Time Management: Best Practices to Be The Most Productive You

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Time management can be a big issue when you have lots of things going on in your life. Being able to manage your time wisely can be the factor to make or break your success.

Managing ones time is a fairly simple concept:

The planning and organizing of your schedule to make your time as clear and productive as possible. However, as with most, if you are under the pressure to get things done or feeling overwhelmed to complete daily tasks, then you might want to implement a few time management methods to make things run a bit more smoothly for you.

Do I Need Time Management Help?

There are a few ways to tell if you need to implement some time management strategies:

1. You always feel rushed or overwhelmed to get things done

2. You are unable to maintain your focus when working on specific tasks

3. Distractions prevent you from meeting scheduled deadlines

4. You never never have any free time to mediate and regroup

If you are experiencing any of these issues, then it’s time to take a step back and accept that there are going to be distractions, interruptions, and all sorts of challenges; you just have to remember how to deal with them in a way that doesn’t negatively affect your whole day.

Below are a few best practices you can implement to help you stay on track and get things done. These tips will leave you with a sense of accomplishment and the ability to program your day to be more productive.

1). Wake up a little earlier to take time for yourself and actually utilize this time for simply that. No work, chores, children, spouses, etc. Use this time to gather your thoughts, sip your coffee, and completely disconnect for the day ahead. This will set a tone of peace for the day, and allow you to relax and breathe when things occur. Being in a peaceful place will help you make better decisions.

2). Download a To Do List App. This will allow you to create and edit your To Do List throughout the day. A To Do List holds you accountable and gives you a sense of accomplishment as you cross off tasks. Our favorite app is Wunderlist: To Do List & Tasks. This app allows you to create a To Do List for work, home, travel, groceries, etc., and you can share your list with your assistant, employees, family, and friends. For my hands on individuals, the pen and paper method is still very effective.

3). Connect with people that have similar goals as you. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals is a powerful way to help accelerate your steps toward desired goals. When others around you are successful, their success will inspire you to become successful and more productive also.

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How time flies…

4). Hire a Coach or Mentor. Studies show that business owners and individuals who hire a professional coach succeed a lot quicker than they would on their own. Mentors are specifically trained to tweak your game plan and keep you on a productive path. In a nutshell, they hold you accountable by helping you manage your time wisely to make sure you’re doing what you’re supposed to do. If you can’t afford a coach, find someone whom you trust to report to. I don’t know everything, but every millionaire I have ever heard about has a coach.

It’s not unusual to get off track with your time. When you find that you have gotten off course, stop and ask yourself, “Am I being productive?” If not, determine which course of action you can use in the list above that will get you back on track and lead to a more productive day. Our days are filled with so many tasks like attending meetings, working on multiple projects at the same time; plus some of us are trying to juggle school, family, or a home based business as well. It’s not impossible to accomplish everything you set out to do. You simply need to apply time management skills to your everyday life and set a goal to manage your time to be more productive.

The Consulting Experts specializes in time management tips, tools, and resources to help you grow  personally and professionally . We also offer professional coaching and training for individuals and for large or small organizations.

For a FREE, no obligation consultation, simply call 1-800-300-7939.

Don’t forget to sign up for our FREE monthly newsletter where we share all sorts of great information to help you and your company become more productive. When you sign up you’ll automatically gain access to my FREE Special Report, “49 Visual Content and Marketing TipsGet yours NOW!

Business Apps to Enhance Your Business

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Many days as a small business owner you might feel like a one-armed wallpaper hanger with a crazy person for a boss. But this might just be because you are not leveraging technology in your business. When twenty-four hours in a day, is just not enough, it’s time to see if there’s an app for your biggest headache tasks. Fortunately we live in a society that is constantly evolving and providing us with devices and applications to make our lives and businesses run smoothly. Here are the 7 best apps to make your small businesses more productive.

1. Dropbox

Dropbox is a handy app that lets you easily save and retrieve these files on the go. By using smartphones, you can capture video of your excursions, audio clips of speakers at conventions or MP3s to add to the company blog. It is also the household name for group collaboration and cloud storage.

 

2. Due

Chances are that when your new business is launched, you won’t have a colossal staff. If you are lucky you will at least have an accountable secretary. But just in case you don’t, you should take five minutes to check out an app called, Due. It’s a gift from the Gods, programmed and designed for the procrastinators and overly extended entrepreneur.

If you have a meeting or deadline scheduled months away, you have nothing to worry about with the Due app. It’s sort of like the nagging mother of scheduling apps. Reminders and notifications will continue to display on your screen until you mark them as a finished task. You can also postpone certain tasks and remind co-workers of upcoming due dates.

3. Workshare

Workshare is the solution to effortless group collaboration. You no longer have to worry about being the guy who updated his work on the wrong version of the document. Workshareemployees heard your prayers and answered them. Documents can be shared without compromising confidentiality. And as an added bonus, businesses can use the app to compare multiple versions of the same document and also includes an auto sync feature.

 

4. Evernote

This app is the perfect solution when you’re away from the desk and find the perfect article to write about but don’t have the time to research and post on it. Evernote saves Web pages, images, text and voice notes so you can retrieve them when it’s more convenient to research and share your insight with the rest of your company. Evernote is popular with new entrepreneurs and investors for its ease of use and convenience.

 

5. Agenda Maker

Agenda Maker allows users to create an Agenda for a meeting , workshop, conference, or an event. This app has been designed to simplify this process by creating a method to make changes, account for time, and to easily make unexpected changes.

 

6. Meeting Mapper

Meeting Mapper is for the company appointed note taker, who is not so great at taking notes. Meeting Mapper basically outlines everyone involved in your client or business meetings. Along with adding photos, a drawing board, flyout notes and an intuitive user interface. It is one of the few apps that has been proven to provide a return on investment for businesses.

7. EchoSign

This is the app that makes tree lovers happy with glee, because it gets rid of the need for paper. It’s sort of like a having miniature post office built into your mobile phone. Simply email your clients with their contract, designate a signature box and hit send. The client then has the responsibility of reviewing the document and placing their electronic signature. And as a keepsake, EchoSign automatically delivers a copy of the signed contract to all parties involved.

 

Most of these apps are free, and the paid ones are less than $5 per download. Mobile apps are an affordable way to enhance your business, please your clients and motivate your staff. Not to mention, you can have them all without breaking the bank or holding interviews for the perfect assistant. These apps will help you have the most reliable personal assistant in your pocket or briefcase.

Do you have any other app suggestions that are saving you time and money? Please share them with us. 

**Congratulations to Healthy Indulgence**

The Consultants of CEA would like to congratulate our client Healthy Indulgence for surpassing their selling goals for their first quarter!  Owner, Natosha Fisher, started working with our team in October 2013 and surpassed her selling goals and increased her distribution team in three months. We evaluated and developed marketing and growth strategies for her company. The goal was to increase her gourmet coffee and tea sells and grow her business team. Our CEO, Dr. Vanessa Guyton stated, ” Ms. Fisher is an example of an entrepreneur who is serious about growing her business and proving that creating wealth starts within. We are very thankful for her partnership and entrusting us to expand  her business and grow her team.”

Healthy Indulgence  is a wellness company that focus on  healthy products. They are also a supplier of  Oregano Gold,  a world-wide distributor of  healthy and organic products. Their mission is to help people improve  lives by reaching new levels of wellness, wealth and balance. Please visit Healthy Indulgence for more information on their products, distribution opportunities, and monthly sale promotions.

facebookConnect with Healthy Indulgence

 

Do you need a cost effective business solution to  grow your business and increase profits? Would you like to see an increase in sells or start a new business like Healthy Indulgence?

Contact Consulting Experts & Associates  for a FREE Consultation at 1-888-300-7939 to discuss a growth and marketing strategy.

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V-WISE A Conference that Inspires Women Veterans to be Entreprenuers

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Dr. Vanessa Guyton, the CEO of Consulting Experts & Associates, LLC, and a 10 year Army Veteran, was selected and attended the Women Veterans Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE) Training Conference held in the beautiful city of Denver, Colorado from November 14-16, 2013. The goal of this conference was to integrate participant’s leadership, integrity, focus and drive into a premier educational training program taught by accomplished entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship educators from across the United States, and to inspire women to be entrepreneurs (V-WISE, 2013) . This conference brought together women from all branches of the military who are veterans, military spouses, and active duty service members. The participants were either successful entrepreneurs or desired to become one. This mix allowed women to network, discuss their business practices, and give advice to women who are just starting their new ventures.

The training included an intensive 15 day online course that provided business strategies and a 3 day conference. The 3 day event included successful entrepreneurs, and subject matter experts who gladly gave their business advice and met with participants about their businesses.  Additionally, participants attended classes on various subjects, to include: business planning, marketing, financing, government contracts, human resources, business law and technology. The instructors were all very knowledgeable and provided valuable tools and techniques to enhance business operations.

Dr. Guyton stated, “This was the best networking conference I have ever attended! The conference was very organized, started on time, and provided me with valuable information that I can use to enhance my business and share with my team and clients. I also met some awesome women who inspired me to continue my journey. I encourage everyone women entrepreneur to attend, because the training is invaluable and will take you and your business to another level.”

The V-WISE conference is FREE and includes guest speakers, classes, resources, tools, gift bags, meals, and hotel stay! Spread the word to Women Veterans and Military Spouses about this great learning and networking opportunity. This conference will definitely inspire the entrepreneur inside of you.

Visit http://whitman.syr.edu/vwise/ for more information on participating in the program or to become a sponsor.

A Money Saving Strategy~ Recycling

Top 10 Ways  Your Business Can Recycle and Save Money

The Consultants of Consulting Experts & Associates created a recycling program that saves us approximately $4,500 a year. Do you want to save money? Create a business strategy to start recycling and making purchases that are cost effective and efficient. Regardless of the size of your organization, number of employees or business location you can implement some changes. The following tips are ways we save money and help our environment.

10. Name your recycling program and recognize your employees for their efforts.

9. Encourage recycling at home and work.Be the example and don’t be a litterbug

8. Reduce or eliminate housekeeping. Locate your trash cans in a localized area. Have employees take out their own trash and clean their personal areas.

7. Conserve water. Don’t let the water run when you are drying your hands. Reuse water bottles and plastic containers.

6. Recycle paper. Use both sides of paper, and create a scrap paper box. Print brochures and marketing materials on recycled paper.

5. Purchase energy efficient equipment . Set the office thermostat at a constant temperature.

4. Save energy. Turn off lights and install compact fluorescent light bulbs. Turn off  TVs, equipment, etc  when they are not in use and after work hours. use a smart power strip.

3. Plant a tree. Trees filter air, buffer noise, and provide shade for your building. Plant drought-tolerant native plants that require minimal water. 

2. Reduce hazardous chemicals from going into the landfills. Donate used computers, TVs, equipment, cell phones, etc to local schools or charities. (A great tax write off)

1. Share environmental awareness with employees and clients. Add your efforts to your website.

Contact us at 1-888-300-7939 for more money saving strategies.

Your business will save money and the environment! Feel free to comment with your recycling tips!

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Strategic Planning for the New Year

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October starts the fiscal year and is only three months away from the New Year! This month is a perfect time for you to review your strategic plan. If you are a procrastinator, and haven’t developed a strategic  plan, now is the time to make a commitment to take your business to the next level. Creating a strategic plan is an important tool to help you understand your organization’s processes and resources. Additionally, it allows you to determine the direction that is best for organizational growth and profits. Below are five questions to consider when developing an effective strategic plan.

**What is your mission?

Why does your organization exist and what results are you trying to achieve?

**Who are your customers and target market?

What do your customers value and how can you exceed their expectations? What are you trying to achieve for your customers? Review marketing campaign and complete a survey.

**Who is your competition?

Are  you exceeding the standards set by your competition? Compare customer service.

**How do you measure success?

Various methods: number of repeat customers, profit margin, sales, etc. Set goals.

**What is your plan for continued operations?

Create or review short- term (one year) and long-term (three to five years) strategies.  Set goals

 

Consulting Experts & Associates (CEA) can help you answer these questions through our personalized Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) Analysis.

Contact CEA for a FREE strategic consultation at 1-888-300-7939 to learn how you can add our strategic analysis process into your strategic plan.

 

Dr. Vanessa Guyton, The Consulting Expert

CEA’s Insightful Training for the United States Army Reserves

Dr. Vanessa  Guyton, The Consulting Expert of Consulting Experts & Associates,  provided Bystander Intervention training to the Soldiers of the United States Army Reserves, Military Intelligence Readiness Command (MIRC) in Aberdeen Proving Ground Maryland on Saturday, September 14, 2013.  Dr. Guyton designed Bystander Intervention training  to empower individuals to intervene when they see inappropriate behaviors occurring in an organization, and to reduce the amount of formal complaints. This discussion and exercise training is very insightful, energetic, and encourages everyone to participate. We are always honored to provided training to the Soldiers of the United States Army!

MSG Lugo, the Equal Opportunity Advisor, presented Dr. Guyton with a thank you basket and stated “Thank you for a fun filled day! Our Soldiers are already requesting you to come back and you haven’t even left.”

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Pictured: Dr. Guyton and MSG Lugo/Dr. Guyton, Soldiers who received recognition for participation during training

 

Do you want to start a business or have a new business? Check out our Initial Business Startup Steps

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Initial Business Startup Steps

Many individuals have a good business idea, but find it difficult to actually start their business. They have no idea where to start, raising cash, or if they should do a single or joint venture.  All they know is that starting a business takes hard work, dedication, and money. This article will provide initial steps to assist you in determining an initial path to consider. After reviewing this article, remember that Consulting Experts & Associates can assist you in starting your business by providing additional guidance, strategies, and valuable information.

Determining a Need

The first step is to determine if there is a need for the product or service you are planning to offer. The initial step requires you to research the needs of consumers, create an idea, and then work towards a completed product or service.

Entrepreneur Sheri Jefferson, an Educational Loan Consultant, utilized these steps before launching Your Financial Services.  While working for a prestigious college, she realized that the financial aid office was operating inefficiently, receiving excessive complaints from students, and the staff was not properly trained. Ms. Jefferson was often frustrated and decided that she had the experience to help colleges operate successfully, and increase the retention rates of students. She launched her business using her personal finances as a home base business with the goal of offering a service that she could improve. Today, Your Financial Services is a successful startup, assisting more than 15 colleges around the country. Ms. Jefferson said “I am successful because I offered a great service that was not being offered.”

Want to start a startup? Keep these tips in mind:

*  Research existing patents that may be similar to your idea, using websites like Free Patents Online.

*  Start bulletproofing your startup by incorporating to protect your financial interests.

*  Create contracts and agreements as you start moving beyond the idea phase.

*  Consult with a lawyer to make sure you are taking the proper steps.

Seek out someone with experience in the industry you want to enter to make sure you have a solid understanding of it. Talk to an attorney who is well versed in business law and make sure to take the right steps so you don’t hit any legal snags.

Protecting Your Start-up Legally

Starting a startup involves a lot of risk so it’s important to take the right steps. These entail protecting your own assets and bulletproof your startup to keep it running smoothly. Every stage of starting a startup should be legal. Below is a list of guidelines to follow:

*  Incorporate your business because it establishes legitimacy of your business and provides protection of your personal assets (house, savings, etc.).

*  Research and apply for a provisional patent . This is a method of protecting your ideas and requires individuals receive permission before using them.

*  Ensure that you comply with your state laws and keep good records that are required for your corporation. Running a good business requires you to understand the laws and operate your organization accordingly.

*  Determine which type of business contracts you should implement, and ensure that all of your financial transactions, agreements and hiring of employees are in writing. We highly recommend that you have a lawyer review your contracts for your protection.

*  Signing up with Legal Sheild is an inexpensive way to have a lawyer at your disposal to review your business contracts and advise you on operating your business.

 

Finding Partners

Some individuals have the experience and desire to start a business venture alone, but some individuals may need additional skill sets and/or time to run the business efficiently.

Starting a startup and turning your idea into a business takes identifying your skills to see if you have the ability to make your dream a reality.  If you lack those skills, locate a partner who can fill those gaps.

Participate in a business networking group and participate in online forums. Search out budding entrepreneurs on LinkedIn or at area colleges by talking to professors and students.

Don’t forget to protect yourself and your idea once you start seeking a partner. There are cases where courts sided with business owners’ partners without the owner even necessarily agreeing that the people were their “partners.” Get everything in writing with a partnership agreement and have a lawyer review your partnership agreement.

Creating a Business Plan

Never skip this step when starting a business.

A business plan is your personal road map that helps you arrive at your destination safely. The plan ensures that you follow the correct route and prevent detours along the way by determining potential roadblocks. Consulting Experts & Associates provides you assistance to help you outline business goals, projections, marketing strategies, financing and other important facts as you start your start-up.

Compliance with Tax Laws

Bulletproof your startup by making sure you take all the necessary steps to comply with IRS requirements. There are multiple expenses when starting a startup. These expenses, include paying for consultants and lawyers, purchasing supplies, and operating expenses can be written off on your taxes. Its important  to  track your expenses and income carefully, and save all of your receipts.

Federal and State tax regulations can be difficult to understand. Hiring an accountant or a tax lawyer are very valuable during this process.  The Internal Revenue Service offers the following steps for starting a business:

*  Apply for an employer identification number if applicable.

*  Select a business structure.

*  Choose a tax year, calendar or fiscal.

*  Have employees fill out Form I-9 and Form W-4.

*  Pay your business taxes.

Following these important steps as you start your startup  will help you turn that great idea into a business. For additional advice, read the Small Business Administration’s “10 Steps to Starting a Business.” Also don’t forget the consultants  at Consulting Experts have the advice to help you start your startup right.

The Consulting Expert, Dr. Vanessa L. Guyton

 

 

The Consulting Expert is searching for an Administrative Intern!

 Administrative Internship~~Searching for a new individual to be a part of our team!

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Consulting Experts & Associates, LLC (CEA)  is searching for an Administrative Assistant who is an excellent writer, computer literate, as well as social media savvy. Must have professional speaking voice, excellent organizational skills and an ability to think on his or her feet.

Duties include working directly for the Consulting Expert, maintaining calendars, writing articles, sales letters, press releases and blogging.

This is an unpaid, virtual internship, meaning that the job can be performed from anywhere in the world with a stable Internet connection. Must be enrolled in an accredited college. Business Majors, preferred but not required.

To be considered, please review our website at www.consultingexp.com, then submit your résumé and proof of enrollment  to admin@consultingexp.com. Submission Deadline:  September 13, 2013.  Start date: September 23, 2013.

Consulting Experts & Associates, LLC  is a global management consulting firm based in Langley AFB, VA with an established reputation for providing premium customer service.  Founded in 2010, our Internet-based business specializes in performing strategic analysis for businesses to improve their organization by improving operations, maximizing growth potential, and enhancing the overall organizational effectiveness of your company.

Announcing our partnership with Limitless Technology Solutions

We are proud to announce our newest partnership with Limitless Technology Solutions (LTS), LLC ! They have met and surpassed all of the requirements to become  an Expert Consultant for Consulting Experts & Associates (CEA), LLC.

LTS is composed of a team of highly trained professionals who are comprehensively prepared to provide our clients with the latest software and technology services. Their organization is a one stop shop to provide technology solutions to simplify and solve your technical problems. The solution services include: web site development, web hosting, specialized training, technical support, and additional IT services.

The addition of Limitless Technology Solutions LLC will set Consulting Experts & Associates apart from other consulting companies that only provide strategic analyses and process improvements. CEA’s strategic analysis will continue to include those services, with an addition of a  comprehensive strategic analysis of an organization’s IT department and their processes. Our CEO, Dr. Vanessa Guyton, stated “The information retrieved from this analysis can enhance processes, reduce impractical spending, and increase profits for all of our clients. We are very proud of Ms. Savorian Couch and her team.”

If you or your organization is interested in learning more about our partnership program, please send us an email at admin@consultingexp.com or call 888-300-7939 option 1.

                                            One Team ~ One Mission

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