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What staff can do to help boost agency profits

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article | What staff can do to help boost agency profitsWorking in an agency can be a fantastic experience, but unless you work in sales or account management it can feel like there isn’t much you can do to help the company achieve better profits. Actually this doesn’t have to be the case at all, and there is plenty that you can do help your company be more of a success financially.

Make yourself accountable

There can be a problem at all levels of agencies where members of staff do not feel like they are accountable for the success of the company. In fact, everyone at the business has a role to play in ensuring the success of the organisation, and it is up to individuals to make themselves accountable to this fact.

For managers, the issue may be that there is no one to check to make sure they are accountable to the things they say they are going to do. For other members of staff, they may not feel that what they do can have a financial impact. However, as we will see, this is not true.

Find cost savings

There is a misconception around company profits with members of staff, and this is that the easiest way to boost them is by making more money. Of course, no-one is doubting this as a concept, but it hides the fact that there are other opportunities. One of the most important ways that you, as an employee, can improve your company profits is by spending less money.

If you can find cost savings in your department or your role, those savings act as pure profit for the company. That is money that was being spent before and is now no longer being spent. Consider where you and your department spends its money and look for ways you can reduce it.

Provide management with ideas and information

Don’t lose sight of the fact that you are the person who does your job every day, which means that you understand it better than anyone else in the company. That means those things that might seem completely obvious to you, may also be completely obscured to those in management. This puts the onus on you to provide your management with any ideas and information that could help you do your job, or help the business succeed.

Often it is the day-to-day activities that actually make the biggest difference to a business’ bottom line. So don’t be afraid to voice your opinion on matters, good management will find it extremely valuable.

Be dedicated and go the extra mile

No matter what your job entails you have options with how you perform it. You can go through the day doing the bare minimum, or you can actually show hard work and dedication. Businesses love engaged staff and it is not just because this means more productive employees – when you show your dedication to the business you are showing your potential for the future.

This means that being that person who goes the extra is not only a great benefit to the company, it also provides you with far better career prospects.

Request training that you’ll actually benefit from

Ask yourself: how many times have you been on a training course where there really doesn’t seem to be much point at all to it? Too often when businesses provide training, they are have actually just followed the ideas of someone who doesn’t really understand what will be a benefit to your team.

Instead you should be proactive. Talk to your manager about the kind of training that you would actually benefit from. Once again this will pay dividends in that you will get the training that can help the business, but it will also provide you with valuable tools and skills to make it easier for you to advance your career.

“One of the biggest issues I see in owner-managed agencies is the gulf in understanding between top managers and their employees/managers. If you hope to bridge this gap, you have to invest in training your future leaders.”

Da Costa Coaching

Stop overservicing

Interesting details from the State of Agency Workflow Management report revealed that nearly half of all agencies revealed a loss of 11% due to overservicing. Overservicing is a term that means that those agencies were delivering work for clients that they were not getting paid for – and that is a major problem.

The old adage ‘time is money’ is never more appropriate than when talking about agencies, and if you are spending your time doing work that no-one is paying you for, then you are wasting both your time and your money.

Why is Education So Important?

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article | Why is Education So Important?We are told throughout our lives that education is important. We are told that it is something we need to take seriously, and something we need to think carefully about. It is a privilege to be able to even have an education, so we should be glad about the one we have. Of course, at a young age when we have to go to school every day, we might not necessarily agree with all of this. But the older we get, the more we realize that it’s completely true. So just what is it that education can give us that makes it so important? Read on to discover just a few examples.

You’ll Have Choices

When you have a good education, you will be able to enjoy many more choices in life. Rather than go down a certain route because that is all your qualifications will allow, a fuller and more well-rounded education will open up many more opportunities to you.

This means you can always find something to do that you will enjoy and having satisfaction in your job and building a career is hugely important — it can also make the rest of your life happier too, which in turn, helps with the work-life balance.

If you find that the route you need to go down requires additional qualifications you can also take an MPath option because of the education you already have. In the end, the more you learn, the better options you have in life, and the happier you will be.

You’ll Be Confident

Being confident in life is a vital part of being successful and moving forward. At the very least, it will ensure you are happy with yourself (which is actually a big thing). Self-confidence will give you the courage to ask for a raise, to apply for a job you might otherwise have thought twice about, to stand up in front of people and give talks and workshops, and to generally be happy to go out and be among others.

When you lack confidence, you can find that you get left behind and that you feel bad about yourself, none of which will help with your mental health.

Having a good education behind you will boost your self-confidence in a number of ways:

  • You will know what you can achieve
  • You will have knowledge of specific sectors and niches
  • You will be more willing to try new things because of past successes

Your Dreams Can Come True

Life can be full of regrets — there are so many people who wish that they had done certain things or been more adventurous, and they regret not having taken the leap. As the saying goes, ‘it is better to try and fail than never to try at all’.

When you have a good education that you can draw from, you are more likely to be able to live your dreams, whatever they might be. This makes life more fun and enjoyable, happier, and worthwhile.

 

Top 5 Skills that Differentiate a Stellar Leader from a Mediocre One – Do You Have Them?

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article | Leadership Skills | Top 5 Skills that Differentiate a Stellar Leader from a Mediocre One – Do You Have Them?There was a time when the great thinkers of this world thought that we all come into being with a specific set of skills. These skills defined our lives and decided who we were going to be even before we’d have a chance of thinking about it.

This led to the idea that some people are born leaders, some are born musicians, and some are born without any special skills (aka the regular ones). Luckily, we know better by now, and even if a natural inclination is important, it’s the skills we acquire that make us who we are.

This means that we have talented people who chose not to develop their natural abilities, and we have determined people who choose to compensate by learning and being consistent.

Now, when it comes to leadership, not everyone is a natural at it. However, if you truly want to be a stellar leader, you can do so by refining your behavior and actions through training, education, and experience.
Today we’ll list the top 5 skills any true leader must have in order to rise above the average and make a difference in their field.

Communication & Empathy

You must be able to inspire the people in your team and the only way to do this is by communicating in a way that lets people know you understand and support their positions. As a leader, you are in charge of guiding the team towards new levels of success but there’s no way to do this without showing empathy and being a good listener.

Verbal communication is crucial in both one-on-one and group meetings, as it creates a strong bond between participants.

Luckily, most of us can learn to get better at communicating their thoughts and making other people feel heard and understood. Nowadays, we have access to a wide array of online business communication courses designed specifically for leadership and management positions.

However, empathy may be a bit more difficult to grasp if you’re not a natural empath. It can be learned, but it requires you to see the world through the eyes of another person, which can be confusing to master.

Integrity & Accountability

If you want people to be honest and work from a moral high ground, you need to be the leading example.

C.S. Lewis once said that “integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” If you invest more in your image than you do in your team and your behavior, things will start to crumble pretty fast.

A good leader must implement a solid foundation and allow team members to grow on their own path. This usually means putting your employees first and being appreciative of their time and efforts. After all, their success is yours as well.

Furthermore, a stellar leader will always support its team and share in both the blame and the success. They will hold themselves accountable for their actions, thus creating a sense of responsibility among team members and gaining their respect.

Resilience

When we talk about great leaders, like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Elon Musk, we only discuss their success stories. However, if we were to read their biographies, we’d learn that they had to overcome increasingly difficult conditions and situations.

Most people would have caved, given the same difficulties, but the stellar leaders of this world plowed through any wall that blocked their way. They had the vision and, even though there were many times of doubt, they never let their teams see this.

Wrap Up

While the skills mentioned above don’t talk about incredible talent or extreme intelligence, they can be difficult to master for most people. We’re not all great communicators and it can be difficult to maintain your integrity when things don’t go your way. Also, keeping yourself accountable and moving forward regardless of difficulties doesn’t sound like that much fun.

However, these are skills that toughen a person’s character, earn their peers’ respect and help create some of the most amazing leaders of our world (past, present, and future)!


About the Author

Oli is a working mum who has a passion for teaching and all things educational. With a background in marketing, Oli manages the digital channels and content at Courses.com.au.

What Other Successful Business Owners Can Teach You

Have you ever considered that, as a business owner, you could learn a lot from other business owners? When it comes to running a company, all the most successful people have learnt from others and you should too. If you’re serious about making a go of your business, you need to be willing to learn from other, more successful business owners, starting now.

You can’t know everything, which is why learning from what others have done is so crucial to your business’s success. After all, if a certain strategy worked for them, then it might also work for you. With that in mind, below are a few examples of the things that other business owners can teach you that can be useful when it comes to your business success.

Steve Jobs

Without a doubt, Steve Jobs was one of the world’s most intelligent people. On top of being incredibly smart, he was also charismatic, and in many instances, it was his charisma that got him far. He had the ability to build excitement and hype around his new products. If you believe in a project, it’s vital that you can communicate your excitement to people.

Richard Branson

Richard Branson is one of the world’s most persistent people. He believes that if you’re passionate about something, it’s crucial that you see it out. Don’t be afraid of long-term projects; be willing to work on things that you know will take time to complete, just like Richard Branson, and various other successful business owners like Fahad Al-Rajaan, do. Persistence is the key to success in business, always remember that.

Mark Zuckerberg

If there is one thing that Mark Zuckerberg is willing to do, it’s embrace change, and you should too. Every time Facebook creates a new interface, its users take a while to adapt to the changes, often bad mouthing them while doing so. However, after a few days, people soon adjust, just like Mark Zuckerberg knew they would.

Bill Gates

College dropout Bill Gates isn’t afraid to break the rules and you shouldn’t be either. When he dropped out of college to start Microsoft, he went against all the rules. It was unheard of for college dropouts to make a success of themselves, but Bill Gates did. Don’t be afraid to break the rules if you think it will help your business’s success. Be brave and take a leap of faith.

When it comes to running a successful business which has huge potential for success, you need to be willing to learn continuously. Just because your business is doing well right now doesn’t mean you don’t need these lessons. After all, if these strategies worked for some of the world’s most successful business owners, surely they can work for you too. It’s just a case of taking the time to implement them and determining whether they can aid your business and its success. Be open to trying new things and your business’s success should soar.

How to Improve your Productivity

Staying motivated and productive can be a major struggle for a lot of people. If you find your attention wavering while you work, then you might just need a boost.

Here are some of the ways that you could boost your productivity, at home and at work.

Reward Yourself

Treating yourself to a small break or snack after you finish a task will keep you pushing forward. Sprint style working, where you work for a set period quickly and then take a break, is big in business for this reason. Treats can be small items, like a snack or a walk around the building, which you can easily fit into your working time.

Set Goals

Setting yourself goals gives you something to work towards. This can be great for keeping you motivated with a larger task, as you can split it into smaller tasks to keep you on track. Being able to check smaller tasks off your lists will make you feel accomplished, instead of slogging towards a larger, overall goal.

Track your Progress

There are lots of online tools that you can use to track yourself and what you’ve managed to complete during the day. Some of them will even allow you to break this down into individual tasks, so you can see which tasks take you the longest. This serves two purposes, you can see what you’ve spent your day on and you can also budget time more accurately for these tasks in future.

Have the Right Equipment

There’s nothing worse than having to undertake a job without the right software or equipment. Even small things, like having the most up to date versions of Word and Excel, can save you time. Dynamics 365 software can be kept up to date by a Dynamics 365 partner to make sure that you always have the right tools to get the job done.

Tackle Undesirable Tasks

The amount of time that you take putting off tasks that you just don’t want to do can be costly. This is a pitfall that we all fall into from time to time, sometimes it’s better for your productivity to face this head on. If you do so, you will get the worst tasks out of the way and you can enjoy the rest of the task with this in mind.

Steer Clear of Distractions

Distractions are the enemy of productivity, so try to keep your workspace clear of them. This could be a digital distraction, like Facebook, or a physical one like your phone. Stay logged out of digital distractions and put any physical ones away where you won’t be as tempted by them. Remember that these are designed to grab your attention, with notifications and pings, so try to avoid them where possible.

Staying productive can be tricky, but if you track your time and push yourself to complete goals then you can keep this motivation up. Take breaks when you need to and come back refreshed, ready to smash the task at hand.