On May 18, 2018, the small town of Quinter, KS, which my wife and I call home, weathered a storm like none I have seen before. Being a Kansas native all my life, we always talk about our extreme weather. We often say if you don’t like the weather, wait 20 minutes it will change.
It was the summer of 1974 when my parents packed up my younger brother, sister and I and moved to my dad’s family farm. It was a well-established, smaller farm and ranch, but grandpa had to retire and needed someone to take it over. Dad was a mechanic for many years with the gas company. His skills and “I can fix it” attitude just made sense that we would move.
It's 8:30 Saturday morning, and my family and I are looking forward to a great weekend with friends at the lake. We were up early, got the truck packed and we are on the road; looking forward to a relaxing weekend. My wife nudges me and asks “Did you shut the garage door”? My immediate response, “No, I thought you did”!
If you are implementing any marketing at your business, have you ever had a problem deciding how you were going to track it? After all, you don’t just want to blindly throw money where you cannot track an ROI, do you? A lot of times this is what marketers are doing…casting a huge net to see if they can catch anything. Tracking and targeting is a lot more cost-effective and gets your message to the correct audience.
For the majority of my life, I have been a shoot from the hip kind of a guy. Don’t get me wrong, I like plans and to know where things are going and how we will get there. But, sometimes the details didn’t interest me. This is great if you can get away with it. For many years it worked out well. As our company has evolved, we have had to take a different approach and really dig in to see where we could gain efficiencies.
In the last couple of years, I have been tasked with new responsibilities where detail and process are imperative. At first, I will admit it was a struggle to try and understand the “why” behind digging into the details. But now that we are a couple of years into this new normal, I get it.
So much of what we all do every day is too complex. We use processes that have naturally evolved without being thought out. Don’t get me wrong, changing processes and asking people to do things in a different way isn’t easy. Nobody likes someone else looking at how they do their job. It is scary to think something is going to be taken away from you. However, if you are going to grow your business or product, speed and efficiency is the only way in a hyper-competitive 24x7 kind of world. The only way to become efficient is to remove as many wasteful steps, systems and people from the process.
The byproduct of removing waste is simple… Scale!
Have you ever Googled your own name to see what results would show up? If not, you must try it. Most likely you will see a result of social media profiles listed, and one of them might actually be yours. You might also see a few images of yourself pop up as well. Are you happy with how those search results depict your personal image? Let me share a few tips I have learned from some experts on how to build your individual brand online.
Yahoo was hacked into and information from at least 500 million accounts were taken, endless phishing schemes from what look to be credible sources such as Microsoft, Apple and Adobe, to elaborate social engineering schemes that have resulted in one company losing $6 million and was forced to shut down, all of this is enough to keep any business owner awake at night. Cybersecurity is all we hear about in today’s world. But, for many businesses, they understand the need to have a cybersecurity plan but they don’t know how to achieve it. Even for the most technical companies this can be a challenge.
When getting support for items around your office and home many times you make that decision by who is local, by manufacturer (Like Chevy or Ford) or by reputation. However, when choosing a technology partner (That could be referred to as a Managed Service Provider (MSP), Value Added Reseller (VAR) or many other terms) that decision can be more difficult.
In today’s fast paced, competitive environment, business owners and operators don’t often consider how a call reporting or call recording solution might bring value to their organization. Below is a down and dirty “hot” list of features and functionality that just might benefit your operation.
What is Call Reporting?
Call reporting, quite simply, is the ability to take the detailed call information from your telephone system and the telephone company, compile that information and run reports on criteria that you determine.
- The ability to monitor time and effectiveness of staff on the phone through performance metrics.
- Measure marketing campaigns by tracking call activity on a per campaign basis.
- Get statistics on where your calls are coming from to make more effective advertising decisions.
- Assign costs to call time for internal or external billing.
- Notification of 911 calls and recording threats or harassing calls.
- Managing and optimizing line capacity by monitoring usage.
- Analyzing heavy call times to make informed staffing decisions.
- Viewing call progressions to ensure that customers are not “bounced” around.
Rarely have I heard anyone say Wow, so much time and so little to do! One common theme I have heard in business is everyone saying that is a great idea, but when will I or anyone else have time to get it done? The better question is if it is such a great idea, how can you afford not to get it done? What I want to give you are five tips to utilize the tools around you to maximize your time and gain more free time in your business week.
- Siri or Cortana. How many times have you been driving and needed to schedule a meeting, have a reminder set or send a message? If you are like me, you are hesitant to use these services because you have had poor performance. With 4G now, the devices are faster and the software has improved, making the experience much better. Let your virtual assistant help you gain time!
- Email can waste a lot of time. Justin McClung, Director of Development, Innovation & Administration at Nex-Tech, gave a great session at Tech Edge and did a Fastest 16 Minutes webinar called Inbox Zero. While zero is probably a bit aggressive for me, I do believe that there are definitely keys to success in minimizing email interruptions.
- Turn off the pop up notifications. It isn’t that important.
- Touch email once. File it or act on it. Delete it if it isn’t important.
- Create a filing system that is easy.