Are you losing your focus?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

'Have you lost your work mojo?' Stuff's Business Day reports that 'most of us at some stage in our careers or jobs lose that oomph'.

It's no coincidence that I came across this article while looking at the sun from our office window and contemplating getting a coffee (Mojo funnily enough) to boost my productivity!

As an independent business owner you drive your business and probably can't afford a lull in motivation, whether that's yourself or any employees you may have. So given the long hike through winter is over and the long awaited Labour Day holiday is around the corner it's time to dust yourself off, have a spring clean of your mind and regain focus.

Since the Happiness Institute is offering advice I thought I would refer back to a copy of redline magazine and add our ten cents worth to give your business brain a boost:

  • Remember why you started your business in the first place.
  • Remember how passionate you were when you first started your business.
  • Review your goals and tick off your achievements.
  • Think about the direction of your company, what it needs and go for it.

And if you have employees consider their current state of mind and invest some time in keeping them upbeat. Take 5 minutes a day to come together and talk about something other than work. We are in agreement here, in the Business Markets team at New Zealand Post House, that when we come together as a team for the 5 minute quiz we go away refreshed and work much harder afterwards.

What are your tips?

Thinking about e-tiquette

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Last night Fair Go reported that 'unsolicited mail or spam is the scourge of our email inboxes' following a consumer's frustration at being targeted without subscribing for information.

I have been wondering for some time whether businesses are becoming complacent about communicating by email, even with customers' permission. I know my inbox is starting to get out of hand and even when I have requested more information I don’t necessarily want to hear from companies as frequently as I do! I'm not the only one!

Email is instant which is tempting if you are an independent business with a number of jobs to get through each day, especially if you are the business and you personally have to do all of those jobs. But just because it's instant doesn't mean it's necessarily the right communication tool for your business or your customers. In the case reported by Fair Go, we can see that if you get it wrong, maybe through lack of time, your professionalism can be called into question.

When it comes to mail we've had decades to learn caution about what we put in a letter or direct mail piece to ensure we don’t come across as 'junk'. I know I rarely receive mail that's not addressed or of interest to me.

With this wake up call I think it's time to remind ourselves of netiquette guidelines and recap on the business and professional boundaries when it comes to email. Not forgetting the law of course, you shouldn't even be emailing customers without inferred consent (the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007). But even if you can email your customers think about whether you should. Are you emailing your customers because it's easy for you, did you give them a choice to hear from you any other way?

Most of all, whether it's a letter, a phone call, a tweet or an email, always be respectful of your customers' consent to contact them, they will soon revoke it if you don't. It's the age old - treat others as you'd like to be treated yourself. The success of your company depends on how your customers perceive your business.

On that note, let us know if you'd like to receive redline magazine in the post, you’d like to unsubscribe or even get email updates of the latest posts - it's your choice. Tell us your thoughts.