a list of people you want to call – preferably plan this task the night before so that you don’t loose valuable time in the morning to collect the names you want to call. Then write a script of what you are going to say. Use key messages, so that your conversation is consistent and brings across the core values of your company. Also add possible objections that could come up and what you’re going to say to that. Don’t give up too easily on a possible objection. With the right mindset and script, you might be able to turn the prospect into a client or at least a warm lead.
Create checklists for regular tasks, i.e. writing emails, sending out a newsletter, commenting on blogs, write and submit articles, mail merge etc. Whenever you do the specific tasks, instead of trying to remember how you did it last time and where you find the old version or the template, add it on to your checklist. Next time you or one of your VA do it, all you have to do is take out the checklist, and follow the instructions. You save yourself or your VA a lot of hassle and time.
4. Meeting Management
before each meeting, think of the main goal and outcome and determine how long you want to spend in the meeting or on the phone. Have an agenda and communicate that to the people in your meeting. Ideally, also envision a good outcome of the meeting before you have it. Having a set out plan for a meeting will make it a lot more structured and you feel more in control.
create templates for letters, faxes, email responses that you can use in your business. That way you don’t have to create it each time you need it. Also, have a description of your company and a short bio about yourself written out so in case anyone asks you about it – prospects, media – you don’t always have to make a new paragraph.
6. Filing, online documents
Create a filing system that works for you, off and online. Don’t just save documents in your My Documents folder on your computer. Give each document a name and create folders for each category, department, or project. Name the document after the content, and use version ((v1, v2)) and dates to keep track of them. If they are internal documents you might want to add a foot note with the filing path added to your document, just like this one C:\BusinessLifestyle\Articles\RM_Articles\7Tips2save1h_day.doc. When you need to track it down, you know exactly where you saved it.
Create logical folders offline too. Suggestions are “to-do today”, “to-do monthly”, “ideas for the next 30-90 days”, “ideas for later than 90 days”, “done”, “inbox”, “articles for newsletters”, “library”, “marketing tips”, “technology info” etc. Then schedule a time to go through the folders on a regular basis and throw stuff out that you no longer need and move those forward that you want to get done.
7. Email, phone and data management
Define 2-3 set times a day where you answer emails and phone calls. If you get interrupted every time the phone rings or an email comes in, you loose valuable time and concentration on the task at hand. It’ll also take you a while to get back into the task and the mindset of it. Capture business cards after each event. Enter them into one list and/or into your online database/newsletter place and start sending communication to the person. If you have a lot of contacts that need to be entered consider hiring a virtual assistant that can do it faster and probably cheaper than you.
Regina Minger, the Entrepreneur’s Project Manager. She helps internet entrepreneurs outsource effectively, manages their projects and people and implements systems and guidelines so that the entrepreneurs can leverage its time to generate more revenue. Sign up to her newsletter on http://www.reginaminger.com and receive an interview Melanie Benson-Strick did with Regina Minger on mistakes an entrepreneur makes when launching a new program. You can use this article in your own documentation, website, ezine or newsletter, just add the company description and website to it.