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Productivity

hamster running on a wheel

Marketing Like a Treadmill? Hug the Hamster.

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We see jokes all the time about life or work – or both – feeling like a hamster running on a wheel. It’s the perfect analogy for constantly being busy but never seeming to reach our goals. I have to admit, I’ve always secretly liked … Keep reading…

no, maybe, yes choices in chalk

How to Choose the Right Marketing Software for Your Small Business

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You’ve probably already experienced it: you bought or subscribed to some software that you’ve since ditched in favour of another option. I’ve done it lots. Often, we don’t know what we don’t know till we give it a try. Sometimes there is no one app … Keep reading…

empty box

Tips to Clear Your Inbox

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Email is a business tool we just can’t avoid. Keeping our inboxes manageable is a daily challenge. (Believe me, I’ve tried the avoiding option and it only becomes a bigger job.) I’m usually pretty good about reading and responding; it’s the filing and organizing that … Keep reading…

hopscotch

Consistency Comes from Having a Process

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Late in the ’90s, after an intense SAP implementation with my employer at the time in Toronto, I spent the better part of a year working with all of the different business groups to document and improve on their process workflows. This meant travelling to … Keep reading…

Avoid Marketing Emergencies by Planning Backwards

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I’ve joked to friends that no one ever needs to reach me in a hot rush because there are no marketing emergencies. In fact, there are some things that might constitute an “emergency” (Sheldon quotes), such as a website going down or an app not … Keep reading…

What First, How Second

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Buying or subscribing to a software application is never the solution to a problem. But it can certainly be part of the solution… or not. It’s all about the process. An app can help streamline a process. Likewise, it can overcomplicate a process. It’s all … Keep reading…

Too Many Items, Not Enough Action

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pivot – purge – plan – prepare – postpone The P words are overtaking our business lives in recent months! To make all those P’s happen, we also have long to-do lists… longer now than usual. I know this because I’ve had chats with many … Keep reading…

Working Alone Doesn’t Have To Be Lonely

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Sometimes I take things for granted. For instance, while many have been adapting to working alone, I’ve been happy as a pig in sh*t. You might think this is because I’ve been working at home for 15 years, so I’m used to it. Sure, that’s … Keep reading…

We Must, We Must, Increase Our Trust

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You may not often think of trust in relation to productivity but there’s a very direct correlation, especially for small businesses. What is trust in a business relationship? It can be quite different than in our personal lives, of course. I’ve recently weathered the end … Keep reading…

Simple Help for Better Blog Writing

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Don’t you love it when you find a new tool to make your work easier? One of the benefits of teaching is I also learn from the course participants. It’s Hemingway that has my attention this time (thanks to Jacqueline). I love it’s simplicity! Go … Keep reading…

Super Easy Screen Recording

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For a long time, I’ve been meaning to research and find an easy free screen recording application. It just never made it up very high on my to-do list. A few days ago I had an urgent need to explain something to somebody and words … Keep reading…

Summer Action Leads to Fall Success

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Summer may be a sluggish time for many businesses but it doesn’t have to be. Use the slower pace to your advantage. Take the Time to Get Inspired Do more reading. Watch more videos. Have more chats over coffee. Take online or offline courses. All … Keep reading…

eMail Productivity: Automate Customer Reminders

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For small business owners, nurturing long term relationships is critical, so keeping in touch with past customers to encourage them to return is a worthwhile activity. Dentists have been doing it for years with their cute cartoon postcards reminding us to book our next check-up. … Keep reading…

eMail Productivity: Automate Course Certificates

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If you’re a teacher or trainer, you’ve likely struggled with the process of providing Certificates of Completion (or Certificates of Attendance and such) to your workshop attendees. Using a Word template, your process might be something like this: prepare your spreadsheet for a mail merge, … Keep reading…

Action Plan for Creating Marketing Collateral for Events

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You know that a killer marketing campaign is critical to your event’s success. But, wow, it’s a lot of work! While every event marketing project I take on is a little different, there is a general process I follow to create the marketing collateral. Creating … Keep reading…

Haste Makes Waste

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Rushing can lead to mistakes. We all know that but still we rush. Sometimes it simply means spending valuable time redoing something. Haste can waste more than time. It can also hurt my reputation if my mistakes are public. A little risk assessment before we start … Keep reading…

How to Find Time to Create Content

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Whether you write for your blog, newsletter or social media – or all three – there are two approaches to creating your content: on the fly or by scheduling time. They both have to do with finding time to do it well. You can spend … Keep reading…

When and How to Leave the Details

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I’m a big fan of the detailed message, whether it is by phone or email. But, as Mary Jane Copps mentioned in her article The Illusion of the Detailed Message, they aren’t intended to build relationships – they’re intended to save time. From a customer service … Keep reading…

13 Ways to be Productive when Your Internet is Down

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It’s been well over a week that I’ve been unable to do much online. For a small business owner, a forced vacation during the holiday season isn’t such a bad thing. But there were some essential tasks that I needed to do before December 31st … Keep reading…

Automate to Boost Productivity

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Aside from your traditional newsletters and promotional messages, you can also use your bulk email application to automate some other processes. You might not think of iContact (or whatever app you use) as a productivity tool, but it can be. Here are a couple of … Keep reading…

The Speed of eMail

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When I sent out my last newsletter, almost 400 people opened it in the first 2 hours. If you need to reach a lot of people fast and at the same time, email is definitely the medium of choice. For one thing, sending an email … Keep reading…

reading confusing email

7 Tips for Communicating Details by eMail

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Email is an ideal way to communicate details, such as meeting minutes, action lists, project updates, instructions, reference data, decisions, event info, checklists and much more. Sending previously prepared information is a snap – just attach, or copy and paste. When I started specializing in … Keep reading…

Put your Reputation on the Line

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It’s a bit like telling all your family and friends when you’re starting a diet or quitting smoking. Your reputation is on the line. Powerful incentive for task completion! We all know how easy it is to put off things that are a little risky. … Keep reading…

Stop Saying “Feel Free”

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The next time you start to type “Feel free to phone or email me” — Stop. If you’re in business, shouldn’t it be obvious that you want calls and emails? “Feel free…” is a little wishy-washy, like using the word “just”. Instead, use a more … Keep reading…