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How to be more productive with less resources

    • 1 posts
    October 21, 2008 2:06 PM EDT
    As pocketbooks tighten in our changing economy, business owners and
    solo-preneurs are asked to do more with less. So how can small business
    owners become even more productive with less time, people-power and
    resources than ever before? 

    Here are some ideas to help you be more productive with fewer

    Deliver Anytime, Anywhere Access to Your Employees and Clients 

    Who among us still works a traditional eight-hour day? More with less
    means giving employees and clients freedom to access information the
    way they want it, when they want it, and for as long as they need it. Many
    robust and affordable solutions are on the market to help teams
    collaborate in and around the demands of life. Services like Basecamp
    and CentralDesktop offer feature-rich online solutions that give visibility
    to critical tasks, milestones, announcements and file postings to the
    people you select. This allows business leaders to sequentially engage top
    talent and enhance meaningful communication among internal and
    external teams. The ability to support the most demanding non-
    traditional schedule allows you to do more with less administrative
    oversight cost and non-focused resource use. 

    Hire Subject Matter Experts 

    Remember the small-town stories of the Mayor, who was also Police
    Chief, Fire Marshall, Tax Collector and operated a landscaping business
    on the side? We can only imagine the level of quality, timeliness, service,
    and delivery. As the old saying goes; you can have it CHEAP and GOOD,
    but it won`t be QUICK; GOOD and QUICK and it won`t be CHEAP; or CHEAP
    and QUICK and it won`t be GOOD. Doing more with less requires business
    leaders to make wise resource decisions because many of us cannot
    afford the high cost of a good price. 

In our 15-year practice, we have
    found Guru and Sologig to be good resources for identifying full-time,
    subject matter experts and passionate moonlighters that have saved us
    valuable time and resources because they were task focused. Both
    systems require you to clearly identify your resource need, qualifiers and
    expected deliverables that sets up you to hit the ball out of the park on
    the first swing. 

    Consider a Virtual Assistant 

    Much like subject matter experts, virtual assistants (VA) provide
    administrative support to business leaders on an hourly (or as needed)
    basis without the expense, liability or overhead of a full time resource.
    Talents, experience and offerings vary considerably among VA`s and
    building the relationship, expectations, and preferences takes time. VA`s
    generally provide their own technology and software, however, enabling
    them to contribute quickly to your bottom-line. 

    Make time to Reflect, Reevaluate and Rejuvenate 

    For many of us fortunate enough to labor in fields we love, our work can
    be all consuming. The unyielding cycle of concept, strategy and execution
    often leaves little time to reflect on business performance, reevaluate and
    realign critical resources, and rejuvenate our minds and bodies
    sufficiently enough to make decisions born only from our own vantage
    points. Many business leaders have found professional business coaches
    to be valuable resources when navigating how to be more productive with
    less resources.

    Darrin S. Devereaux is president, strategy management and customer
    development at Executive Coaching Group, a strategy visibility and
    velocity solutions company based in Atlanta, GA. ECG provides process
    and performance improvement training, coaching, consulting and
    assessment services for clients nationwide

    Darrin S. Devereaux, MBB, CMSA
    Executive Coaching Group