Is working from different places causing your head to spin and affecting your productivity? If you're like me and have an office at home (which can shift from the actual office, to the kitchen table, to the lounge room) but also go out to meet people, attend networking meetings and seminars regularly (with the added tendency to be slightly disorganized) things can get a little crazy. So here are some things you can do to help keep your mind and hand bag clear of clutter
1. Capture the Inspiration
You’re an entrepreneur so inspiration is all around you and ideas are constantly flowing. You need to be ready to capture and record that brilliant idea as it enters your creative mind. But if you're on the freeway or about to drop the kids off at school, how are you going to remember your idea, to then plant the seed and grow it into something beautiful, ready to nourish your tribe?
Say it - Use the voice recorder on your phone, dictate, discuss with yourself and play it back when you’re ready to expand or develop the idea. This also works well for getting your pitch, bio or introduction right. If you can say it and comfortably hear it played back, even be excited by what you're hearing, then you’re going to get up in front of a group of people or speak to a complete stranger with confidence - this whole article was recorded driving home from work on a Friday night! 5 recordings, each one approximately 60 seconds long can be expanded into paragraphs very easily
Write it - Have a small note pad & pen on hand all the time. One in your hand bag and one in the centre console or door pocket (where the map used to go) in your car, if you’re driving along, pull over and jot it down. Using a sticky note pad means you can tear it off and stick it somewhere in plain view, when you arrive home or at the office stick it in your ideas book, action folder or blog ideas, whatever the case may be
2. Learning on the go
You may have heard of people referring to their car as a ‘mobile university’. Don’t waste hours in the car being shouted at by mind-numbing commercial messages. Mp3’s or CDs played in your car allow you to choose the information you take in. Perhaps learn about one topic per month or just get your hands on whatever you feel would be beneficial at the time. It might be finance, marketing, sales, public speaking or maybe something more aligned to the spiritual realm – with today’s technology the amount of free podcasts or educational CDs for sale on the market is endless. You’ll always be able to find something that’s right for that particular road trip, even if its 10 minutes up the road.
Try downloading some of the Small Business Big Marketing Podcasts to get you started
3. Have a piece of yourself ready to give out
A business card, post card, flyer, some form of marketing material that will allow you to give something to a person you’ve just met. People love functional materials that aren’t just going to sit in their office and eventually end up as landfill, something that gives them information that will help them in their day to day lives. For example if you sell fruit & veg then some tips for storing them or a fridge magnet with what’s in season means you are adding value and they have your name and phone number or website as a first point of reference when they want more information or to make a purchase. These may not be convenient to carry around in your hand bag (see No. 5) so consider having a small box of bits and pieces in your car all the time
4. Use your SMART phone
Is your smart phone overwhelmingly smart?? Most of us have a smart phone, but don't use it to except to make calls, texts and check facebook. Becoming familiar with the functions and utilising them to their full capacity can make a huge difference in your level of productivity when you're out and about.
Make sure your website is mobile 'friendly' and you can show your site off to anyone, anywhere.
If you have an iPad that is not connected to the internet while you're out and about (i.e. you don't have an internet plan for your iPad), you should be able to quickly and easily use your phone to connect you up (use it as a wifi hotspot). Now you can show anyone, anywhere, on a bigger device and you look like a pro. Know how to do it on the fly, in a few simple steps and you'll definitely impress the person you're speaking to. If you have no idea what any of this means then ask the IT person in your family (teenager or husband??) or go into the apple or telco shop you are with and ask for a lesson
5. Collect and follow up
If you've been given someone else’s business card or flyer during an interaction, ask them if you can email them a link to your website or free e-Book.
Why is this a part of the mobile office blog? Well, are you finding business cards floating around in your hand bag weeks later and you wonder why or how you have them? You must be prepared with a system that allows you to follow people up.
Once you've met someone and you think you’d like to continue a business relationship with them, don’t expect THEM to follow up, consider that the ball is always in your court and understand that it may take several points of contact (in fact SIX is the magic number) with a new person before they will commit to taking the next step and become a client or customer. Consistency is the key.
ONE. The initial meeting or phone call where you ask for permission to send them some information about you
TWO. You follow up with an email with a link to your newsletter subscription which will give them access to download your FREE e-Book
THREE. The e-Book arrives and gets read – this contains links back to different resources on your website and facebook pages. Obviously it’s so full of gold nuggets and gems that it also enhances their personal or business life in some way!!
FOUR. Your next monthly newsletter goes to their inbox – this may have a YouTube clip or link to join the FREE webinar – more value, more of YOU they get to know
FIVE. They LIKE your facebook page & read your posts, maybe even like, comment or share if they’re engaging and informative
SIX. Receive the next monthly newsletter & visit your store or go to your website to book for an event or make a purchase, whatever the case may be
You've initiated all this simply by asking permission to send them some (NON-SPAMMY) information. They've now entered your world and you’re adding value to theirs. It’s become a mutually beneficial relationship!!
6. Always forgetting your essentials?
Your 'day to day' hand bag may contain your ‘Mum’ stuff (a spare nappy, paw paw ointment aka Magic Cream, and some wipes – even kids who are past the nappy stage need wipes!!). It’s just too hard to carry everything in one bag unless of course you’re towing around a granny trolley everywhere you go. Our shoulders & spine just weren't meant to bear all that uneven weight and we know the bigger the bag the more we fill it so if you’re not into the ‘going to the market’ look of the granny trolley, we need to lighten the load. If you’re going to a business or networking meeting, perhaps you’re so busy rushing out the door that you always forget to throw in your note pad or top up your business cards which means you aren't prepared to begin the process outlined in number 3!!
So what’s the answer to this dilemma? Have a WORK bag and a PLAY bag!
Your Play (or day to day) hand bag will have whatever it always has (but could probably have less!!) with a few business cards in the side pocket for emergencies.
Your Work hand bag will probably look a bit more professional and have your business cards in a beautiful holder, your iPad or note book & pen (perhaps both), your extended marketing material (a few flyers/magnets etc.) some lippy, lip balm, lip gloss (don’t forget the lips), hand cream and deodorant (may never be used, but in the middle of summer it could just make you feel better knowing it’s there!!), you could go as far as having a USB stick (I don’t know what for but it’s a bit like the deodorant). It really all depends on what you do. Now, when you leave the house it doesn't matter where you’re going because you’re prepared for any situation. All you have to do is a quick glance/stock take of the essential contents and add your other 4 essential items for going places: phone, purse, sunnies and of course, keys and off you go with a smile on your face prepared for any situation
Now you're prepared to capture your ideas, learn on the go and actively engage anyone who comes your way!