At the end of every day, it is a great idea to draw up your to-do list. By doing this you will start your next day off with a clear mind. Your to-do list will serve as your action plan for the day ahead. It will assist in ensuring you do not get distracted and end up forgetting to get to some of the essential tasks you need to get through in your day.
One of the common mistakes we make is forgetting to follow up with people on matters that we need to address. This may not seem like it is an integral part of your business growth plans, but it is. Let me illustrate this with an example.
I was recently visiting a business which does repair work to vehicles. The workshop had been working on the vehicle for several weeks. The workshop manager was complaining and frustrated that they had not completed the job. Not only was the vehicle taking up space in an already overcrowded workshop. They also could not invoice out the work that was already completed. When I asked what was causing the delay, I got the beady eye with a one-word answer "parts". When I questioned when the parts would be available, there was no direct answer. The chain reaction started. "I must follow up with the parts person", who then had to follow up with the supplier. Only to find out that the parts were sitting in the supplier's warehouse ready for collection. If they had followed up earlier, they would have been able to invoice a week before they did. They could have cleared up space in their workshop. More importantly, they could have exceeded their customers' expectations by getting the job done sooner.
There are always many areas that we have to follow up on in our businesses. Whether it be chasing for payment on an outstanding account. Making a call to follow up on a new proposal sent out. Chasing up on stock ordered from suppliers. Or a follow-up call to the taxman, you should make following up a priority in your business.
There will always be new items that slot onto your to-do list so it is important that you learn to prioritize. I like to use a simple grid for my planning to ensure I get through everything in my day. There may be items you carry over to the next day. However, make sure you are focusing on the essential areas in your business. We often get distracted by the "fun or enjoyable" tasks, forgetting or delay the important stuff. Don’t fall into this trap, remember it is always a good idea to "Eat the Bullfrog for breakfast".
What are some of the area you should be planning to follow up in your business each day?
It is important to remember that it may not be necessary for you to make all the follow-up calls yourself. You need to learn to delegate. Ensure that there are systems in place for someone in your business to take responsibility for doing the follow-up.
If you struggle to focus your attention on the important tasks at hand. Then try a tool like the Eisenhower Matrix to manage your tasks and time effectively. This a great tool to help you define where everything should fit into your schedule.
By implementing a good follow up system in your business. You will soon understand how important this is for your business growth and success.
Now get back to work you have read the important stuff!
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For specialist business growth strategies, contact Coach Sonja Shear.