Awards & Engraving

March '20

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A&E MARCH 2020 • a-e-mag.com 25 acquiring and keeping loyal customers. My husband, Dave, considers his KIT (keep in touch) plan to be the best way to "make new friends and keep the old." I consider March to be a true test of the business resolutions we made back on January 1st. It's the end of the first calendar quarter, and by now, most industry com- panies are gearing up for the busy season. It's a good time to do a reality check on your year-to-date sales. The world-famous "philosopher" Yogi Berra once said, "If you don't know where you are going, you might wind up some- place else." Quarterly progress checks (if not monthly, weekly, or daily) can help to ensure the company winds up where it wants to be at year-end. Progress checks can also help you avoid wearing a firefighter's hat too often. ORGANIZATION TIPS Managing time and tasks can get more challenging as we all enter the busy season. It gets harder and harder to focus on doing things right when everything needs to be done now. To make things flow better, from order origination to completion, I've asked an expert business advisor friend for some good advice. Here are some of his suggestions: • Organize paperwork. Find an orga- nizational system that works for you and put it in writing. Part of this is the need to separate work by due date or customer project. I remember an industry friend who used to say they always had "traveling orders" — orders that always seemed to get lost in the shuffle. It's wise to avoid this. • Tackle unwanted projects first. These are the ones that we dread and always seem to get put off until dead- line. These are also the ones that will come back to haunt you. • Finish one task before starting another. Multi-tasking is out. Uni- tasking is in. Focus complete atten- tion on each task until done and then move on to the next one. • Handle each piece of paperwork, email, text, or phone message once. This helps minimize waste and gives more time for productive activities that actually bring in the money. • Begin projects with the plan to finish on time. While we know that sometimes our customers throw a monkey wrench into the flow of an order with changes, etc., keep the finish line where it's supposed to be. • Don't put off equipment mainte- nance because you are too busy. Have back-up plans in case of machine failure. • You can't do it all. Train staff now, before the busy time. • Empty the "in basket" before leaving work each day. I know a few people whose in-baskets are the entire desk… sometimes many of us are that way too. Sales & Marketing

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