Plan to Plan

New Years Resolutions, sigh

Isn’t it always the case? You plan to go to bed early, get up early, work on those sit-ups and back stretches. Then, it all goes pear-shaped. The kiddo throws up; you spend 8 hours in the emergency room.

Now you are not only NOT getting ahead, ticking off the items on your to-do list, you are behind. Sigh.

In a time management class I took a long, long time ago, they said make time in your schedule for the upsets, schedule buffers. They gave an example of a client whose day looked perfectly organized at 8 am. By 10 am, fire fighting on that day’s problems had blown up the schedule. After 10:05, nothing on the “To-Do” list ever looked the same and most did not get done.

The time management expert said, “then why plan at 8 when you know you don’t know what you need to know until 10:05?” Duh.

At 10:30, the client would look at the new fires, schedule the appropriate time to put out the fires, and then schedule the highest priority items from the standing To-Do list. Success!

When I, personally, am most successful, happy, and in control, it is because I scheduled out my blocks of working time, work-out time, and other tasks on my calendar. I know they will change. When life interferes, and it always does, I don’t delete the block, I move the block.

The time management people also said to prioritize A, B, and C tasks. Sometimes B tasks turn into A tasks; sometimes they turn into “nice to have” C tasks. If a B task keeps getting kicked to the curb…. it’s a C task.

Quick Tips to do right now:
  1. Schedule time with yourself to mark up your calendar
    a) pick a time that is quiet where you WILL not be interrupted, like in the morning before the family wakes up or that first hour you are in the office
    b) pick a spot that is good for thinking, where you like to think
    c) treat yourself. Hey I’m all into bribes. I use a nice warm cup of coffee.
  2. Put on that calendar appointments with yourself to work/execute/plan your 2018 Resolutions
    a) last year I started scheduling my jogs on my calendar (I jogged more!)
    b) in January I scheduled time to work on my personal finances, business finances, and taxes. All that stuff that I like to ignore and procrastinate on. I learned a lot about where I was losing money, spending money I didn’t need to, and got my financial house in better order. Talk about stress relief.
  3. There’s an app for that!
    My friend the executive coach has an exercise where she has you imagine how your cell phone, light switch, chair or other random object would solve your current problem. I am a big fan of “is there an app for that”.Last year I found:

a) 5k training plan/app for 30 minute finish time. Every day I did what it said to do. I did not think, stress, I just did it. And voila! it worked.
b) this year I found the “clicklist”. A personal shopper for groceries. It’s like magic: the food goes on the list, I drive by the store, stop for 5 minutes, and the groceries are magically transported into my car. No wandering around the store looking for where this particular store hides rice milk, mole sauce, or tikka masala sauce.
c) ski distance, runs, speed app. It makes skiing more entertaining and more like a work-out (i.e. it makes me work harder).W

What app could you find that would make your life easier, simpler, less-stressful?

Plan to Plan

How Technology Companies can use YouTube

How Manufacturers and B-to-B will use Social Media is bound to change and mature over the next few years, an outlet I’ve found tremendously helpful is YouTube.

  1. Product demos, especially of large systems
  2. How-to-fix videos, of especially complex steps in the field
  3. Training videos for staff
  4. How customers use the products
  5. The types of OEM products that customers sell
  6. How product can be damaged and how to test/look for that type of damage
  7. How the product is made as a sales tool for building credibility with customers
  8. Commentary captured per Youtube video can be used to improve future videos

As in all things, the more professional the video, the more professional the impression that will be made.

  1. Watch videos you like and don’t like and take notes:
  2. How long should you make it?
  3. Break into smaller segments as appropriate (think in terms of chapters) and to enable better streaming
  4. Break into chapters where steps 1 and 4 go quickly but 2 & 3 may need to be reviewed a few times. By breaking into smaller sections the user can more easily re-review the trickier steps
  5. Title sections so it is obvious if one section is missing in the search results
  6. Scripting of the voice-over. How the voice-over talks
  7. Camera work. Put it on a tripod and keep the zooms to a minimum
  8. When interviewing people, put their names and titles at the bottom
  9. Where and when to put the company name on the video
  10. Don’t forget a call to action
    a. Call us
    b. Go to our website
    c. Depending on the content, it may be appropriate to make the video available to download officially – once they’ve registered on your website
  11. Title appropriately
  12. Measure results. If the videos aren’t getting the financial results you need, re-evaluate why

You need a website, and now!

What are you missing by not having a website?

Close your eyes for a moment and picture your target customer.

  • How does that person or the decision maker seek and find information to find the solutions to their problems?
  • How do they reduce risk in choosing a vendor or type of solution?
  • What if they sort-of remember that you exist? and your business card is in a pile of 1000 in the back of their desk drawer or thrown out in the latest round of cleaning off their desk?Websites build credibility that you are a solid, trustworthy, credible business.

They enable people who want to contact you to find your preferred contact information.

Just as importantly, they help non-customers learn this quickly and efficiently. And that’s just as important for them as it is for you.