Keeping yourself Organized is the foundation for business success.

business success

Although some people like to work in complete and utter chaos, a recent survey showed that over 80% of small businesses in America believed that having an organized office is a critical factor to their business’s success.

Disorganization can lead to important details getting lost in the clutter, meaning you will waste time putting out fires that you could have essentially avoided if you had a bit of organization set up in the office.

To help you avoid this kind of problem, we at The OCI Group have come up with some easy ways to keep yourself and your business organized for success.

  1. Write down your Procedures

Every successful business has their procedures written down so that everyone is literally on the same page when they need to complete a task.  Obviously, you cannot have a procedure for EVERYTHING you do in the office but having the most important ones written down will help with organization.

  1. Have everything condensed and consolidated

Being well organized is more than just cleaning up the visible clutter in and around your office, it is also about having procedures and tools in place so that your business runs as effectively and efficiently as possible.  There are quite a few affordable tools that are available for businesses to stay organized, you just need to find the ones that are suitable for your business.

An important factor to note, don’t have too many tools and procedures, you know the saying – too many cooks spoil the broth – the same comes to using too many tools to streamline your business.  Using and implementing too many can cause confusion, making your business less efficient and more disorganized.

  1. Keep that inbox clean!

Emails are one of the biggest time wasters.  A survey completed by Carleton University found that people spend a third of their time on email alone – put that into hours and its 11.7 hours a week you could be using to get things done.  Unsubscribe from those newsletters, organize your email into folders, and use categories and rules to help you keep your inbox under control.

Other useful tip that we learnt early on, is to schedule time during your day to tend to your emails.  Once this time is over, close your email and start on the new task.  Emails can be a horrible distraction when you are busy on a busy task.

  1. Keep Projects deadlines under control

Any business, whether big or small, is juggling more than one project at a time.  Keeping track of the status of these projects can become time consuming and frustrating if other team members do not communicate effectively or meet their deadlines.

To stay on top of everything, simplify the way you communicate with project team members to help everyone stay on the same page.  By finding a system that works best for your business, can help you share documents and keep everyone in the loop.

As you can see, staying organized takes more than just a spring clean and keeping your filing up to date.  At the end of the day organization is critical to business success and having clearly defined procedures and proper systems in place is half the battle won.

Do you need an accounting system put into place – click here to find out how we can help you with that!

Why goal setting is so important to your success in 2019

goal setting

At the beginning of every year, people are planning how they are going to achieve success during the year ahead of them.

Are you the kind of person who thinks that goal setting is a useful tool, but you never really have the time or energy to sit down and get everything written down on paper?  Maybe you just don’t see the benefits of what goal setting can do for you or your business?

We believe that once you see some of the many benefits goal setting has for you, you might change you mind and schedule that time to get those goals set up.

To start you on your goal setting journey, here are just SOME of the benefits you can enjoy when you set up your goals correctly.

  1. Gain a better focus

When you set up your goals, you are essentially confirming what it is that you want to gain or do.  These are the things you really want to achieve.  It may be learning a new skill to add to your resume, or it could be increased sales for your business.

  1. Proper use of resources

Resources can become very expensive when they are not used properly and are essentially wasted.  Having goals set in place will help you prioritise and plan, allowing you to put the resources you have behind what you really want to do.

  1. Gain extra hours

Time is a very valuable resource, and because it is so important it deserves a special kind of attention.  In order to manage your time properly, and essentially save time, you need to stop doing the things that don’t need to be done.  Setting up goals and how you will achieve them can do this for you.

  1. Better Decision Making

Because you have already set up what you want to achieve, this means you can start asking yourself, “by doing this task, does it get me any closer to my goals?”

  1. Proper Measurement

When you properly set up goals, remember to make them SMART (Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Based), this will help you measure your success and how effectively you are moving towards achieving them.

  1. Better Communication

Now that you have what you want written down, and how you are going to achieve these goals, it will be easier to communicate with your colleagues and employees and essentially get the support that you need to successfully attain the bigger picture you have in your mind.

I am sure you will agree that these benefits are a good reason to start setting up proper goals, make sure you revisit them every month to make sure you are still on the right path to achieving what you want for yourself and your business.

Planning for success in 2019

2019

With the holiday season upon us and the new year just around the corner, it is normally around this time of the year that many businesses start to think about goals for the year to come.  Are you considering expanding your products and services, or even hiring on some new people to help get your services and products out into the world?

During this time of the year, offices usually quieten down which gives you just enough breathing space you need to plan for the year ahead.  When planning for the next year – here is a list of things we at The OCI Group think you should start with to get the ball rolling:

Business Plan Update

As you already know, any successful business model has a business plan.

Not the kind that you keep stored in the back of your mind, but a physical one that is written down on a piece of paper and been made official.  If you do not have a business plan, now is the perfect time to get one set up.  Once you have a plan set in motion, review it and make all the adjustments needed.  By doing this, you will be able to stay focused on key activities that need to be undertaken to bring you success.

Here are some questions to help you get started

  • Financially – where is your business?
  • What do your current and anticipated business expenses look like?
  • How did you perform on last year’s goals?
  • What successes from this year can you build on for next year?

What are your competitors doing?

Once you have your business plan for the next year all set up and reviewed, you need to start looking outside of your company.  What outside factors will have an impact on your business going into the new year.  Remember to factor in Economic, political and competitive factors – these can all have a positive or negative effect on you and your business reaching your business goals.

By keeping up-to-date with local and international news, you will be able to determine the demand for the product/service you provide, and whether you will need to make provisions or improvements.

Revamp your online presence

Websites are becoming the most important aspect of any business.  Most websites are built when the business is started, and often fall by the wayside and are not maintained properly.  This could be a great source of potential leads and information for your company.  By using tools such as Google Analytics, it will answer questions like:

  • Where are your customers coming from?
  • What are they looking at?
  • What is the conversion level for visitors?

The holiday season is the perfect opportunity for you to take the time and step back from your hectic work schedule.  Take this time to assess, adjust and implement new procedures that will help you with your day-to-day management of your business.

How are you getting ready for the new year?

Is your marketing ready for the upcoming holiday season?

marketing

The silly season is almost upon us and for most businesses it is one of the best times to showcase your products.  Unfortunately, planning for the festive season is sometimes forgotten and all the opportunities are missed.  For the best outcomes, you should identify your holiday marketing budget and begin planning well in advanced so that you don’t miss out on great opportunities.

Here are just some ideas to inspire your holiday marketing plan.

Social Promotions

Choose where you want to focus your promotions.  It could be in-store, online or even through social media, but you need to start developing these plans earlier on, you need to know what needs to be done for them to be successful.  Remember to include time for design, to secure ad placements as well as time for printing and setting up.

Email Marketing Lists

Databases are crucial when it comes to marketing.  Update your opt-in messages on your website, landing pages, social media channels and even in-store messages to include a message along the lines of “Sign up to our list now to grab our amazing holiday saving offers.”

Gift Incentives

Have a look at how you can repackage your existing products/services to make them look or feel like presents.  Gift cards are always a popular purchase during the holidays, but there are creative ways that you can give your customers products or services as gifts without it being the usual gift card idea.

Event ideas

If you plan to hold in-store specials or local events to promote your business, then you need to start planning and promoting them well in advance.  Remember it takes time to secure venues, décor, entertainment and staff.  Also have a look at the charities in your local community to find events your business could sponsor for a goodwill boost and some indirect promotion.

Partner with others

This is a perfect time to look in your network for another business you could pair your products/services with.  You could offer joint promotions or even co-host events in and around your local community.

The most important thing when it comes to promoting your business during the holiday season is to make sure everything you need for success is in place.  Whether it is printing, website changes, or event training staff to handle any situation that might come up.  The last thing that you want to happen is for your business to spend money unnecessarily because you were not prepared for a certain situation.

What marketing incentives will you be using this festive season?

These 3 Terrible Office Habits Will Kill Morale at Your Company

Morale

Working in a healthy working environment is largely dependent on the efficiency and health of the leadership.  Even though it is sometimes hard to believe, executives and employees are human too and they it is easy for them to get lost in their busy schedule rather that actively finding ways on how they can address the needs of their employees.  After all, who can set the atmosphere of a working environment of an organization but the leaders themselves.

If you want to be respected, well liked and effective, you should avoid some of these common mistakes that can directly have an impact on the morale of your employees:

  1. Trying Too Hard to Be Everywhere

As a leader, you are held responsible for overseeing the progress of all projects your team are managing. When you have new people in a team, it can be hard to let go of the reins and trust them completely to get things done the way you want them. Although it can be easy to check in with them often to make sure everything is running smoothly, you can end up inhibiting the productivity and creativity of the team.

  1. Not having time to Listen

Your daily schedule is already filled with important phone calls, emails, and deadlines to meet.  Some days it is easy to lose track of time and you end up neglecting your own needs, as well as the needs of your team.

You need to make sure that you build an office environment that welcomes originality and is considerate to the concerns of your employees.  Giving your team the chance to come up with new and better ways of completing important tasks can save your company time, resources and money in the long run.

  1. Forgetting to Say Thank You

As human beings, we have a need to feel appreciated and needed.  When you forget to acknowledge the great work of a person or a team effort, you can end up making your employees feel underappreciated, and it won’t be long until they go looking for work for somewhere else in an environment who will acknowledge their value.

Remember: Follow through. Be accountable. Say it and then deliver on it.

What are some of the ways you like to keep morale up in the office?

Do you need help setting up the reports that allows your business to be responsive to changes in the business environment – click here and let us help you!

Two important questions that every business owner MUST answer

business

One of the most important aspects of running a business is to have a solid grasp of the numbers.  Crunching numbers can seem daunting, but it is necessary to know important facts such as how much it costs you to produce the goods that you sell and whether your venture is profitable, or not.

1. Do you know what your operating costs are?

Operating costs are broken down into two parts; Fixed Costs & Variable costs.

Fixed costs are the payments which stay the same each month.  These costs include Rent, Depreciation, Insurance, Interest expense, Property taxes, and Office Salaries.

Variable costs are the payments that change with your sales each month. For example, sales commissions, production labor, and materials.

Once you’ve determined your operating costs, take the opportunity to assess the necessity of each cost or if there are ways to reduce them by seeking out new vendors or requesting bulk purchase discounts.

2. Do you know how much your company earns every month?

To run a business effectively, you need to know how much your company earns every month. This is done by subtracting your operating costs from your top line revenues.  Revenues are made up of accrued sales or cash receipts.

Where do you find the time for all this in your already busy schedule?  The OCI Group is here to help you with the tasks that you don’t have time or staff to deal with.

We can also help you to identify ways that your company can save money and increase its potential for growth.  Click here to find out more about how we can save you from a financial headache.

Time management tips: 3 top strategies to recharge and transform your time

time management

There are many books, blogs and articles out there telling you how to manage your time to make you more productive.  We are going to save you time and break it down into 3 simple tips that when put into practice will add the additional hours you need a day.

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Tips for workplace motivation

motivation

There are many times during the year that the workplace tends to get stressful and morale among employees starts to drop.  Once the morale starts to drop, motivation to get things done lowers and people stop being productive and no longer produce great results.  When this happens it is important to concentrate on keeping your employees motivated.

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5 Tips on managing deadlines

deadlines

Being able to keep on top of your deadlines is very important as it is the first step in honing your skills and boosting your OWN productivity in the workplace.  Using self-inflicted deadlines will give you the edge and make you stand out of the crowd.  They will boost your creativity and your energy because you know you only have a certain amount of time to get the job done.

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5 Tips to help you de-stress for the holidays

holidays

With the end of the year holidays looming around the corner, not everyone is excited.  The gloomy weather and upcoming family visits are just some of the things that can add unnecessary stress.  In the winter season, symptoms of stress and depression may increase due to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  Whether you are one of the millions who struggle with SAD or the winter blues, here are some tips to help you avoid or alleviate this kind of stress and depression that comes with the holidays.

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