Updates from December, 2009 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 8:28 pm on December 22, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,   

    There Is A Strategy To Email Management 

    There are strategies to many things that you do in a business and email management should have a strategy also. Sometimes email can be a monster to manage. Many people spend the majority of their day sifting through this madness. Email management is a big part of business communication & customer service, which continues to grow.

    Share/Bookmark

    Subscribe in a reader

    For most companies there is a steady growth of inbound emails and they have to figure out cost-effective measures to help manage it all.

    It is the first line of communication for some companies. Many times this way of communication is how many companies resolve customer issues. With email, it can be a challenge responding to customer inquiries in a timely manner. Your company has to find a way to utilize this medium to improve customer expectation, external perception & internal communication. It doesn’t have to be as bad as it seems with a little organization and security implementation.

    Email management can be as smooth as pie and it should be taken into consideration with any other type of records management system. It should be addressed similar to the organizational standards of addressing other information and records management.

    A company works with four major types of records which are:

    • Vital
    • Important
    • Useful
    • Nonessential

    Your company needs policies and tools for managing emails, such as:

    • Classification
    • Storage
    • Preservation
    • Management
    • Destruction

    Once you have the proper tools in place, retrieving needed information can be easy and help to keep incoming information on track. Very few companies have implemented solid e-mail management strategies. Having email management and security is very important for all businesses big and small.

    Failure to implement e-mail management strategies of organization, security and dissemination of information can pose some risks to your organization. Some companies haven’t defined e-mail management, and they’ve left it to individuals to delete, manage, classify and save e-mail on their desktop computers. That could be an unorganized way to manage email. Depending on the types of information that you receive and the email address that’s used, there should be someone (or a group) specific to handle them.

    It can pose a big risk if you don’t know who’s doing what and how it’s being done. But when it comes to deciding how long to retain e-mails, how to determine which messages to keep or delete and whether to use encryption, many organizations don’t have a clue.

    Depending on how your company is structured, you can implement different types of email management software or security protection to help.You can also checkout some email organization tips  here.

    It’s a mistake to set policies that address e-mail usage but disregard e-mail content.  Information should be managed according to its value to the organization and according to any regulatory requirements that are in place.

    Advertisements
     
  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 6:31 pm on December 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , virtual assistant services   

    Don’t Stress Over Email: Manage It! 

    When trying to decipher your email and get on with your day, don’t spend all of your quality time on it. It can be a time waster if you don’t manage it & use it wisely. If you are in business that can be bad for business. Learn to go through your emails in a more proficient & organized way.

    Share/Bookmark

    Subscribe in a reader

    A. HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU CHECK IT ?

    Many of our most important communications are done through email. Many people would say check it only 2 times a day, that’s fine if you are not running a business. In business, that may be impossible, you be the judge. If you can successfully manage your business emails by only checking them twice a day that’s good. For a lot of other people twice a day would mean missed opportunities, so 4-5 times a day may be enough.

    Ponder the purpose of each email & ask yourself “Is this a good use of my time ?” You must have a system in place & allow only specific times of the day to check your email. Go through each one & decide what’s most important to get through your business day. Make notes of the important ones (name of the email, date &/ or time), how soon or when you need to handle that email.

    To have a more productive day don’t spend all of your time or several hours on emails till the point where you can’t finish your business of the day. Make a list of the times or days that you will go through your email & stick to it! Save the none improtant stuff for later times in the day, on the weekend or at the close of business; stuff like saying hello to friends, reading jokes, filtering spam.

    B. IMPLEMENT STEPS TO ORGANIZE & PRIORITIZE EMAILS

    If you get a lot of email, a way to insure that you see the most important emails you can start by having 2 accounts. Use your main or 1st email address for general purposes ( this could be the one that you put on your business cards). The 2nd one could be like an unlisted phone number ( it’s the one that you only give to select people, important clients, special email notices etc….)

    Another option is to use the filter functions on your emails. This automatically routes incoming messages from certain people to their own special folders. You can use filters to seperate business from personal emails. You can even direct different client messages into their own unique folders.  Filters will also sort junk mail. Set your filter to detect incoming messages that have words like “friends”, “make money”, “hot”, “sexy” and so on to the trash bin, junk folder etc…

    C. PROCESS PROMPTLY THEN FILE OR DELETE

    Read each email once or twice then file it or delete it. Take no more than 24-48 hours to decide on deleting or filing each email. The only ones that should linger in your inbox are ones that you haven’t read yet, that require an action or response from you or for others to see. Your email must become a part of your to-do list & by keeping your incoming emails low, it’s a real time saver.

    By using these steps you will know that items in your inbox will require an action or response then messages that you’ve dealt with have been filed, deleted or archived. For emails that you must keep, create folders for clients, projects, special info then drag & drop emails (after you’ve read them) to the right folder. Don’t create too many special folders, this becomes a time waster, you’ll have too many places to look when you are trying to find an old email then you’ll become unorganized yet once again & you’ll have to start over.

    You could also try to file all emails that you’ve read or dealt with into one or two big folders or save them to a disc/cd, then you won’t have to wonder where you filed them. No matter which method that you use, periodically go through all your folders & delete any thing that you no longer need.

    D. DON’T PRINT OUT EMAILS

    If you print out your emails start now to stop this habit. It increases the amount of paper that you have to deal with, it wastes time & causes you to hold on to unnecessary emails. Filing & retrieving is quicker on your computer. You can also use contact management software like ACT, Goldmine (that way each email is linked to the name of the person that sent it to you then emails that you send are linked to the recipients record). The only time to print out an email is when it pertains to a specific project so print it out then file it with the project.

    E. USEFUL SUBJECT HEADERS

    Scrolling through lots of vague subject headers like “FYI”, “Meeting”, “Question” etc.. is a time waster. Put specific subject headers in all the emails that you send, when recipients reply, your header will carry over. Your stored emails will clearer subject lines. Some email programs will allow you to change the subject lines on emails that’s already been received.

    F. FAST REPLIES

    If you get lots of email inquiries about the same issues over & over again, create templates in your email program, for quick routine replies. You can customize them so it’s still faster than writing from scratch.

    G. TO EMAIL OR NOT TO EMAIL

    Email is a great time saving tool when you are sending the same message to several people or if you need a record of exactly what was discussed such as project details. Its more private than faxing, if many people share the same fax machine. You may not want to email urgent messages unless you know that the recipient is in the office & they check their email continually.Try sending a voice mail if they are out. If you need a back-and-forth conversation, try making a phone call or instant messaging. Sometimes emails waste more time than it saves.

    http://www.condron.us
     
    • Au Pair 12:50 pm on March 19, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      very nice web site. My English is not so good, so I do not understandt it well, but it seems very good. Thanks

    • lenfoster 4:22 pm on December 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Anything that saves time, cuts down on the day to day grind and the sameness of certain tasks always gets my vote. There is a good case for outsourcing some mail management as there is so much time lost sorting through unwanted mail

      You can find out more about the benefits of outsourcing at
      http://easyoutsourcingforprofits.com/

      • Clerical Business Solutions 9:07 pm on December 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Lenfoster,

        There are many ways to manage this madness that’s called email. Sometimes email can seem like a necessary evil, lol. As you stated, many companies and professionals have chosen to outsource their email management for general reasons or success in maintaining their business or projects.

        Email happens but in many cases it’s needed and must be managed.

        Clerical Business Solutions
        Virtual Assistant Company & Business Management Assistance~ Providing outsourcing solutions & business or project assistance. http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net

    • 4 Hour Workweek Project 5:43 pm on February 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      You have really put together a great article here. I have done many of the basic things you suggest but your information has provided me with some other things to think about.

      I am going to try your 2 Account idea…I think this could really work for me.

      Thanks a lot….

      • Clerical Business Solutions 3:26 pm on March 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Hi 4 Hour,

        I hope this info helps you, cause so many people get stressed out over email. It can ruin your day, till you just can’t get anything done. It’s always good to have a system in place & develop your own system to keep thing organized.

        ~Clerical Business Solutions
        Administrative Business Management Company
        http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net

    • Len Foster 8:12 am on March 2, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      As far as reading emails or doing anything on the internet goes I have one golden rule that must be obeyed.

      If I suddenly start reading or looking at junk I turn my head to the left to look at my notice board. There’s a sign there that says
      1 What am I doing right now that will make or save me money?

      2 What can I do right now that will make or save me money?

      3 What is the most important thing I could be doing right now that will make or save me money?

      I look at the sign, look at what I’m doing and that pretty much decides if I carry on or not. Doing this provides focus and saves time as well.

    • 4 Hour Workweek Project 2:35 pm on March 20, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Len,

      This is a great idea and thanks for sharing – I am going to make up my own sign today and put it up. I’m quite sure it will help me stay right on track in my work-day….

    • Len Foster 8:07 am on March 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      A few more things I do to manage email

      1 Don’t have a sound attached to incoming email

      2 Only look at emails twice a day (max)

      3 Set your ‘out of office’ reply to say something like “Due to my current work load I only read emails from 8.30 to 9.00 a.m. and 4.00 to 4.30 p.m. so my apologies if you don’t get an immediate reply to your email. If it’s important call me on XXXXXXXXX

      People may get a bit upset initially but soon they will realise the value of your time and their own.

    • Len Foster 9:54 am on March 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      If you use webmail and your inbox has gotten out of control you can type create a folder for a person type in their name in the ‘search mail’ box then when all their emails appear simply move them to the folder. Mass filing done quickly 🙂

      • Clerical Business Solutions 10:37 pm on March 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Len,

        Good tip, it’s a good idea to find and utilized a system of organization. because being overloaded with emails can be a problem and keep you unorganized.

        Having an efficient way to manage many business operations is very important. That’s why may people or businesses utilize Virtual Business Assistance for their business or projects. A Virtual Business Assistant can help you to streamline your operations, help to take the load off of you so you can focus on other things, help you to keep/ monitor your appointments, help to keep you organized and more.

        When you get a change consider working with a Virtual Business Assistant, http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net ,the services are beneficial, cost-effective & keeps you organized.

        Clerical Business Solutions~
        Virtual Business Assistant Services
        http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net

    • Tim Sanchez 7:20 pm on March 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Very interesting article. You made a lot of good points. Organization is the key to emails,life,etc. And when you find an organized company, it really makes you happy. For instance, I recently used Auto Shipping Network to ship some cars overseas and was astonished to see how organized they were. Look them up if you ever need to ship a car overseas. Good Stuff!!!

      • Clerical Business Solutions 10:28 pm on March 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Tim,

        Thanks, I hope it was helpful. Through out the life of your business or personal life many times email is highly important and organization is key. Organization is very important for many of your business operations. And just like you stated, that when you find an organized company it makes you happy, yes, it sure does.

        That’s why may people or businesses utilize Virtual Business Assistance for their business or projects. A Virtual Business Assistant can help you to streamline your operations, help you keep/ monitor your appointments, help to keep you organized and more.

        When you get a change consider working with a Virtual Business Assistant, http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net ,the services are beneficial, cost-effective & keeps you organized.

        Clerical Business Solutions~
        Virtual Business Assistant Services
        http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net

  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 5:38 pm on December 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , copy, OFFICE, , , , , ,   

    Outsource Your Document/ Copy Typing For Success 

    Many of us have so many things on our to-do list till we feel overworked and stressed out. Then other times you just need a helping hand for the moment. The outsourcing of your document/ copy typing & editing is a wise business move it has become very popular and continues to grow everyday.

    Many people find great relief and support through outsourcing their copy typing. Outsourcing copy typing is a reliable option. You can get your work done faster, proficiently and receive top quality work from Clerical Business Solutions.

    Share/Bookmark

    Subscribe in a reader

    You Can Outsource:

    • Copy Typing Of Hand Written Documents or Typed
    • Typing Of Scripts: Plays, Movies etc…
    • Emails, Newsletters, Resumes
    • Thesis, Dissertation, Manuscript Typing/ Editing
    • Books/ E-Books
    • Calendars, Leaflets
    • Advertising Materials
    • Typing Of Faxed Documents
    • Booklets, Audio Typing
    • Interviews Typing, Conference calls
    • Webcasts, Mini Cassettes
    • Data Entry
    • Course Work
    • Magazines
    • Business Document Typing: Reports/Manuals/ Procedures/ Policies etc….
    • Notes, Certificates, Letters
    • Article Writing/ Editing
    • Research Papers, Essays ETC……

    Copy typing/ editing services are very useful for individuals, professionals, different areas of business and across all industries. Outsourcing copy typing is a reliable option.

    You need support for your projects & to accomplish your goals. So outsourcing your copy typing can help you do more with less. Many professionals and businesses have utilized Virtual Assistant services for their copy typing needs. You can reap the benefits also.

    There are many reasons that companies outsource various jobs, but the most prominent advantage seems to be the fact that it often saves time & money. outsourcing your copy typing can relieve you of many tasks that you find time consuming.

    So get started and outsource your copy typing today.

    ~Clerical Business Solutions

     
  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 9:53 pm on December 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: all, i'm, idea generation, , just, , out, , , , ,   

    I’m Just All Out Of Ideas 

    I’ve been sitting here contemplating a lot of things and I’ve just come to the conclusion that I’m just all out of ideas. I just don’t know what to do next. But this business & related projects have to move forward, things have to get going. I just need new ideas. My team and I are waiting on the next “BIG IDEA”.

    We’re not concerned with small ideas, we need the next “BIG THING”. Seems as though we’re just getting little to nowhere with innovation & brainstorming.

    Does this sound like you or you and your team?

    Share/Bookmark

    Subscribe in a reader

    The recession crisis has had a big impact on businesses of all sizes. It has left many of them with little to no motivation for innovation. In the good or bad times of business you need to have innovation or brainstorm to get some. Instead of waiting for the next “BIG IDEA”, rethink about some old or small ideas. That could get you moving in the right direction.

    Sometimes you have to thoroughly consider what you thought was a small idea, bad idea or old idea and it could be a really good one. Waiting on the next big idea can be good but very short sighted.

    “How often does your company develop ‘big ideas’ and what is their impact?”

    In the area of idea generation, innovation & idea management, many businesses  may seem stuck in a rut. Idea generation & management is an emerging area of knowledge management that hopes to help companies capture good ideas and act on them.

    Whether you’re by yourself or with a team, you need ideas. Sometimes business just can’t be business as usual. Idea management systems and processes can help your company make innovation a discipline. Idea collaboration & innovation helps you to harness your company’s internal insight to save money & time.

    Business is created by ideas first. Developing business strategies involves idea generation. Once you’re in business you need ideas for design, engineering, manufacturing, marketing, advertising, creative problem solving, customer retention, etc… The difference between success or failure in business could be just one idea.

    Staying competitive means constantly innovating. Great ideas need to be captured and implemented so that they can produce results. Innovation & idea generation is no longer an option, it’s a core business competency to maintain competitive advantage & achieve growth targets. Companies that achieve significant outcomes are using a set of  processes & technology known as idea management systems.

    Your company needs to have a cohesive environment where you all can come together as one. If not, there needs to be room for improvements. Everyone won’t agree on everything but everything should be laid out on the table for review & further study.

    Entrepreneurs and business managers are often so preoccupied with immediate issues that they lose sight of their ultimate objectives. That’s why a business review & preparation of a strategic plan is a virtual necessity. A strategic plan is not a business plan. It’s a way  to organize your thoughts, structure your ideas and compile a short but comprehensive strategic idea plan for any size and type of organization. It helps you with your business management, idea generation, innovation etc…

    Whether you’re trying to come up with a blog post or making improvements to a product or service, sometimes you’re just out of ideas. Many times when you feel stuck you may feel like you’ll be stuck forever. But that’s just not the case, especially if you make time for brainstorming.

    No mater what business that you’re in, there’s always a need for creativity. Consider a few things to help you with your idea generation and innovation, such as:

    • Mind Mapping–the technique of arranging ideas and their interconnections visually on paper or computer. It’s a way to collect & structure ideas. It can be a powerful tool for managing your projects, your goals and even your to-do lists. Utilize mind mapping software, an innovation consultant, try it by yourself etc…
    • Read up on various business topics & your industry, the ins & outs, dos & don’ts, new/ old trends etc…
    • Review some of your latest work or past business operations or processes.
    • Utilize Strategic Planning–it must be flexible and reflect your company’s thoughts, feelings, ideas and shape them to fit your current project at hand or your company’s purpose, mission & regulations.
    • Utilize Virtual Assistance to offload & outsource distractions, outsource tasks that keep you from your core focus.
    • Utilize free or paid online idea management websites/ services, idea generation software or collaboration systems.
    • Think about what you’ve done in the past , rehash some old ideas or talk to others.
    • Improve your decision making skills to help you sort through ideas.

    Ideas come in all shapes & sizes and in depth brainstorming is a big part of it. Sometimes a small idea can develop into a big idea & lead to the next “BIG THING”. So try not to neglect or brush off small ideas, they may be worth your time and effort to investigate for long term success. They can be put on the back burner for later discussion or included in the idea at hand to make it even better. Big ideas are what you add to your marketing campaign or business operations to separate you from your competition.

    It’s a rat race out there and you do need the next “big thing”, but many times the next big thing is short lived. So there is power in small ideas & they can have longevity. Sometimes the impact of small ideas can greatly out shine what you thought was a “big idea”. They may not be earth-shattering or shake the foundation of your corporation, but small ideas, when added together, provide the same market capitalization & advantages as the big ideas.

    Some big ideas may be short lived, but they do provide incredible boosts in brand recognition, customer loyalty, competitive separation, employee morale, and company performance. You can develop sustainable growth though knowledge management, innovation & idea generation. In some companies a big obstacle to innovation is poor internal communication.

    The biggest challenge is to deal with the unknown. Innovation is something that people have grown to believe is a wonderful thing. Since many people believe innovation is a good thing, it becomes harder to manage the unquantifiable elements of the innovation process: the unknown, the unexpected, the failures.

    Sometimes innovation can lead to failure rather than success. When developing new ideas and brainstorming,  the old one percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration rule still applies, except that the inspiration is now facilitated by the multidisciplinary nature of innovation.

    Sometimes a lot of inspiration comes from the cross-fertilization of ideas, learning from each other. In many organizations there should be environments, forums and working groups that involve people from different disciplines learning from each other. More than just sharing what you know, but rather learning the things that you think you know. That might be an important aspect when working in a team, in addition to having free dialogue where people can learn from each other and make better decisions.

    Decision-making continues to be one of the most difficult pieces of the innovation process. The current economic downturn has had a huge impact on company innovation & idea generation. In a downturn the key message is to focus on the core business. Innovation should be the most important solution for growth during the bad times. When you have a downturn in the economy, immediately shift your focus to the core part of business.

    Focusing  on the core while yet maintaining the long-term growth strategies can be difficult. In the bad times, brainstorming new ideas for growth and improvements can seem like a big leap, but look at the long term effects. Look at whats going on but don’t let that be your focus, it can be a reminder but not a core focus.

    The important thing is to be able to focus. You should look at eliminating all or the majority of distractions for better brainstorming & collaboration. Develop a long term view of things but at the same time look at other details. Innovation & motivation is very critical and many companies should invest heavily in it.

    But many seem to invest in incremental innovation, which is innovation that is lower risk and more focused on the short-term, as opposed to what is termed ‘breakthrough’ innovation that involves long-term investment and higher risk.

    Coming up with new ideas isn’t always easy but for your business longevity and success it’s well worth the try.~~Clerical Business Solutions

     
  • Renee: CEO Coach & Management Specialist 7:04 pm on December 9, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: acquisitions, , , , , mergers, , revenues   

    Improve Your Business Processes To Improve Your Revenues 

    Productive and useful business processes make and save money for the company as a whole. Business Processes and their management have been around since the barter system. It is not only what you do, but how you do it that impacts your competitive advantage. It is worth your time and effort that it takes to define and document your business processes. Doing this can benefit you greatly in the long run. Reevaluating & fine tuning your business processes can help you to control your costs.

    Share/Bookmark

    Subscribe in a reader

    It’s a principle made more obvious when you consider the knowledge that needs to be exchanged for successful outsourcing or mergers. Not all workflow practices are valued for the same thing. In some cases the most effective practice is also the most streamlined and efficient; in others, the practice that best supports organizational  goals is one that enables the greatest ingenuity and innovation.

    Streamlining and improving your business processes helps you to control costs. Controlling costs improves your company and helps you to stay competitive. Controlling costs is a big concern for small businesses. This can be particularly challenging as you attempt to balance responsible fiscal management with fluctuating sales while maintaining customer expectations for quality, support and customer service. It’s time to reexamine your business processes to understand the role that they play in getting your products or services out the door.

    You and those involved in your company need to take time out to  thoroughly and carefully reevaluate how your company functions, inside and out. This process helps you to determine which procedures, materials, staff and equipment are beneficial to keep your company running. It can also help you to determine if and when you may need to outsource.

    Outsourcing can benefit your business process improvements. Develop a business process flow chart. Review your old flow chart if you have it. The old one can guide you on what should or shouldn’t be eliminated. Identify the operations that are crucial to your survival and recovery. Also your business needs a disaster recovery plan.

    As time goes by you should, at a set time, review & fine tune your business processes. This helps to keep your business on top and helps you to recover better in the bad times of business. Once you do that your business can be better than before.

    © 2009 Clerical Business Solutions-Virtual Assistant Services

    http://www.clericalsolutionsinc.net

    //

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel