Jane Sunley is CEO of learnpurple who are experts in enabling SMEs to transform their organisations through their people. She is also the author of people bible, ‘Purple your People – the secrets to inspired, happy, more profitable people’ which can be purchased here.
Making things happen, not getting tied up in the small stuff – that’s what successful organisations do. They set achievable goals, visualise the journey and imagine time and time again what it’ll be like when they achieve. They spend the right amount of time planning so they can deliver effectively; making the desired impact. As an SME it is vital to adopt a similar attitude in order to reach the goals successfully. Here are our top tips:
1. Know the end goal
Knowing where you are going is core for an overall big picture view for your organisation. You wouldn’t head off on a trip without knowing where you were heading and how you were getting there; so why risk being uncertain with your own business?
2. Have obvious objectives
Delivering a big picture view can sometimes seem quite daunting. Therefore you need to break down your vision into manageable chunks; tackling them a piece at a time. For this to happen, goals and objectives must be SMARTER:
•Specific – we’ll sell 100,000 footballs
•Measurable – turnover will increase by 12% year on year
•Achievable – whilst it’s great to have aspirations, these need to be realistic.
•Relevant – to the success of the organisation and within the remit of its people
•Timed – our organisation will a fifth office by 01st June 2013
•Engaging – if we do this and do this well it will put us over target and we can celebrate!
•Reviewed – progress will be checked at twice monthly, reviewed and the plan adapted accordingly
3. Urgent vs. important
To make things happen you have to prioritise. Think about urgent vs important in everything you do. It might be easier or more fun to do the not urgent, not important work; however this means you often fail to do the stuff that really makes a difference.
4. Manage your time better
Self-discipline is the most important factor in time management. Use brain dumps to get everything out of your head and onto a list so you can use your brain to think. Break big tasks down and allocate adequate time to complete. Prevent interruptions by switching off email, being assertive and saying no and taking yourself to a quiet area to work.
5. Delegate, delegate, delegate
Delegating appropriately provides a massive opportunity to win more time, develop others, provide motivation, build trust and assist with succession planning.
To delegate effectively:
•Define the task or responsibility to be undertaken
•Decide who’s best for the job. Explain the ‘why’ and agree what a good result looks like
•Set deadlines and milestones
•Leave well alone – very important
•Review, feedback, celebrate and say thank you
In a small business it may be that you do not have another person to delegate to – this is where you need to become a master of self-management by using effective time management and prioritisation.