Monkey Monday - June 27th, 2022

99 small things to improve your business - episode 1

Business development |

In the first of our fun series, we're delving into Chris's lovely box to find some tips that could help you improve your business.

In today's episode:

  • Tip 67 - Respect people's time

  • Tip 44 - OKR the crap out of your business

  • Tip 94 - Write each other anonymous appreciation letters/notes

  • Tip 64 - Use a CRM

  • Tip 12 - Do less shit

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I've got a big announcement.
Ooh. Um, I'm ex I'm excited as I'm sure you guys and girls out there are also excited.
Um, I've put some effort in in the preproduction of a video and I've created a prop.
Are you suggesting we don't normally put any preproduction effort into these Chris?
We do, but not in arts and crafts.
Would you like to see my box?
I'd love to see your box.
Look at that.
Check that box out.
It's got some illustrations that Iulia has done on them.
And I assume, and is that it? Is that the end of the vlog? There we are, another short one. Uh, Chris's Box, this one was called.
Well, I was inspired, uh, in January by some articles about, um, how to improve your life in 2022. And I started to write 99 small things you can do to help your business.
Oh, how exciting. And what's in the box?
I've got lots, lots of hints and tips of things you can do to help your business.
Are there 99 in there?
There are 99 in there.
Are we gonna go through all 99?
We're gonna see how many we can get through. Some things we've done. Some things we've yet to do.
So is this a series of them then? So this is the first, so people can watch them in order, I guess.
Can they?
I don't know. This is the first one, who knows what will happen. Maybe we'll do the lot now.
Go on.
Should I pick one?
I'm gonna dig down.
And we'll see what we get.
Do you want me to read it out?
Right. Okay.
Read out the number and what it says on it.
Oh, right. This is tip number 67. Respect people's time.
Yes. I think, I think it's really interesting how, uh, when you are in business, you can just end up taking up more time of your colleagues than you actually need. And if someone's deep in thought in the office, and you go over and say, oh, can you help me with this thing? Or would you like a cup of tea? It can take like half an hour to get back into a zone of creativity. So just respecting what people are doing is really important.
Stop making tea for people. That's what I'm hearing.
No, but you could have, you could have a, a little, uh, sort of card on your desk saying, yes, you can approach me or no, I'm a bit busy at the minute.
Yeah. How do you kind of declare focus time? I guess if you're working in office environment, would this work in other bits that aren't like an officey thing? How, how could this translate into other bits?
Well, I think it's, there's, there's definitely things around how you schedule your time and how often you should have meetings. Uh, because often I see in our business, sometimes someone will put a meeting in and then there's a 45 minute gap until another meeting. Now, what are you supposed to do in that gap? Are you, is you can't really get into that much work, but may, maybe there's a different way of scheduling within your business that will help you.
Yeah. Good. I mean, I think, um, one thing we've been looking at actually recently as well is, is respecting the week, respecting the week's worth of work we've got and trying to move things that aren't urgent or on fire to the next cycle of work. And, um, there's lots of, um, project management techniques as well that could help some people, if you haven't already done it, looking at things like Agile and, um, sprint reviews and sprint planning sessions, and that can really help you plan some stuff. You don't have to be doing the same work that we might do in an agency, but I think that sort of methodology can almost help any organization get their time better respected. Should we pick another one?
Oh, we should. My go. 44. OKR the crap out of your business.
Oh, nice. I like that one. Go on then. Well, you've just, you've got to have some proper goals that people are working towards and OKRs are a great way of doing that.
We've done a vlog about it.
I think we've done a vlog about OKRs. So we won't bore you again with the same content, cuz we're better than that.
No, but it's really useful. You should definitely do something like that. So at least there's some kind of north star that people are chipping away at, and the work is meaningful.
Yeah. Try and, even the small things you're doing, try and relate them to the bigger goal, the bigger picture. That's a really nice place to get to.
Yeah. Uh, alright I'll do one. Yeah, this is good. I like rumaging in Chris' box.
Thank you very much.
Mm. What have we got here? Um, number 94, write each other anonymous appreciation letters slash notes.
Uh, well, we, we did this in one of our Design Guild things, uh, midway through last year and everyone really seemed to enjoy it, actually just telling people, actually getting feedback from the rest of the team to know how valued every member is, was really, really nice. Really heartwarming.
Yeah. Maybe you should do that today. Pick on somebody and write them a little post-it note, telling them how wonderful they are. Won't be creepy at all.
Well, you could do it in a more structured way than just pushing a note under a door saying, I love you.
I'd be happy with a note under my door saying that.
Are you doing another one?
Oh, no, sorry. It's your turn. How many are we gonna do?
We're gonna do 99.
Oh, right.
No we're not. 64. Use a CRM.
Yes. If you don't already surely for every organization, regardless of size, you should have some means of managing your customer relations or customer relationship management systems. Yeah, definitely. If you're not using one check some out. We might have even done a CRM thing once. I'm not sure. If not check out HubSpot CRM, that's pretty good. It's free. You can have loads of seats on it. It's very good. Great place to start and make sure that your... Simple things like your, your, the contact form on your website should not just be going into some dead inbox somewhere. It should go into a CRM. Turn those inquiries into, into deals or into support tickets or whatever you need. However, your customers need to sort of start talking to you. Um, Use a good CRM and connect that CRM to everything else. It can be really valuable.
Yeah. And there's a wider software thing about how everything's moving into the cloud and how all the data should be moving away from people's hard drives like a CRM isn't an Excel spreadsheet on Dave's hard drive, and it should be something that everyone can access and have a look at.
Also helps with GDPR. GDPR, a bonus ticket, that one. Should we do one more?
Yeah. Yeah.
All right. Gimme a theme tune.
Uh, I'll just play one. It'll be alright. There'll be something going on.
Number 12, do less shit.
Well, it's just, it is kind of amazing how much of the week is taken up by nonsense. And I think every business could do a bit of weeding. If you, you've just gotta visit what takes up people's time and just do less shit, do less stuff that is meaningless. There are lots of meaningless tasks out there. I'm pretty sure.
Yeah. I, in fact that goes back neatly to the goal stuff, because if you understand your goals and your direction and what you're trying to do, it helps you evaluate, evaluate, evaluate, evaluate, evaluate what is shit. Sometimes we are just doing stuff for the sake of doing stuff, and it's not related to something that's important or meaningful or where we're trying to take, um, your business or your sales or your turnover or whatever that might be. So, um, and, and, and there's other things you could do as well. Some people have adopted the four day week and they've found that that's been helpful because they've had to focus their time in those four days, whereas they would spread that stuff and fill it full of shit to do five. That's a fascinating thing, too.
Mm-hmm. Well, there you go. We've got plenty to go at in the coming months.
All right. Tune into the next episode of Chris's Box.
Thank you very much.
That's the noise Chris's Box makes.
Is it?
It is now! Bye everyone.

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