Getting Your Shop in Order
For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned
– Benjamin Franklin
The best consultants are just as committed to working on their business as they are working in their business. That ‘behind the scenes’ preparation is what ultimately takes entrepreneurs and consultants to the next level of achievement and excellence. It starts with an intense level of consistency and systems in place that accelerate access to the human and capital resources you need. It’s the difference between looking through your notes for a phone number vs. having it in your phone. You can make the call and close the deal before you even locate the number.
In addition to providing high-impact products and services, independent consultants are often solely responsible for managing the internal logistics of their consulting practice. This seminar will provide excellent strategies for new and experienced consultants in managing the daily, weekly, monthly and annual 'administrivia' in ways that maximize time, efficiency, and effectiveness.
BUZZ SESSION TOPICS
• Time Management – Structuring the day, week and month for maximum effectiveness
• Setting a Routine – Rituals can be powerful, especially in the morning
• Work/Life Balance – Shutting down. Integrating self-employment with your personal life
• Utilizing Experts -- When to use a CPA, attorney, mentor, other partners/strategic alliances
• Simplified Business Planning – Constructing a streamlined plan that states core objectives
• Finances and Budgeting – Best practices for pricing and other financial issues
• Establishing Your Office – Using a home office vs. leasing, sharing executive offices, etc.
• Procurement/Use of Technology – Hardware, software, website, social media, etc.
• Simplify. Declutter. Organize -- Repeat cycle. It creates focus, efficiency and results!
Tom Templeton is the Founder for TEMPLETON Advantage, a leadership development service for educational and non-profit organizations throughout Pennsylvania. Prior to starting TEMPLETON Advantage, Tom served as a consultant and Assistant Executive Director with the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) for over 10 years. Before arriving at PSBA, Tom spent 12 years as an aide to U.S. Representative George W. Gekas. Tom was also elected to the school board in the Newport School District (Perry County) in the 1990s, coached youth sports for 10 years, facilitated courses as a Graduate Assistant with Dale Carnegie, and has spoken to many groups and civic organizations around Pennsylvania in both an official and volunteer capacity. From these experiences, Tom has become a recognized and sought-after leadership strategist.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
– Leonardo da Vinci
POINTS TO PONDER
Time Management -- Tips and Strategies (examples discussed)
• Use the core of the work week to develop/deliver products and services
• Commit a half to one day for marketing (Friday) and time for budget/finance issues
• Break down your day/week/month for what MUST be done, what SHOULD be addressed (or carried over to a later time), and what is nice to work on (but is neither important nor urgent). Develop a detailed and prioritized work list.
• Do first things first. When are you most productive? Address most challenging tasks then. It’s a great way to overcome procrastination. Successful people don’t like doing certain things any more than others, but they do it anyway.
Overcoming Time Gobblers
• Practice makes proficiency – especially as it relates to time management
• Know your core competencies, delegate (or hire for) what falls outside your skills.
• This frees you up to stay in your strength zone most often.
Maintaining mental and physical health
• Know when to shut down, turn off computer/email and reduce the ‘noise’
• Make an appointment with yourself. Recharge. Sharpen the saw.
• Know when to take short breaks – and give yourself small rewards.
• This lifestyle can be a real challenge to marriage and family
• Panic and worry can create need to ‘double down’ when business is struggling
Business and Fiscal Planning
• Keep it simple and high level. Do it at least once a year and keep it in front of you
• Create alignment between your sales, business and marketing plan with budget
• Change is the new normal, so can’t necessarily predict well. Planning helps!
• Tying strategy to objectives and budget in a simplified way
• Need to secure projects for the future. It can get quiet if you neglect this
• Do something to change surroundings – disrupt patterns that keep you stagnant
• Avoid borrowing. Consultants have fixed expensive w/highly variable income
• Understanding how operational and financial risk work. QuickBooks.
• Back up your computer – zip drives, portable hard drive, etc. Do it consistently
• Security updates. Know the pros and cons of their impact on your system
• LINKEDIN – Discussion Group. An excellent tool for leveraging knowledge, networking, etc. Done right, it can expand your influence exponentially.
• Two book recommendation: Spare Room Tycoon and A Whack on the Side of the Head: How You Can Be More Creative
• John Cleese on creative/critical thinking. Takes space, time, quiet, and humor.
• Your home office is the place you work – your home should not be your office.
• Windshield University. Great info on CD from today’s top thought leaders. Others like using this time to think. Either way, be intentional about drive time. Consultants are driven to produce high-quality services, and need time to develop their knowledge base, think and be inspired.