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Profit Power: 5 time-management tips for spring

May 19, 2014 -  By

It’s almost impossible to keep all the balls in the air in the spring. Use these five time-management tips to get more done in less time.

1. Come with two answers.

Teach your direct reports and all employees to answer their own questions. When they want to ask you a question, tell them they first must offer you two alternative solutions to the problem. Tell them you will coach them on which is the best. The happy truth is most people answer their own questions by the time it takes them to think through and develop one possible answer, let alone two alternatives. Teach them to fish, and you will all eat more fish.

2. Do-not disturb time.

If you’re bombarded with interruptions and can’t seem to get any work done, carve out alone time each day (up to two hours), or a half day each week, where you either 1.) Close the door, pull down the shades, put a do-not-disturb sign on your door, turn off your email ping and phone buzz and let your employees know not to interrupt… or 2.) Choose an offsite work area where you can get the quiet you need. Either way, train your staff when they can reach out to you, and when they shouldn’t. (If they have to reach out, see tip one.)

3. Weekly debrief.

Set up a weekly time to meet with certain staff. Ask them to save up their issues for that meeting, not to ask you throughout the week, unless urgent or critical to a project or client’s satisfaction (in which case, see tip one). Many issues will end up getting solved or be irrelevant by the time your meeting happens.    

4. No more shoppers.

Qualify out 75 percent of the shoppers on the phone/email and the other 25 percent on the first appointment. Use consultation fees and direct questions to make sure they’re a good fit for you. Take the time time to close more good leads at a higher value.

5. Stop low-value tasks.

Delegate any task you could pay someone $15 to $25 per hour or more to do. Right now, create a list of five time-consuming things you do that someone else could. Also have your key managers lower on the pecking order choose a lower cut off ($10 to $15 per hour). You will make more money and have happier clients if you (and they) stay focused on your high-value, high-profit tasks.

Email me within the week at jeff@jeffreyscott.biz if you want three more profit-enhancing, time-management tips.

Photo: Pelle Sten/Flickr.com

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About the Author:

Jeffrey Scott, MBA, author, specializes in growth and profit maximization in the Green Industry. His expertise is rooted in his personal success, growing his own company into a $10 million enterprise. Now, he facilitates the Leader’s Edge peer group for landscape business owners—members achieve a 27 percent profit increase in their first year. To learn more visit www.GetTheLeadersEdge.com.

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