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3 Questions to Make Your Business Better

question As business owners, we often hear that we have to work on our business, not just in it. It’s a concept that sounds simple when you say it, but how do you get started?

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A lot of entrepreneurs thrive on bending the rules so the starting point isn’t always obvious. You have to create the rules – the operating system – so you will have time to work on your business in the future.

So, early in your business, you work on your business by working in your business!

You begin to develop those systems that will make delegation to your future employees more effective. To do that, ask yourself three questions:

  • What is your vision of the perfect transaction?
    Map out a transaction from beginning to end. Think about what you want your customers to experience during each step of the process. This will include: your advertising, the first interaction, and the closing of the transaction. But don’t forget to include what happens internally to support the transaction and follow-up with the customer.

But here’s the interesting thing when you bring your customers’ perspective in – every customer probably has one or two little things that they really like. If you can gear your organization to make that one customer happy on that one point, you’ll probably thrill the rest of your customers by doing it! They probably want it, too. They just haven’t vocalized it.

  • How can you improve one thing one percent?
    Take your bigg picture and bring in all the things that your customers have told you and begin working on one at a time.

We have a confession to make … these three questions aren’t ours. They come straight out of Ken Blanchard’s Raving Fans. It highlights these three questions through a great story and we highly recommend that you read his great book.

So these three questions will improve your performance, help you develop your operating systems, and keep you focused on the most important people in your business – your customers.

Putting it to work

Now you want to improve one thing one percent. We saw a great example of this in action. A company had their entire process mapped out on the wall of their conference room.

They had all these sticky notes up on the wall. Each sticky note represented something they wanted to test – something that represented a potential one percent improvement. These suggestions had been made by customers and by employees.

That’s what makes this concept so useful. It’s a great tool to get employee buy-in.

They get on board because they can see that their suggestions are being considered. More than that, they may get tested. The test results may call for full implementation!

It makes your employees feel like they’re a significant part of something bigger. They are valued. That leads to bigg success with your employees. 

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Thanks for checking in on us today. Join us next time as we make a special announcement – a new beginning for Bigg Success. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
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Related posts

One-Up Yourself for Bigg Success

How to Get Your Employees to Own Their Job, Not Just Do It

(Image in today's post by tulp)

Get Rid Of Clutter And Save An Hour A Day With These Simple Tips

clock 

According to Newsweek (June 7, 2004), the average American loses 55 minutes EVERY day searching for things they can’t find. We thought that particularly appropriate as we prepare to “spring forward” this weekend, here in the U.S. We’ll “lose” an hour this weekend, but you can get it back every day!

Clutter can cost you more than time. You may have to pay late fees if your bills don’t get paid on time. If you miss appointments, relationships can be damaged. In some places, clutter is so pervasive that people have been injured when they tripped over it!

4 clutter-busters to save you time and money!

#1 – Use it or lose it.
If in doubt, throw it out! Many people do the opposite – they keep it unless they know they won’t use it. Apply the six-month rule. Have you used it in the last six months? Do you KNOW that you’ll use it in the next six months? If the answer is “no” to both of those questions, then lose it!

If it’s a document that you need to maintain, consider scanning it. Electronic storage takes up a lot less space!

#2 – Make a place for everything and keep everything in its place.
After the first tip, you should have a lot less to put away now. Find a place for everything you keep. Once you’ve put it there, keep it there. When you use something, put it back immediately after you’re done with it. Make it a habit.

#3 – Call on a pro.
You may not be the “do-it-yourself” type. Or maybe you just don’t have a knack for organization. Check out the National Association of Professional Organizers. You can search for organizers in your area and find some great tips on hiring a specialist.

#4 – Once you get uncluttered, make sure you don’t re-clutter.
Daily maintenance is the key. Create a system for handling incoming items like your mail, newspapers, and periodicals. For example, you may open your mail over your shredder. Sort any mail you save by action date and file it appropriately. When today’s newspaper is here, yesterday’s is gone. Same with magazines.

Clutter may be a symptom of a bigger problem.
There’s one final note we wanted to make about clutter – clutter may not be the problem. It may be a symptom of this bigger problem …

… You’re TOO busy!

If you find yourself diving right into your next project immediately after finishing your last project because you’re up against yet another tight deadline, you’re too busy!

Start living on human time. Stop expecting too much from yourself.

Slow down so you can catch up!

Being clutter-free is good for your well-being. It helps you think more clearly. It can save you an hour a day! So schedule some time to attack the clutter and prevent it from coming back!

Do you have some de-cluttering tips to share?

Leave us a Comment. We’ll gladly accept your help!

Our bigg quote today comes from educator and author, Dr. Laurence J. Peter:

“If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind,
what is the significance of a clean desk?”

We’d like to come up with a witty comment about our bigg quote, but our mind’s blank!

Next time, we’ll interview a business networking expert who will share his 3 keys to effective networking. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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(Image by PPDIGITAL, CC 2.0)

Don’t Just Make New Year’s Resolutions, Get Them

maple_leaf_foods_logo The New Year is approaching. Many of us are making resolutions. Make them … break them … don’t let this happen to you.

Resolve this year to be more than a goal-setter. Be a goal-getter. That’s why Bigg Success has the second “g” – it’s the place for goal-getters.

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There’s a great example of a goal-getter from history – Ben Franklin. He is one of our favorite historical figures here at Bigg Success. What a life he lived! He accomplished so much – inventor, author, politician, diplomat, and much, much more!

He also can teach us something about getting goals. As a young man, he wanted to be perfect. So he developed a list of thirteen virtues that he wished to acquire.

An interesting side note is that he found order to be the toughest virtue to obtain. It’s nice to know that even Ben struggled with organization!

At first he tried to acquire all thirteen virtues at once. He failed miserably. Here’s Ben, in his own words:

“While my care was employed in guarding against one fault, I was often surprised by another; habit took the advantage of inattention; inclination was sometimes too strong for reason.”

Apparently, habits were as hard to break 200 years ago as they are now!

To combat this, he developed a system. Each week, he focused on one goal. He tracked them all, but he primarily concerned himself with just one.

He developed a single sheet of paper for each week. The days of the week were across the top. The thirteen virtues went down the left side. Then he recorded every instance where he failed to live up to his virtue. Each week, each day, he started with a clean slate. If you want to see it, we have a copy of Ben Franklin’s Virtuous System [PDF].

So what can you learn from Ben Franklin?

  • You can’t expect what you don’t inspect.
  • After you’ve set your goals for the year, be sure to use a system that reports your results. You won’t always live up to your plans, but you can see the progress you’re making if you have a system like Ben’s.

  • Intention + Attention = Manifestation.
  • It starts with setting your goals. Then you have to keep your goals constantly in front of you. That’s one of the secrets to making sure you reach them.

  • Focus on one goal at a time.
  • If you try to reach all of your goals at once, you’re sure to fail. So focus on one, and then move on to the next one.

  • Don’t beat yourself up.
  • Ben Franklin started each day with a clean slate. If he didn’t live up to his expectations that day, he knew that tomorrow he would start with no blemishes. Day by day – that’s how you get your goals!

Our Bigg Quote is by none other than Ben Franklin himself:

“Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors,
and let every new year find you a better man.”

Resolve to make this year your best year ever.

Next time, with New Year’s Eve coming, we’ll give you a suggestion on how to put your cocktail napkin to good use. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

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Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00034-122707.mp3

Related posts

Benjamin Franklin’s Thirteen Virtues

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Gearing Up for a New Workplace

By Bigg Success Staff
06-05-08

Leadership Skills

keyboard 

Great leaders are vital to success for any organization. It’s especially true today as we face more challenges with a multi-generational workforce. We’re also learning more about how people respond to calls for change.

It’s incumbent on leadership today to focus the attention and activities around these three questions:

#1 – What are the most important results for us to achieve?

Your people must know what needs to be done. Not the duties, but the outcome. What is the expected result of the work you’re doing together? Identify it, proclaim it, and repeat it … and repeat it … and repeat it.

#2 – What behaviors are necessary to achieve those results?

Identify what it will take to achieve your desired result. Don’t worry about current behavior. Focus on what behavior will lead to bigg success. To accomplishing what you set out to do.

#3 – What is working well?
Along the way, highlight those things that are leading you and your team to your goal. Keep your discussions on discovering these things and then making them part of your system.

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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Related posts 

7 Steps To Lead Your Troops To Victory

V Is For Victory: Spell It Out For Your Troops

Your Leading Role: Define The Roles Of Your Troops

Create a Code of Conduct to Create a Covenant with Your Troops

5 Things You Must Do to Lead by Example

4 Characteristics of Constructive Criticism

4 Pointers for Praising Your People

Keep Your Troops Focused on Victory

(Image by hdoddema)

Start a Dinner Club with Your Friends

By Bigg Success Staff
04-22-08

Work – Life Balance

dinner_club 

Would you like to see your good friends more often?

Here’s an idea – start a dinner club!

Before you think that’s a crazy idea, allow us to clarify what we’re talking about. We’re not talking about taking turns hosting a dinner at your house. Although, you can do that if you want.

We’re saying organize a regular time to go out for dinner with your friends. Figure out how often you’d like to get together and make it a regular event.

For example, you may meet on the first Wednesday of every month for dinner at a certain restaurant at a specified time.

Obviously, not everyone will be able to make it every time. However, by getting together on a set day, you and your friends will find it easier to schedule around it.

4 things to keep in mind

  • Keep it simple.
    Unless someone volunteers to coordinate things, you may just decide to meet at the same place every month. Of course, it’s completely up to your group.
  • Don’t make it cumbersome.
    That’s why we used the “once a month” example above. However, if your friends seem to want to get together more often, by all means go for it.
  • Be considerate of everyone’s budget.
    Don’t go to the priciest place in town if you know you have friends who will struggle to afford it. The point is to spend time with people you care about, right?
  • Determine the “rules”.
    While there should be few of these, you should discuss them upfront to align expectations and avoid uncomfortable situations later. For example, can you bring guests? If your group has kids, will they be invited as well?

If you want to keep it simple, a standing dinner event allows you to get together with your friends without a lot of upfront time. Wouldn’t you rather spend your time with them instead of planning how to meet up with them?

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Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

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(Image by bcm2200)

Save and Organize Your Text Messages

By Bigg Success Staff
04-07-08

Leading-Edge Application

app_screenshot 

Treasuremytext  helps you save and organize your text messages just like you can your e-mail. You won’t accidentally delete a message or lose it when you change phones.

All you have to do is sign up for a FREE account. Then you’ll just forward any messages you want to save to Treasuremytext . They will archive it and give you options to organize it.

When you want to view your messages, you’ll just login. It’s that simple!

Find out when we post new articles. Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly.

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show.  

More Leading-Edge Applications

Which Weekend Should We Get Together?

Living the Highlight! 

Read a Business Book Every Week

Sticky-Notes for Your Computer!

Define It With Definr

Your Free Personal Drop Box

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Don’t Jot It Down, Jott It!

Kindle

Which Weekend Should We Get Together?

By Bigg Success Staff
04-02-08

Leading-Edge Application

screenshot

Have you ever had trouble planning a weekend with family and friends? You e-mail me and I e-mail her and she e-mails him with a date that doesn’t work for him. Now we have to start all over!

Which Weekend is your answer!

It quickly allows you to see which weekend everyone is free.

And it’s FREE!

How it works
When you’re trying to schedule a get-together, go to their site and create a name for your event. They will send a link to your e-mail address. Just e-mail the link to everyone you want to invite. All they’ll have to do is click on the link and choose the dates that work for them. That’s it!

Which Weekend serves only one purpose – to find out when everyone is available. You’ll have to do the planning, but at least you’ll be able to easily know the date for which to plan!

So when you’re trying to find a date for your next event, try Which Weekend

Find out when we post new articles. Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly.

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

More Leading-Edge Applications

Living the Highlight! 

Read a Business Book Every Week

Sticky-Notes for Your Computer!

Define It With Definr

Your Free Personal Drop Box

The Multi-Tasker’s Dream Product

Don’t Jot It Down, Jott It!

Kindle

Would You Like An Extra Hour Every Day?

By Bigg Success Staff
01-24-08

Home Office

cluttered_office_jpg

The average American loses 55 minutes every day searching for things they can’t find. This stunning statistic was printed in the June 7, 2004 edition of Newsweek.

So if you’d like to add an hour to every day of your life – get organized!

Clutter can be costly in other ways as well. If bills don’t get paid on time, there may be additional late fees. If appointments are missed, relationships can be damaged. In some places, clutter is so pervasive that people have been injured when they tripped over it!

There is hope. Here are some tips to get rid of clutter:

  • Use it or lose it
  • If in doubt, throw it out! Many people approach their de-cluttering project from the opposite mindset. They keep it unless they know they won’t use it. You’ll never eliminate clutter until you get past that thought process.

    Apply the six-month rule. Have you used it in the last six months? Do you KNOW that you’ll use it in the next six months? If the answer is “no”, then lose it!

  • A place for everything, everything in its place
  • You should have a lot less to put away now. But that’s the thing – you have to put it away. Find a place for everything you keep.

    Then keep it there. It’s the old “put it back” rule. When you use something, put it back immediately after you’re done with it. Make it a habit.

  • Call on a pro
  • You may not be the “do-it-yourself” type. Or maybe you just want some professional help. Check out the National Association of Professional Organizers

    At their site, you can search for organizers in your area. You’ll also find some great tips on hiring a specialist.

  • Daily delights
  • You’ve de-cluttered. The key now is to make sure you don’t re-clutter. Daily maintenance is the best way to insure against that.

    Create a system for handling incoming items like your mail, newspapers, and periodicals. For example, you may open your mail over your shredder. Sort any mail you save by action date and file it appropriately. When today’s newspaper is here, yesterday’s is gone. Same with magazines.

We wrote about Ben Franklin’s thirteen virtues not long ago. He confessed that he found order to be his biggest struggle. Isn’t it nice to know that even Ben had trouble staying organized?

Help us all out – leave your tips for getting organized.

Oh … and what will you do with that extra hour a day?

Find out when we post new articles. Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly.

Hear today's lesson and laugh on The Bigg Success Show. 

(Image of cluttered office by sin design, CC 2.0)