Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

FE, Education & Business Marketing: Quick, Effective, Low Cost Marketing

Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

Category: Time Management

Three Vital Business Questions

In Almost Every Business Situation There Are Three Key Questions To Ask

Asking these questions can decrease your workload and save you both time and money. In a sense this is about time management; but not in the traditional sense. 
So what are the questions and when should we ask them?
Well you can ask these questions at various times and in many situations. 
For example when you need copy for a poster, leaflet or website. Or when your accounts need preparing, or when you need to mass mail a thousand prospective clients.  In these situatiuons ask your self the following questions. 

Does this need to be done?

If it isn’t necessary then just stop.  Far too often we do things that are not a priority just because we have always done them.  Or we do them in the same way simply because that is the way we have always done them.  Iif we don’t think it though it can be time and money wasted simply because we have failed to ask if this really needs doing.  If in doubt …. stop it.
But is it does need doing try the second question.

When does it need to be done?

Is it necessary now or could it be done later?  Lots of jobs need doing at some stage but now might not be the right time.
Of course if it doesn’t need doing now, but you have time to do it now, then now might still be a good time.  Preparation, made with time on your side is a great thing. So don’t discount doing something now; especially if when it will need doing you might be busy.   
But whenever it needs doing there is a final clincher.  And this is the biggie.

Am I the right person to do it?

Time is money so think about this.  Do you need to do it personally?  Or could you outsource it to someone else? 
Of course, even if you decide to outsource the work, it may still require some of your time.  For example you might decide to get a book keeper to look after your books, but you’ll still need to collect together your receipts and invoices for them to work on.  But that may take minutes whilst the book keeping will take much longer.  So there is a logic in getting someone else to do it. 
And producing copy for  a website will probably mean you producing a briefing on what you want.  But writing a series of bullets is quicker than producing the full copy. 
An example of this hit me in the last few days.  I am pulling together a big launch for a client.  One thing we need is a lot of new webpages.  I’ve drafted what we need but is it wise, or economic, for me to spend days writing copy when i can hire a professional copywriter for a fraction of my day rate?   My decision is to use my client’s money, and my time,   cost-effectively and hire a copywriter. 
And what about producing transcripts of the video you made?  Outsourcing that overseas probably makes a lot of sense.
What we all need to understand is that our job is to run the business NOT do all the work ourselves.  
Even if we don’t employ any staff, getting help from other businesses or via websites like Elance, Fiverr, Odesk, or the hundreds of other sites offering support, is low cost and easy, PLUS it frees our time for what we need to do ourselves. 
The three questions are vital if we wish to Create Business Growth.

How to be More Productive (& Sane) …. by Avoiding Technology

No WiFi equals SanityWe are a Connected Society.  We expect free WiFi, a mobile signal and to be able to use technology whereever we go.


I believe hotels and other hospitality based businesses need to provide free WiFi if they are to encourage business people to use their premises.


But there are exceptions to every rule.


I had lunch with a client recently and we managed intelligent conversation quite happily without the Internet or mobile phones for three hours or more.  


We went to a wonderful country house hotel that was built hundreds of years before contemporary technology was invented.  It is an oasis of peace and quiet in a busy, connected world and they frown upon modern interruptions.


In fact in the lounge, on every table, are signs asking you not to use laptops, mobile phones etc.  And everyone, without exception, followed their request.

In our case the lack of interruption meant we were able to talk in depth without mobiles pinging and emails being checked.   We got so much done.  And it saved time.

I love technology and it has its place.  But sometimes we  spend so much time “multitasking” between the meeting we are at, our mobile phone and stuff coming in on our tablet, that we don’t do a single thing well.  The result is chaos.

We tend not to  remember what was discussed in meetings, we give brusque half answers via email and we make mistakes on that spreadsheet we were trying to complete.

This wastes so much time as we then have to correct our errors.  Getting it right first time saves time. 


Focus Provides Clarity

But when we focus on one thing .. without interruptions, we achieve much more.  Each task is tackled sequentially, completed and we can move onto the next one without a cluttered mind.


Since my meeting with my client I’ve been back to this hotel more than once.  I turn off my technology, have great meetings, think through ideas in more detail and with greater clarity and hand write much clearer ideas for later transcription.


Action Needed

Turning off technology and focusing is a great way to achieve better marketing ……. you should try it at least once a week.