Accelerate

What to Do The Hour Before The Doors Open

Posted by Red Butler Team on 02/ 24/ 16

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Most people work most efficiently when they are not distracted. Therefore, productivity goals can be more easily reached if you have a large chunk of undistracted time to get things done. This is challenging in today's world, since we are never "away from the office"- our cellphones keep us connected 24/7. So how does one reclaim distraction-free work time? We have a simple suggestion.

 


 

Go to work an hour before "opening time", but turn your cellphone off. Use this hour to sort and prioritize your inbox,  take care of a project on your computer, or work on a large project without distractions.  If you will be tempted to check email or surf the internet, use an app which will lock those programs for a specified amount of time. 

On Mondays, plan even more time if you have a very intense week ahead of you.  Get to work an hour and a half early to do your planning and prep.  Don't forget to delegate everything you can to Red Butler's executive virtual assistant services.  Here are some ideas of things you can delegate. Also, make sure you take a lunch break so your afternoon is also productive.

By taking some extra time before the day "officially" starts, you will be setting you and your team up for success. 

 


 

Since 2005, our high-performance executive clients have helped Red Butler continuously improve our service model. Today our clients enjoy the service quality of an experienced in-house executive support team for less than the cost of one additional hire.

 

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Topics: Productivity Tips, Best Practices

Why You Should Delegate Daily

Posted by Red Butler Team on 01/ 27/ 16

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Businesses typically neglect to delegate when they get caught up in the day to day running of the business. The problem with this is that tasks can start to accumulate. To-do lists gets perpetually longer, and before you know it, work is being brought home, or worse, weekends become work days. Ready for change? We have a quick and easy solution. 

 


 

Tasks which sit in your inbox day after day, or even longer, can sap your energy. These tasks are most likely things you do not enjoy doing.  It is best to move it along, so you can stay focused on more important things. If you do not have a system set up to automatically filter these types of tasks to someone else, we have a few suggestions to get started.

In previous posts, we have detailed how to set your office up so you can make delegation part of your workflow. This is the key to productivity. The first step  involves your inbox, and should be done each morning:

1. Organize your inbox each morning into 3 categories- Later, Now, and Delegate. Resist the temptation to start working on tasks as you come across them but instead finish your entire in-box sorting first.

Once you deliberately start separating your work this way, it is easy to delegate.  Most tasks to be delegated can be handled by Red Butler. Our executive virtual assistant services are here to help you reach your goals. If you are not yet a member, it is easy to get started.  Read more about how other businesses have used us here

Once you are in the habit of delegating, you should find that you have more time, and you are not bringing work home as often. Read here to find out more about what to delegate.

 


 

Since 2005, our high-performance executive clients have helped Red Butler continuously improve our service model. Today our clients enjoy the service quality of an experienced in-house executive support team for less than the cost of one additional hire.

 

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Topics: Best Practices, Tasks to Delegate

The Abbreviated Morning Meeting

Posted by Red Butler Team on 01/ 19/ 16

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If you work in a team environment, then you have an opportunity to reconnect with your team every day and reach short term goals faster. 

 


 

Many businesses suffer from closed door syndrome- everyone is hunkered down in their office, either on phone calls or working on tasks in their in-boxes. At first glance, it would seem a lot of work is getting done, but a closer look would reveal that productivity is not at its peak when this is the working style of the office.  Why? Because creativity cannot flow through a closed system. Here is a way to re-invent the start of your workday, and bring new energy to the office:

Hold a 5 minute meeting every morning in a common area such as your lobby (if guests are not present).  The purpose of the meeting is to discuss short term goals and urgent business.  That's it. 

1. Bring numbers off your income statement which will tell the team what exactly the short term goals are. If no one knows what the short term goals are, then you are nearly guaranteed not reach those goals. 

2. After stating the number goal for the week, name 3 things which need to be done today to accomplish this goal. Assign these three tasks to specific people.

3. Summarize any news- client issues which may come up that day, large orders, etc.  Ask if anyone has input or news to share. Remind everyone to delegate when possible.

Keep the meeting as close to 5 minutes as possible then dismiss.

If there are issues which come up that need more attention than 5 minutes can handle, take care of it after the meeting, in a meeting room or office. 

You will find that your team looks forward to the morning meetings, and they will bring valuable (yet brief) input. This is turn will spur creative thinking and boost everyone's creativity.

 


 

 

Since 2005, our high-performance executive clients have helped Red Butler continuously improve our service model. Today our clients enjoy the service quality of an experienced in-house executive support team for less than the cost of one additional hire.

 

Get Started

 


 

Topics: Productivity Tips, Best Practices

3 Business Habits to Start the New Year Off Right

Posted by Red Butler Team on 12/ 24/ 15
 

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The New Year brings with it the excitement of new possibilities.  Small businesses can use this time to strategize, refocus, and start new habits which will pour new energy into the business.  Do you need to be more productive? Here are three habits to get started on the right track.

 


 

Setting goals and then following through creates successful habits.  Here are three habits which you may find useful for the next year:

1.  Just as you might get a trainer for the gym to help you reach your fitness goals, business fitness is important too. Consider using a small business mentor to help you strategize and reach higher goals,  The SBA has mentors through their program called SCORE, and it is a free service.  

2. Make delegation a daily habit.  Every morning, consider work that can be delegated.   Empowering others on your team to handle your extra workload will make your whole team stronger.  Your team can delegate work to Red Butler, making it possible to boost productivity for everyone. Here are 10 resolutions you can start delegating to Red Butler.

3. Schedule breaks. Take an hour and schedule daily, weekly, monthly breaks.  These aren't vacations. They are pauses in your day to get recharged. Taking breaks will enable you to stay focused when you are working, and will help with your work life balance. 

These three habits are a few ways you can increase productivity in your business.  For even bigger boosters in productivity, turn to Red Butler's virtual assistant services. We can help you reach your goals in 2016.

 


 

Since 2005, our high-performance executive clients have helped Red Butler continuously improve our service model. Today our clients enjoy the service quality of an experienced in-house executive support team for less than the cost of one additional hire.

 

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Topics: Best Practices

3 Spaces to Use for Work While on Vacation

Posted by Red Butler Team on 12/ 23/ 15

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Most small business owners have to take working vacations at some point while their business grows. Having a plan will help you be more efficient and also maximize your free time.  You can stay productive even while enjoying a much deserved break from the office.  

We suggest using distraction free spaces to work in while on vacation so you can work more efficiently and have more free time.

 


 

A separation of work space from leisure space is important so you can enjoy your leisure time to the fullest. Here are three distraction-free spaces where you can get your work done quicker so you can have more free time:

1. Find a short term rental space where you can work.  There are short term office rental spaces all over the world, and many have offices you can rent for an hour, day, or week.  These spaces also usually have office supplies, so if you need to make copies, send faxes, or even use a desktop computer, they may have that available.

2. Use the local library.  Nearly every town has a local library, and they usually have study rooms or big tables for use. If you prefer a more comfortable setting, they usually also have large comfortable chairs.  This is an especially convenient resource to use if you are staying at someone's home. 

3. The hotel business space or lounge.  Nearly every hotel has quiet areas where you can get some laptop work done.  Check with your concierge for out of the way places to work where you won't be disturbed.  It may be tempting to work poolside, but if you are traveling with family it may be better to do your work quickly inside the hotel, then join them at the pool for fun. 

No matter where you decide to get work done, we encourage you to make the most of your vacation by minimizing the amount of time you are working, and enjoy each moment of vacation. Here are 3 more ways to keep your vacation filled with more fun and less work:

1. Delegate what you can before you go on vacation to help lighten your load.

2. Use Red Butler's virtual assistant services to work on tasks while you are away. Here are some things you can delegate to Red Butler while you are away.

3. Schedule very specific time each day to get work done so it doesn't take over your vacation.

 


 

Since 2005, our high-performance executive clients have helped Red Butler continuously improve our service model. Today our clients enjoy the service quality of an experienced in-house executive support team for less than the cost of one additional hire.

 

Get Started

 


 

Topics: Best Practices, Travel

How to Use a Virtual Assistant to Finish the Year Strong

Posted by Red Butler Team on 11/ 17/ 15

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With Just a month left before the new year, it's time to implement last minute strategies to finish the year strong.  It's not too late to make a few changes to increase your productivity.  Red Butler has tools you can put in place today which will have an immediate impact.  We highlight a few here.  We also offer quite a few other services, which you can find detailed on our services page here.

 


 

Red Butler knows it takes a team to get large projects completed, and that even the most seasoned, well-running teams need support time to time.  This is especially true during peak vacation times.  Rather than expecting a lull in productivity during the holidays, why not work on a project you have been putting on the back burner? Here are 5 types of projects which you can delegate to Red Butler during the holidays (or anytime):

1.  Team support- Red Butler's exclusive team portal will help keep your team productive every month, but especially during crunch times. Want more details about this exciting productivity booster?  Read about how the team portal works here

2. Research oriented tasks- Red Butler Virtual Assistants can compile information and put it into a format you can use. 

3. Database building- We can put together spreadsheets with information, or enter information into an existing database

4. Phone calls- Count on Red Butler to make calls for you and your team. We will set appointments for during the holiday season and beyond.

5. Analysis - When you need something analyzed, just let us know the parameters and we will do the research then enter it into whatever format you need. 

We have highlighted a few ways you can use our executive virtual assistants to boost your productivity through the holidays. If there is a project you are working on which needs extra support, just give us a call and we can talk with you about how our virtual assistant services can help you get the job done.

If you are too busy to take care of your personal to-do list, then delegate it to Red Butler.  Here are 25 holiday tasks you can delegate to a Red  Butler Virtual Assistant.

 


 

Since 2005, our high-performance executive clients have helped Red Butler continuously improve our service model. Today our clients enjoy the service quality of an experienced in-house executive support team for less than the cost of one additional hire.

 


 

Topics: Best Practices, Tasks to Delegate

4th Quarter To-Do List for Entrepreneurs

Posted by Red Butler Team on 10/ 01/ 15

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4th Quarter is here.  December 31st will arrive in a flash.  With a little extra strategic planning, your business will be set up to finish the year as strong as possible.  Consider implementing this list to begin your end of the year wrap-up.

  


 

Here are five items, from 5 areas of your business, wich you can add to your to-do list. These may help you to not only stay productive in the 4th quarter, but also strengthen your end of the year operations:

  1. HR: 4th Quarter has more holidays than any other quarter. Anticipating employee time off is critical to maintaining smooth day to day operations. Meet with HR to finalize days your business will be closed, and let employees know they can go ahead and request time off needed through the end of the year. This extra time will make scheduling conflicts more manageable. 
  2. Financial: Meet with a CPA to verify all the yearly reporting requirements have been met and set up any paperwork required for year-end. Review financials.  Here are 4 financial tasks you can delegate.
  3. Employee Happiness: Check in with all employees either in person or by phone for end of year feedback. 
  4. Clients: Verify all client accounts are current.  Review client accounts to anticipate their upcoming needs for 4th quarter and beyond. Call or email clients to check in for feedback.
  5. IT: Review technology being used in the company and consider whether there are options which could boost productivity. Take a look at security processes to verify it the company is using the best option for the size and type of business and the types of transactions which take place.

 We hope this list helps you start working on end of the year tasks which impact your bottom line. 

 


 

Since 2005, our high-performance executive clients have helped Red Butler continuously improve our service model. Today our clients enjoy the service quality of an experienced in-house executive support team for less than the cost of one additional hire.

 


 

Topics: Best Practices

Entrepreneurs - Add This to Your Weekly To-Do List

Posted by Red Butler Team on 09/ 29/ 15

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Growing businesses find themselves squeezed for time every week, with not enough hours to accomplish everything they need to do. Many small businesses do not have an accountant, and only meet with a CPA once a year, when it is time to do taxes.  It is easy to let financial analysis go off to the side, and only get done at month end.  We offer a solution to this challenge.

 


 

We suggest that in order to keep a proper pulse on financials, they should be looked at daily.  Here is how to quickly incorporate financial analysis into your weekly to-do list:

1. If you are in the habit of making a weekly to do list, then your first step is complete. If not, it doesn't have to be complex.  You can either have an electronic list, or a simple paper one (notebooks work great for this).

2. Analyze your financials each Friday afternoon, and for the next week set your target goals. Productivity is maximized when you are proactive. Here are four financial tasks you can delegate to a Red Butler executive virtual assistant services.

3. Run your financial statements on a daily basis each morning to be sure you are on track for the week. If you need to, you can then make adjustments in operations for the week. If you are not sure what statements to run, talk to your CPA about how to get a daily "snapshot" of your financial picture.

By adding daily financial analysis to your weekly to-do list, you will be able to know at all times the financial health of the business so you can forecast more accurately for the week, month, and quarter. As a result, you will be more productive in every aspect of the business.

 


 

Since 2005, our high-performance executive clients have helped Red Butler continuously improve our service model. Today our clients enjoy the service quality of an experienced in-house executive support team for less than the cost of one additional hire.

 

Learn More

 


 

Topics: Best Practices, Tasks to Delegate

The Secret to Successful Calendar Integration

Posted by Red Butler Team on 09/ 14/ 15

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Is your calendar in need of more attention? Red Butler will access your web based calendar on Google, Outlook or your preferred web based calendaring solution. We'll organize your calendar, contact clients, set up conference calls and much more.

 


 

 A hectic schedule doesn’t have to mean not having any free time. Red Butler can help you get your calendar organized and free up some time for those things which bring you more work-life balance. The secret to successful calendar integration is to provide Red Butler's Executive Virtual Assistants details and preferences about your schedule and include everything. Delegate this task and see your productivity increase.

Here are some more tips for successful calendar integration with Red Butler:

1. Decide what calendar(s) you want to integrate.  If you are not using a web based calendar, we are happy to discuss with you which one may be the best fit for your needs.

2. Is it counterproductive to look at your calendar because it isn't organized?  We will get it organized for you and suggest times each day you could block out time for yourself to go to the gym, take walks, go to lunch, and more. We can color code your personal items and include family events, doctor appointments, etc. 

3. Have you scheduled all your maintenance appointments for the year? Whether it is for you, your car, or Fido, we can get you scheduled and get the details into your calendar. If you need help finding a place to go, we can do the research and make recommendations.

4. Do you need meetings or calls set up? Just provide us with the details and we will take care of the rest.  We can contact clients, and set up meetings or conference calls.

5. If you have meeting needs like food and beverage service, we can handle those details.  Just provide us your budget and we will order everything and coordinate with the on-site person to make sure everything is taken care of in a timely manner.  We will find you meeting space options if needed.  All these details will be in your calendar so you know exactly what to expect.

6.  Calendar integration is especially handy when we plan your travel.  Give us details about your trip, and we will get everything booked for you and eneter it all in your calendar so you don't get overbooked.  If there is a conflict we will alert you to it and reschedule meetings or calls as needed. 

Keeping your calendar current and organized will free up more time for you to focus on more critical business items.  You can trust Red Butler's experienced team of executive virtual assistants to take care of your calendar and help you find more free time.

Here are some more ways you can use Red Butler to increase productivity.

 


 

Since 2005, our high-performance executive clients have helped Red Butler continuously improve our service model. Today our clients enjoy the service quality of an experienced in-house executive support team for less than the cost of one additional hire.

 

 


 

Topics: Productivity Tips, Best Practices, Tasks to Delegate

3 Reasons to Never Vacation

Posted by Red Butler Team on 07/ 04/ 15

 

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One thing many businesses have in common is that their management staff doesn't take vacations. Real vacations, not working vacations; the type of vacation in which one forgets what day of the week it is, and the cellphone is locked in a room safe.

We consider 3 things which may happen if you are in management and never take a "real" vacation.


 

1. Your staff will always be dependant on you to make decisions. If you are never gone, your staff will not feel completely trusted to run the business and make decisions without you.  This can keep them from reaching their growth potential. You may be surprised who shines when you are away for a short time, and what new ideas to fuel business growth emerge.

2. By never taking a complete break from the office, you will not know how well your business runs without you. A business should to be tested so it can change and grow stronger. If you have processes in place to make things run smoothly day to day, taking a little time off now and then should not have a big impact on your business.  Micro-managing a business can hinder growth and also make employees unhappy.

3. You won't learn great delegating. To be able to have a real vacation, you will need to delegate all your work to your team while you are away. They should be able to handle the day-to-day running of  your business in your absence.  Of course there may be certain key clients/vendors you need to inform ahead of time that you will be gone, but your team should be capable of running the business in your absence.

When you get back from vacation, check in wth everyone and see how it went.  You can use their feedback to improve processes.  The trust you place in your employees while you are away will not be forgotten.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Since 2005, our high-performance executive clients have helped Red Butler continuously improve our service model. Today our clients enjoy the service quality of an experienced in-house executive support team for less than the cost of one additional hire.  

 


 

Topics: Best Practices, Travel