Productivity During the Holiday Season

With only 10 days left in the year, many people are winding down their work projects to enjoy the holiday season with friends and family. While it is important to focus on the people that you love, don’t make the mistake of throwing productivity out the window too early. You still have time to wrap things up before the end of the year, helping you enjoy a strong finish in 2018.

As a business owner, the last few weeks of the year offer the perfect opportunity for you to set the tone for the New Year. Right now is the time that you need to be thinking about resolutions and 2019 goals. Don’t wait until January 1st to set your intentions for 2019. Instead, lay the foundation right now and maintain a little more productivity before December comes to a close.

Finding Time Between Family Activities and Social Events

It’s no surprise that the calendar is filled with social events and family activities through the month of December. Even though the holiday season should be a time of joy and relaxation, many people find that they are stretched thin trying to keep up with everything that needs to be done. Small business owners feel the burden more than ever during this time of year.

Not only are you trying to keep up with your kid’s Christmas recitals and family gift exchange parties, but you are also juggling a Christmas party for your employees, year-end accounting and bookkeeping tasks, and wrapping up any final tax strategies that need to be put into place. It might feel like there are no opportunities for you to squeeze in a little more work.

But, you will be surprised to see that there are times when you can boost your productivity a little more to maximize your efforts this year. You don’t need to block out 4 or 5 hours at a time. Instead, look for small windows on your schedule that can be filled with productive tasks. For example, if you have an extra hour between the close of the office and the time that the recital starts, it could be the perfect opportunity to review business transactions for the month. Or, you can set your alarm clock 30 minutes early so that you have a little extra time to catch up on emails or write down your New Year’s resolutions.

With a little creativity, you can always find time for the things that matter most. Determine your priorities, and then structure your schedule so that everything is covered.

Strategies to Boost Productivity

Here are a few tips that might be used to boost your productivity through the holiday season. Some of these strategies can be used throughout the year if you need help with productivity during other months:

  • Identify Your Priorities: Everything might seem important if you don’t identify the things that matter most to you. What are your priorities for the next few weeks? Writing down these priorities can help you determine which activities should be included on your calendar. For most small business owners, priorities are focused on quality time with family, holiday celebrations, year-end tax planning, identifying new goals, and wrapping up any paperwork that needs to be addressed before the year comes to a close.
  • Eliminate Unnecessary Activities: Simplification is essential, especially when the calendar is booked during the holidays. Review your commitments and identify things that don’t match your priorities. For example, choose your family’s favorite holiday activity to share instead of spending time at a holiday party that you feel obligated to attend.
  • Overcome Computer Fatigue: When you need to spend a few hours at the computer, get out of your chair every hour to stretch and give your eyes a rest from the screen. Even small 5 or 10 minute breaks can have an impressive impact to boost your focus.
  • Respect Your Physical Health: If you feel like you are burning the candle at both ends, then it might be time to switch things up so that you can overcome fatigue. Small daily habits can have a significant impact on your energy levels each day, giving you more “go-power” to finish the day strong. Drink plenty of water, get at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep each night, and maintain a healthy diet so that you aren’t sluggish from junk food and too much sugar.
  • Move Your Body: At the same time, it is important to get your heart rate up each day so that you have the energy to push through the difficult activities. Even though you might not have time to spend 90 minutes at the gym, a few small exercises can make you feel energized. Block out 15 minutes in your morning routine to do calisthenics or HIIT training. A few bodyweight exercises can have an incremental impact on your energy. When your body feels good, then it improves productivity because you have more confidence and energy.
  • Identify Baby Steps: Are you overwhelmed by the major tasks that need to be accomplished before the end of the year? If the overwhelm is stopping you from taking action, then try breaking things down into baby steps. These bite-size pieces make the job more manageable. You can identify the next action to take that will get you closer to your goal.
  • Create a Comfortable Work Environment: When you are finishing up a work project for the year, it’s important that you have a place where you can focus on the task at hand. Sometimes it can be hard to maintain focus if your house is full of family or the kids are home from school. Carve out an hour or two in the morning and spend that time at the local library or a coffee shop if you need a quiet place to work.
  • Set Deadlines: It is easy to push everything to the backburner during the holiday season and tell yourself that you will get to it after the New Year. Instead of procrastinating things that are urgent, set self-imposed deadlines so that you prioritize the right work activities. A little bit of stress to meet a deadline will go a long way to help you meet a goal.
  • Implement the Five-Minute Rule: Do you find that the hardest part is getting started on a project, then simplify the starting line by telling yourself that you only need to do five minutes of work on that project. Most of the time, you’ll find that it’s easy to keep going once you are in motion. Make it a race against the clock to see how fast you can accomplish the task. For example, if you need to work on bookkeeping tasks and it is time to review the year-end reports, then set a timer for five minutes on the project. You’ll see that the first five minutes are enough to get you “in the groove” so that you can keep going to wrap up the tasks that needed to be done.
  • Minimize Unnecessary Meetings: There are always reasons to have meetings, but the end of the year is not the time when you should be filling your work schedule with unnecessary meetings. Instead of scheduling conference calls and employee evaluations during this time, put them on your calendar for January so that you can prioritize your work hours that are more important for the year-end goals that need to be met.
  • Stop Multitasking: It’s a myth that you can accomplish more when you have several activities happening at the same time. If you are trying to multitask, then overall productivity goes down. Psychologists have reported that completing several tasks simultaneously usually results in lost productivity and time. Instead, finish one task before moving onto the next.
  • Try Time Blocking: With a time blocking strategy, you dedicate chunks of the day to specific tasks for activities. For example, you might set 2 or 3 hours of focused work time, then dedicate the rest of the evening to spend with your family. During that work time, maximize the activities that are completed, giving you the freedom to focus your full attention on your loved ones when you are done with work. This strategy helps you create clear boundaries so that work tasks don’t take away from family priorities.

While it is important to finish the year on the right foot for your business goals, also remember that it is a time when you need to take care of yourself and your family. It is normal for the schedule to be adjusted for the holiday season, but that doesn’t mean that you let important work responsibilities fall through the cracks. Instead, find the right balance that works for your business and your personal life. Draw boundaries and implement strategies that will help you achieve success in all areas.

One of the best things that you can do in the New Year is outsource bookkeeping and accounting tasks so that you can improve your productivity. If you are ready to learn more about the outsourced accounting services that are available, then we would love to talk to you. Call Easier Accounting at (888) 620-0770

Boost Your Bottom Line By Improving Customer Experience

Customers are the greatest asset to your business, which means customer experience should be a focus in your company. If your customers are happy with the services that are provided, then they will keep coming back in the future. But, a bad experience can get in the way of potential sales, and even cause the person to spread negative information about your company.

Building Trust Through Customer Experience

When a customer decides to buy your product or service, then it means that you have helped them see the benefits that your company offers. Often, the purchase point is the last step after the customer moved through a marketing funnel. At the same time, the sale is also the first step to building a long-term relationship with that person.

By understanding what your customers want, you can adjust your sales points to cater to their needs. This journey is a process that leads them to make a purchase. Getting clarity on the decision points will help you engage customers more effectively, which in turn boosts sales and improves your bottom line.

Get Rid of the Busy Work to Focus on Essentials

As a business owner, you should be looking at the tasks that can help you improve your cash flow and profit. Which means that you need to take it back to the basics by providing the services that the customer needs. If you are so caught up in bookkeeping, inventory, and profit and loss reports that the customers are neglected, then your business won’t achieve the long-term success that you desire.

One option you might consider is to outsource the busy work so that you can focus on the important tasks that will help you connect with the customers. For example, hiring a bookkeeping and accounting team is a great way to free up your time, because you don’t have to focus on data entry and number-crunching. Instead, you can look at the front-line interactions to see how the customers are responding to your marketing and outreach efforts.

Solving Problems for Potential Customers

Most people buy because they are looking for an effective way to solve a problem they are facing. For example, someone buys a toy when they need a gift for a party. Or, a visit to a hair salon happens when a person wants to have a boost in their confidence. Whether you are selling services or physical products, you need to understand the psychology behind WHY people choose to spend money on the things that you are selling.

Before you have the opportunity to interact with a customer, they need to have the self-realization that they are looking for the product or service in the first place. Bringing awareness to the topic will increase their interest in the industry, making it easier to bring the person to the point of sale.

Once the awareness is present, then that person might come across your company on social media, in a Google search, or through an in-person interaction. Then, your branding efforts increase the possibility of business recognition when they are ready to make a purchase.

Staying Connected with New Customers

In most situations, the customer will not purchase at the first point of contact. Just because they found your website online, doesn’t mean that they are ready to pull out their credit card. So, you can’t make sales projections for your accounting reports based on the website visitors that are coming through. Instead, you need to continue collecting information to see the trends and conversion rates that can be expected.

Collecting the customer’s information at the point of contact is a great way to increase the chances of a future purchase. This information could be in the form of adding their email to your newsletter or connecting through a social media account. Then, you can share helpful information through these platforms to continue building trust and a long-term relationship with that person.

When the customer is looking for a solution, they will remember the Instagram post or recent newsletter that talked about how your service could help with their issue. Since you previously focused on the problems that people are trying to solve, then the content that is shared can be catered to match their needs. This consistency increases the chances that they will pay attention to your messages, and reach out when they want to buy something.

Ongoing Outreach to Current Customers

Just because someone made a purchase, doesn’t mean that they don’t need coaxing to come back again in the future. There are many industries with stiff competition, which means that you need to step up your game if you want to stay ahead of the pack. You can improve your business success and boost the bottom line by helping current customers see why they need to come back and buy again.

Compare the cost of marketing and bringing a new customer in with the expenses that you might put into outreach for current customers. You will see that it is much cheaper to get a repeat sale than it is to bring in a new customer. Be wise with your marketing spending, and make sure that you don’t neglect the people who are already on your list.

This process allows you to manage your marketing expenses, which in turn helps to boost cash flow and minimize costs. At the same time, you can increase sales by bringing people through the door over and over again. The final result is exactly what you desired: financial strength in your company and a business that thrives for many years.

Be Honest in Your Communication

If you make a promise or guarantee about your product, then make sure that your communication is clear about what the customer can expect from your company. One important aspect of customer experience is ensuring that you have a solid customer service plan in place, to help before, during, and after the purchase. Don’t be worried if concerns or problems come up with the purchase because it is easy to make things right when you have a proactive customer service team.

In fact, high-quality customer service is one of the best things that you can do to improve customer experience. People want to feel like they are noticed and heard. This hands-on approach in your business will make it easy for you to improve customer satisfaction. Even if your product is a little more expensive compared to the competitors, customers will keep coming back because they felt good when they interacted with your company.

Happy Customers Lead to Great Referrals

Not only will that person come back to buy again in the future, but they will gladly share information about your company with their friends and family. Personal recommendations are a powerful way to boost business success, helping to increase sales and improve your results.

But, you can’t focus on referrals without offering the highest level of customer service. People will only make referrals to your company if they felt like they had a good experience. Being genuine in your interactions with customers can be a great way for you to grow your company naturally.

Look to the Future

In addition to the current efforts for customer outreach and quality customer service, also look for ways that your company can grow and expand. It can be helpful to have an experienced accounting team who will provide the right reports to guide your spending decisions. You can refer to your cash standing and outlook for the future when you are deciding on important factors such as investments, inventory, hiring employees, and more.

It can be hard to understand the financial standing of your company without talking to an accounting professional. Instead of crunching the numbers and trying to generate the reports, you need to focus on the daily activities that improve customer experience. Our team can offer the financial guidance that you need to maximize tax write-offs, evaluate profitability reports, and plan for the future success of your company.

Experienced Accounting Professionals

Are you ready for the right accounting help so that you can stay ahead of the changes in your business? If you are working to build the company and expand for future success, then you need to talk to our experienced team for more information.

Here at Easier Accounting, we understand the common financial roadblocks that many small business owners face. We are specialized in small business and entrepreneur accounting techniques, and our team will gladly help with your company. We offer the advice that you need to stay ahead of the financial details so that you can focus on customer service without worrying about cash flow or tax issues in your company.

You deserve to have a team of accounting professionals available to help with your business growth. So, we invite you to schedule a consultation to learn more about the ways our services will be beneficial for your efforts. Talk to us at Easier Accounting by calling: (888) 620-0770

How to Be a Better Business Owner

As a business owner, you have a lot of responsibilities on your shoulders to help the company grow. Are you prepared for the future? Are you making the right decisions that are in the best interest of the company? Don’t let yourself feel the weight of some of these decisions, because there are situations when it makes sense to involve other professionals in the decision-making process.

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Common Mistake of Business Owners

If you are looking for ways to be a better business owner, then you need to consider the benefits of hiring professional contractors to help. One of the biggest mistakes by business owners is that they try to handle responsibility on their own without utilizing the help of a professional team. It is common for start-ups and small business owners to wear multiple hats throughout the day. They are trying to juggle the various tasks that are required to keep the business moving forward.

But, you don’t have to do it all on your own! In fact, it is possible that you might be hindering the growth of your company because you aren’t choosing to hire the right team to help.

How an Accounting Service will Help Your Company

When you are making important financial decisions, it is essential that you have a clear picture of the current and future financial health of the company. But, accounting mistakes can mess up the reporting and change the outlook, resulting in a situation where you are making decisions based on false information.

Most business owners don’t have professional accounting skills. They might try to handle the accounting tasks on their own, but it is likely that mistakes are made along the way. Instead of filling your day with boring accounting and bookkeeping tasks, it is better for you to focus on the other aspects of business management and let the professionals handle the finances for you.

The right team of accounting professionals will make it easier for you to manage the company in the best way. You don’t have to spend your time on bookkeeping and filing. Also, you will always have current financial information to help you make the right decisions for your company.

If you are ready to help your business grow, then right now is a great time to learn more about the accounting and bookkeeping services that are offered. For more information, call us at Easier Accounting! We specialize in accounting services for small businesses, and we are here to help: (888) 620-0770