Category Archives: Productivity

Productivity is the measure of efficiency of a business enterprise. Generally, it is also directly translated as the rate of profit or the return of investment. Productivity does not only measure the nominal gain of capital, but also the qualitative gauge of how well integration of different business control strategies and human resources development plan works for the business.

The main topic for discussion here is how a company can be productive in the first place. Since productivity is a measure, the business owner must take into consideration all the aspects of the production process. The only way to increase productivity is to have an efficient production method and process without compromising the quality of the product and service; because, like it or not, quality is also major criteria of productivity.

take charge

Man up, take charge!

“The relationship between an organized office and a healthy business is plain to see.”

The eyes are the windows of the soul.  This is an old adage that still holds true up to this day and age.  The power of vision is simply remarkable.  All existing professions benefit from the wonders it brings.  Let’s take a couple of examples to drive home a point. First, scientists, they use microscopes to view the minutest organisms ever existed.  Second, photographers, they use especially designed lenses to capture memories, and third, medical professionals, they use their clinical eyes to determine their patients’ health status.   What sets a businessman apart from his colleagues?  It is plain and simple, a businessman’s eyes, despite being devoid of any other instrument, surveys its surroundings with keen vision and easily spots what is and what is not organized.  He can pass judgments, perhaps even conclusions that an organized business is next to success and a disorganized one is next to failure.  This is all because being organized is being in control.

It is vital to get rid of clutters!  You will be surprised to see what professional and personal benefits it will bring you.   Remember, you may have a profitable business, you may have the best and the finest system that works best for you but if you are not organized, you are not in control.  Therefore, here is a six step rule you can follow to reinvent your business and whip out the Mr. Sheen in you!

First, deal with paper files.  Destroy anything that is not worth keeping.  The ATO is a machine that enables small businesses to keep completed transactions for up to five years.  It is best for storing files but beyond the given time span, amuse yourself with shredding old paper collections.  Another thing you can use to keep your files in place is a CD.  It is always better to keep a dozen CDs as opposed to keeping boxes and boxes of paper documents!

Second, deal with electronic files.  In the advent of computers, there is always a delete button waiting to be pressed or clicked both on your keyboard and on your computer screen.  Take advantage of it and use it well!  In due time, you will come to realize that you are helping your computer to operate at peak efficiency.

Third, deal with procedures.  Outline your daily activities.  How do you do this?  Simply answer the question, how do you go about your daily transactions?  Knowing your answer to this question, you can manage to streamline processes that are mainly repetitions of the other ones.  Through this, you can focus on more important things and actually save time!

Fourth, deal with your clients.  Perform a check and balance of all your business books.  Review your debtors’ ledgers and follow up on any outstanding accounts.  Make a few phone calls and communicate!  Let them know you still exist, and make your clients feel important and valued.   Regain their confidence, mean business.

Fifth, deal with your surroundings.  A paint job, a simple make-over, and even a few change-up will reinvent you and your establishment!  Make it lively, enticing and striking!  A vibrant environment will definitely attract customers.

Sixth, make a business plan.  If you haven’t written one, make one!  This is your business legacy as well as your diary.  Every business venture needs a firm foundation, a stable structure and a starting point.  A business plan can combine these three into one.  A business plan can organize your business and so that you can control it and you can finally exclaim to yourself “I am in charge!”


Business life cycle: dealing with its inevitabilities

Everything moves in cycles; the weather, the night and day and the season. What happens now is a repetition of the past and inevitability in the future. Business even follows this law and knowing exactly how cycles work, you are better prepared to handle all the challenges that go with it.

Nothing stays the same in this world. Either one progresses or the other way around. Failure is followed by recovery, and then eventually success, and then another failure which is again succeeded by another recovery and then not long after, success, and so on.  The cycle never ends and the loop continues even long after we are gone. The economy has its own cycle, and if only you know exactly what a cycle means, then you would not have been caught surprised when the recession happened. It happened before, sure it will happen again.  Your business whether it’s small or not, will take its own cycle. It will have its own ups and downs, but as long as you know that cycles are inevitable, then you can get through anything. Fashion does not stay the same for quite long, it changes, but it does not actually introduce an entirely new style but only a slight improvement of yesterday’s. Your life is quite the best example of a cycle, starting off with vitality and tries everything with reckless abandon. Just like any business, it starts with a seemingly inexhaustible energy until it reaches a certain point that everything needs recharging. So when your business hits a snag as it courses through the business cycle, you must consider some simple ways to bring it back its enthusiasm, here are the following:

  • Innovation – Do not cease from innovating and introducing innovative products. No product stays marketable forever without even a slight modification. People are hungry for innovations. People have an insatiable hunger for something better, bigger and faster. Therefore, you have to know how to reinvent; either you reinvent the company’s image or the product line it produces. Innovation is adaptive in nature, and adaption is nature’s way of preserving itself. If you can keep a profile of being highly innovative, you will come out as fresh. And this will eventually translate to something greater.
  • Joint venture – A joint venture is a picture of power poised for a great new start. It is a very good opportunity to overhaul your system to rightly fit with your partner thus giving you better capability of preparing for business cycles’ ups and downs.
  • Self reinvention – you will also have to reinvent yourself even if you are a soloist businessman. Reinvention is not limited to big corporations. Rather, everyone is encouraged to tap its richness and experience firsthand its benefits and advantages. In doing this you are encouraging and conveying to your employees the importance of innovation.

How else to adapt to the new changes that confront us everyday? Let us hear you deal with business cycles.


How to build a business that works

Andrew Griffiths is an author and a business consultant. He has written 8 books which are selling in 45 countries. On the 9thof July 2009, he was interviewed by Robert Gerrish for bNet Australia. In the interview, he talked about his latest book, “Bulletproof your business NOW.” Here, he shared ten tips that will be very helpful to business owners and those who are planning to build their own business. Andrew Griffiths was all about communication for a successful business and for businesses to withstand whatever comes its way.

Take action

He lives by the philosopy “plan for the worst and hope for the best”. What this means is that he urges business owners to take action instead of wondering and being fearful of what’s going to happen. Take the risk and prepare for the worst.

Share the burden

Andrew Griffiths explained how wonderful it is to have your family and close friends support you. As much as possible, it is a great idea to let them feel involved in the business because you would want someone who you can talk to and have honest conversations with. “Can I help?” is one question that can definitely lift your spirits up especially if you are experiencing some “low blows” in your business.

Get good advice

Getting good advisors such as business consultants and other people who can help you with your business will be great. According to Andrew Griffiths, it is always a great idea to get a second opinion instead of making a decision without thinking hard about it first. He also said to always take time to make decisions.

Cut costs carefully

Andrew Griffiths talked about the Hotel he visited and how disappointed he was with the facilities and even with the  hotel staff. He clearly explained that in every business, when you are about to cut costs, make sure that you do it very carefully and understand which parts of your business will be affected by it and you have to make sure that you can handle and your business can survive.

Have a confidant

A peer or a business colleague will be great. It is always nice to have an honest conversation with someone you trust and someone you feel safe with.

Be creative

In this part, Andrew Griffiths mostly explained about involving your staff in becoming creative and talking to your customers. Ask your customers for their opinions and have your staff brainstorm something new to boost the business. Making your staff feel a part of the business will lead to a loving and supportive staff.

Talk to suppliers

As he said, communication is very important and this applies to your suppliers as well. Interacting with them will lead to a better work relationship and both of you can work better together.

Be real about payment plans

You have to be honest and be real when it comes to payment plans. You have to set your limitations, your wants and your needs. Don’t get bullied into paying something that you simply cannot afford or way off your budget.

Make the hard decision

In a business, it is always expected that there will come a point when you have to make a hard decision such as closing a part of your business to removing a staff. Doing this is for the better and you should not be afraid to make this decision.

Don’t lose sight of your goals

Always keep your vision and enthusiasm. This will lead you to success and great learnings.

Andrew Griffiths has given helpful and very useful tips for every business owner out there through this interview. His books and other books are still being sold in the market today. Bulletproof your business now with Andrew Griffiths and reach success in no time.


Things to think about to Avoid Business Failure

A lot of businesses are thriving while others are falling down like water down the drain. Business may become unpredictable which can cause failure. A story about farmer opened the eyes of many business owners. The story goes about a farmer who lives in Hunter Valley and spent all his life on his piece of land. His dad is a dairy farmer that has established a cattle sale yard. However, the arrival of coal mining in Hunter Valley changed everything. This event led to the obstruction of dairy farms in the area. However, there have been agricultural land that remained but the land that was left was then touched by Queensland firms who ship their cattle to the south. If you look closely, you will notice that there must be something that the farmer didn’t do which led to business failure.

Is it because the change they have done is leading to failure or is it because they never allowed room for change?

Business owners must always be aware of changes that can affect their business such as the contraction, economic climate, technology innovations and even expansion due to a growing population. If these conditions took place the same way it had to the farmer who owns a cattle yard, then there should be a different direction and reconstruction or diversification which are mandatory. Instead of grieving for the loss of business which can only lead to despair, do something about it and be mindful of the changes that are taking place in, out, and around your business.

What do you do when your business is falling right in front of you?

Well, don’t just stare it going to shambles!

The first thing that you need to do is to be aware and get in-touch with your feelings. There is no need to be in denial and avoid what you’re feeling deep inside. It is very normal that you feel grief and disappointment when business failure happens. Allow yourself to feel grief and disappointment or even anger. Have yourself an outlet, if screaming would help, scream under a pillow or take a trip to the mountains and scream your lungs out. Once you’ve done this and you’ve finally let out of all the negative emotions, get over it and move on. There is no room for you to be mourning in grief for too long.

Put on your most confident smile and brave the world. Doing this will drive all the negative feelings away. After expressing those pent-up frustrations, you will definitely feel better and see the world in a new light.

Now, the grieving period must be over at this point. It is time that you put on a new perspective on what you left behind. Then start asking yourself questions such as:

  1. Is there an opportunity in this business failure?
  2. What did this failure taught me?
  3. How can I improve my business and not let this thing happen all over again?
  4. What are the opportunities that I can grab that I wasn’t able to see before?
  5. What are the needs out there that I can attend to?

A lot of great entrepreneurs have gone through a business failure once in their life or even a couple of times but they have managed to pull their selves back up and get back to business. These questions will make you become more oriented in making up solutions instead of drawing up problems and getting yourself too deep in these problems. Dan Kennedy and Donald Trump are two of the most successful entrepreneurs today and they have wonderful stories of business failure that led to rising up again and getting their feet back up. This is because both entrepreneurs share the same important truth which is: business failure does not mean failure of their own creativity.


Cost saving; It’s pros and cons

I just learned a very important lesson about spending habits in a time of recession from someone. He is a US sales expert and his postulations made me realize of all the practicality of his ideas.

The said expert is no other than Neil Rackham, who has been responsible of one of the most extensive study of sales calls. He pointed out that during recession times, people do not chase after cheap wares; rather, they go after reliable and durable products. During these hard times, the concern is not anymore on how much are we spending but whether everything is worth the cost. His postulations are practical to apply even in our own small businesses, which tell us to optimise our revenues by minimising our costs without compromising the necessary factors. Here’s a few:

Get rid of your obsolete computer

Using a computer for more than 3 years already is not a good way of minimising your cost. You are taking a great risk if you do. If your obsolete computer breaks down in the middle of completing a major project, you might risk incurring a detrimental effect on your business. Go get one good unit of computer.

Upgrade your image

You have to put up a very good business image to your potential and current clients. You can start by securing impeccable and well designed business cards, pamphlets and websites. This is not so hard to do these days with the advent of technology, it does not even require a huge amount of money for you to employ this, so why not do it anyway?

When your image projects success, then success will indeed follow wherever you may go.

Dress up your office with the right hardware

Buy the best furniture in town. Furnish your office because if you plan on putting so many hours within its confines, then you better dress it up the way you want to make it liveable. Purchase the most comfortable chair you can find. Do not go cheap on chairs, as you will be seating on it for hours. Buy the ones that could really provide you the most comfort. There are so many ways to buy a good product without having to pay its full market price. Shop around.

You might also want to consider putting up a good lighting system to create a work-conducive environment.

Do not go cheap on labour

If you intend of seeing your business flourish with a solid reputation, there’s no way you could do it at the expense of your employees. Cheap salaries produce cheap work. You need not be unnecessarily extravagant, but at least be fair. Pay in proportion to the kind of work you delegate. Find the best employee you could afford, and then start treading your way to success.

Use advances in technology to your advantage

Nowadays there are so much technological advances that could really help you cut down cost on your business.  You can always use it to your distinct advantage to maximise your profits.

If you have anything to share about practical business cost savings, please let us hear it out.



Being Productive

Business owners should always know how to increase their work productivity. All they need is a vision. Having a vision is very important and this is also the reason why a lot of companies have their “vision” framed in their offices. However, if you look at things closely, having a clear vision doesn’t necessarily mean that your time is under control and you realize that you still don’t get things done the way you’d want it to be. What is the reason behind this?

If you experience this, it is very possible that there is something that steals that time away from you. What could it be? It may be the priorities of others. It is very often that your time is taken up by attending to the imperative needs of others like a phone call, an e-mail, a text message and other means of notifying you that there is an emergency you need to attend to. Now, think about it, that emergency or urgency is not for you but for someone else which is why it is very important that you keep your priorities straight and at the top of your list.

Draw the line

To overcome this situation, you must learn to draw the line. Set boundaries or limitations. This will help you not fall into the trap of other’s priorities. You have to make choices. You have to manage the time on how much you are available to others and how much time you need to spend in your work.

Being available by those who needs your support is indeed, commendable but keep in mind that it is also a great strategy that you allow yourself to be accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Be in control of your OWN time

Here are some tips to help you stay in control of your time:

  1. Appoint deadlines and make yourself responsible to them
  2.  Keep in mind that there are more things to do and there is a possibility that you won’t get all the things on your list done
  3. Appoint a recoup schedule for your e-mail program
  4. Know how to say no to absurd customers and requests

Keep up with modern technology

Also, great thanks to the kind of technology we have today. We are so fortunate to be living in this technology where there is a constant flow of devices or gadgets that can help improve the productivity of our business. That is why whether you’re a soloist or not, it is always important that you keep up-to-date with the latest technology today because you’ll never know, that particular gadget or device can help you boost your business productivity more. Don’t let that chance pass you by.

Here are some of the most important technologies that can boost business productivity

  1. Smartphones – According to recent research, this particular gadget is the most sought-after gadget of many business owners. The best thing about a smartphone is that it has all the fundamentals of a mobile phone and at the same time, it has e-mail and internet capabilities. This simply means that you can still check your e-mail and send e-mails and also go online with the use of a Smartphone. This kind of mobile phone also allows you to take advantage of your time especially if you’re stick in traffic or waiting for an appointment, you can do some small tasks that are business-related wherever you are.
  2. Computer hardware – your computer or laptop must always perform excellently. It is very important that you won’t encounter any glitches while you’re working on your computer as much as possible and to attain this, you must have a tailormade computer hardware that will perfectly fit your needs.
  3. Online tools – get yourself some online tools as this can really help you a lot. You surely don’t want to stick to papers and jot down information such as projects, invoices, etc. These online tools will keep you organized and there is no need to bother anymore with a truckload of papers.

To put everything in a nutshell, in order for a business to perform well and have a well-boosted productivity, every business should go with or keep up with the times. Take the modern path and you will surely increase your business’ productivity and you’ll end up happy with the outcome.




Are you being productive? – some guidelines.

In our modern technology today, there are now new applications and software to help increase business productivity. However, getting all the updated applications, software, a faster processor and a faster internet connection can cost you a lot of money. Many business owners or soloists are willing to spend money just to boost the productivity of their business but having so many options can be so overwhelming and confusing. The best thing to do so you won’t be caught up in all the new technologies today is to create a simple plans and elucidate actions.

Our days are full of work to do but there are times that you realize that you’re losing time. Think about where you’re losing time and as much as possible, have a notebook in handy so you can list down your schedule and analyze it to prevent yourself spending time on less important things.

Repetitive tasks that takes away your time

Ponder on the tasks that you do repeatedly as these are the things that you do over and over again. You have to be very aware of your actions and be on guard.

What takes away your time?

The next thing that you should think of is the things that take away your time. These are the palpable periods where you’re just waiting for the results to happen. Usually this is the time when you just pace back anf forth or waiting for people to get back to you.

Distractions? Good or bad?

Now, think about the things that distracts you. These are the things that pull you away from your actual work. To be able to handle this, you must know the reason why these distractions are happening. However, don’t think that distractions are bad, there are some, while there are good distractions. You might be surprised that that distraction will help you be more energized and more focused todo your work which can sometimes lead to more productivity.


The next step in planning your productivity is to brainstorm. Gather ideas to help you find solutions. At this point, don’t expect to find answers – yet. Create ideas first to resolve the problems you’re having that hinders you from being more productive. In this step, you must first focus on what you actually need instead of focusing on what’s available in front of you. Remember, your needs are more important than anything else and this can be a great reason for you to be even more productive once you determine what you actually need.

Solutions, solutions, solutions

The third and last step is to look for the solutions. The previous step should have given you thoughts or ideas on what you actually need and it’s time to hunt for soloutions. You may find solutions that are very straightforward while there are some solutions that can be done physically through administrative tasks.

Always be eager when you’re looking for answers, and consult your network and ask help from people around you. Being busy ais not the secret to success, keep that in mind.


Monitor and Improve Productivity

Are you loaded with work yet you still don’t know why you can’t finish everything on time? If this keeps on happening, there are ways to improve your productivity which will impact your work performance and you will be happy with the results.

Know your rhythm

What time of the day do you feel very energized and what time of the day do you feel very lazy and just want to take a nap? Determine your rhythm as this is very important. You have to know the reasons why you feel energized at a particular time while some other times you feel very lazy to move. This is one step for you to improve your productivity.

Rate your activities

Every single day, there comes in new work to be done while there is work that you do regularly. Now think about how much brainpower these activities consume. See, when new activities or tasks comes in, you will need to think harder about how you’ll start and how you’ll finish it while the activities or tasks that you do regularly don’t require you anymore to think too much because you’re used to it. What is being said here is the activities that require higher brainpower will need you to provide a different approach and solution because this will require more involvement from you. It is better to work during the early hours of the morning on activities or tasks that require higher brainpower.

Have an alloted day/week/month to improve on high brainpower activities

Since some activities or tasks require high brainpower, it is very important that you do these things when you feel most effective. Allot a day or week or even a month for this when you can just concentrate on work that needs your robust attention and focus.

List down at least three things that can help improve business

Grab a piece of paer and think about three things that can make your business improve more and then do these three things. It is much better if you also allot a day, week, or month to achieve these things and to just concentrate in fulfilling these.

Being busy doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be successful

Being busy can kill your buzz which means that this can affect the productivity that you wish to achieve. Instead, don’t contemplate on unimportant things such as social networking sites, re-reading your e-mail over and over again or making lists of the things you plan to do. As much as possible, when you’re in front of your computer, remove the things that can also interrupt you such as your mobile phone.

Time organization

Assign a time for business and time for other activities. Fulfill this time and make sure that you be disciplined in meeting these boundaries that you set.

No need to work too much, allow yourself a break or two!

Every business owner should learn how to accept low-energy days or just spend a day without doing business activities. If there is really no way out of your commitments or you just can’t slack all day, just give yourself an hour to finish the necesasary things and lay down on your sofa, pop a DVD and just relax. Working too much can cause you stress and pressure which can alter your focus and make you grumpy. Allow yourself to breathe and relax.


Do you know your billable hours?

It is very important that you record your billable hours and even the non-billable hours. If you haven’t, then you should definitely do it and find out the results. Business owners and even employees who tracked their hours were surprised with the results.

In order to record your hours, you must set a daily and weekly targets and you might as well list your goals and your long-term ones. There is a time-billing program that you can find online which can help you to keep track of your billable hours and non-billable hours. Be aware that this is a software and most of the good ones require a premium payment. However, you will find that having a program like this installed in your computer will be very helpful and useful.

Recording your hours at the office will really surprise you. For example, that 15 minutes you spend on admin and e-mail time daily will let you realize that you’re spending too much time on it instead of focusing on other things. Once you realized this, whether you are an employee or not, you will realize how much time you are wasting rather than focusing all your energy and time on more important work that needs most of your attention.

The good news is that there are people who actually went through the whole thing and this urged them to create ideas to manage your working hours. You might have heard of the 8-billable-hours-a-day-bootcamp which is very similar to a fitness bootcamp. How is it similar?

When you sign yourself up for a fitness bootcamp, you will realize how hard it is to go through all the pain and aches that it will bring you but at the end, you will realize that through those exercises, you develop endurance and strength and you might even be surprised of what you are capable of achieving.

Every fitness bootcamp has an assigned period when you should focus on intensive training and after this, you will be able to develop a new level of fitness that you are not doubting in the first place. You see, these principles were applied to the 8-billable-hours-a-day bootcamp. It is clearly observed that halfway through the whole bootcamp. Your endurance and focus are stronger than they were a month ago or a couple of months ago.

This program or “bootcamp” is still on-going. There are no definite results yet but so far, the bootcamp is successful. Going through this will definitely help employees and business owners when it comes to managing their time and this will also boost the performance and the efficient of an individual or a business.


The truth about energy equation

To mine a source of energy you have to use energy. This is how it works. When money works, it produces money. Take time to read the facts I learned about the equation of energy.

We are in a world where every single thing produced requires a proportionate amount of energy expenditure. It seems we are exhausting all the available energy, but proven facts show that there are things that leave us energized rather than exhausted. Here are a few examples of the stated fact:

  • When you exercise you are poised for a good and relaxing vibes. While you exercise you expend an amount of energy to perform the physical activities associated in exercise. But instead of exhausting us, it does exactly the opposite, it energizes our body. All you need to do is for you to find out which activity fits you and then you just start doing it.
  • When you spend time with people that stimulate your being, you feel way better than when you are around people who talks only about misery. These people are the ones that make you feel stronger even in your dire circumstance.
  • When you show kindness, it could open up a well spring of energy within us. No matter how small or trivial in your eyes at the moment, kindness will always have a great and noble impact on both the giver and the recipient.
  • When you treat yourself, you feel energised for all the relaxing effect it gives. You can go have a relaxing vacation, buy yourself your dream watch or shoe or anything to make you feel anything good, you just do it. You need to spend time for yourself. The more satisfied you are within yourself, the more capable you are of showing kindness to others.
  • When you communicate, communication is very powerful. It gives us a feeling of security knowing that someone out there cares for you.
  • When you go for entertainments you help yourself get refreshed after a long hard day’s work. An uplifting movie, a walk in the park or anything that entertains, the effect is still the same; it energises you to no end.
  • When you read a book, it is one of the most relaxing things you can do. You stimulate your mind, and at the same time you get to relax.

Life is too short; you cannot live it without an attempt to preserve it. Take time to reenergize, and all the while you will find out how fulfilling it is indeed.