How to Get More Done During Your Next Meeting

How to Get More Done During Your Next Meeting -

This is a guest post by Eugene, a Program Manager at Quill. While he is not working, he enjoys traveling, taking photographs and using Instagram.

Meetings are a necessary part of any company. From smaller businesses that need to plan out staffing needs to multinational corporations that coordinate a yearly employee meeting, gatherings happen.

The size, duration, and topic may change, but what doesn’t seem to change, though, is that many people believe meetings to be a waste of time—and money.

Current estimates place the cost of unnecessary meetings at $37 billion—yes billion—a year.

And the cost can be written in more than dollars: Employees often see meetings as time they could better spend doing other things (like working). Nearly half of all employees in just one survey said that meetings were the biggest waste of their time.

So if there are 11 million meetings every day and plenty of employees find themselves doing other things in meetings—checking their phones, nodding off—then what is a business to do?

Fortunately, there are some steps that can transform time-wasting meetings into productive work zones that people look forward to, not dread.

1. Every meeting needs a definition.

What’s happening at the meeting? Are you making decisions, sharing information, or just gathering ideas? In addition, be wary of inviting people just to invite them.

Smaller meetings with fewer people can accomplish much more than can big meetings with too many voices.

2. Set some ground rules and have an agenda.

It may seem unnecessary, but beginning all meetings with the same sets of rules—who can talk, when they can talk, what you can talk about—can keep you from losing control over a meeting.

You can also avoid meetings on certain days of the week, like Monday, in order to increase productivity.

3. Always follow up.

As much as you do a lot of prep work, such as sending reminders and having an agenda, you must also do some follow-up after a meeting. That involves taking notes of what was decided and what the next steps are, as well as sharing those results so that everyone is on the same page.

Meeting post-mortems should also include levels of responsibility—who is doing what, who they report to, when things are due.

4. Analyze and optimize.

You must also be respectful of the time you allot for meetings. If you run over, that can have a snowball effect for everyone, making them late for other meetings or eating into their time that needs to be dedicated to finishing tasks.

You can also have some meeting soul-searching time, where you look at meetings that went well and those that didn’t to try to figure out what you can capitalize on or what you should change for the next time.

Luckily you can use meetings to your advantage, to build stronger teams that work better, that accomplish necessary goals, that are creative and productive.

But to do so you need to spend time thinking about, planning for, and following up on meetings, as well as thinking about them strategically.

This graphic, with clearly stated to-dos and ideas, helps guide you through meetings that everyone looks forward to and don’t avoid.

Time and Money: When meetings don’t meet expectations


What about your company? How can meetings be more effective?

See also:

Expert Tips to Make Meetings Faster and More Focused
7 Habits of Highly Effective Meetings
22 Brilliant Tips on Working Smarter, Not Harder






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Becoming an Online Merchant: 4 Tips to Find the Perfect Product to Sell

Becoming an Online Merchant: 4 Tips to Find the Perfect Product to Sell

E-commerce is a booming industry and will only continue to grow in the coming years. That’s why it’s not so surprising that there are plenty of people who want even just a small slice of the proverbial pie.

But whether or not you are looking to establish a full-blown online store or would simply want to supplement your income by buying and selling items on the side, you have to pick a product to sell that would, well, sell.

With the right marketing strategy, one can argue that anything and everything can be sold online. However, the real challenge is finding a product that is conducive to success. How do you find that product? Here are a few pointers.

Finding The Ideal Product to Sell

1. Target Hobbyists and Collectors

You’ll be surprised by just how much money hobbyists and collectors are willing to spend to fuel their passions.

If you have a knack for finding rare items, you’ll be a big hit with collectors. Whether they’re interested in action figures and toys, lapel pins, first edition books, stickers, sports cards, or even antique dinnerware. Just make sure that everything is legitimate.

Meanwhile, there is no shortage of hobbies on which people willingly invest their time and money.

Some of the more popular ones include biking, fishing, knitting and crocheting, calligraphy, model building (including radio-controlled vehicles), and handicrafts. Look for a leisure pursuit where you can act as the product-based solution and you’ll easily enamor yourself to these customers.

2. Something Hard to Find or Can’t be Bought Locally

There are some things that can be easily found in a local grocery store or a specialty shop — say gardening or baking supplies. But what about specialty foods, magician’s accessories, eco-friendly products, and fandom items?

Most likely, people will go online to find these. You can enlist the help of Google Trends and Google Keyword Tool to get a glimpse of what kinds of products people are searching for online and use the results as a guide to pick a niche product to sell.

You can also try to sell products that can’t be bought or difficult to procure locally, like Japanese Kitkats, the “three-story” alfajor Oreos, or Asian beauty products. The latter, in particular, is a good place to start since a lot of products are only available in select countries or regions but are available through wholesale Asian cosmetics websites. Do the hard work of sourcing these products (and offer them at reasonable prices) and see just how much your customers will love you.

3. Star with The Accessories Before The Big-Ticket Items

When people buy big-ticket items such as 4K TVs, high-end smartphones, and gaming laptops, they buy them only once. Their next purchase of these kinds of products will probably be in the next two to three years.

These are big investments, after all, and people are much more reluctant to spend huge amounts so often. However, accessories are much more common purchases and people are relatively more agreeable to spending more often on these items. Especially when they’re meant to increase the performance or ensure the longer life of the bigger product.

Think about HDMI cables and switchers for TVs, charging cables and power banks as well as cases and protectors for smartphones, and gaming accessories like a mouse, a keyboard, and a good pair of headphones.

If you already sell the big-ticket items, then it’s a wise decision to add the accessories to your online catalog. If you’ve yet to choose what to sell on your online shop and/or you have a limited capital, you should consider selling these kinds of accessories first.

4. Consumables Mean Customers That Keep Coming Back

Consumables mean that you will have a steady customer base and a rather reliable revenue stream. What’s more, when people need to order products from you regularly, it’s much easier to build a loyal customer base.

Think about specialty cooking ingredients (Himalayan pink salt, anyone?), supplies for arts and crafts, and even cosmetics. Just make sure you’re able to deliver each and every time, since you don’t know when your customers will run out of their stock or order in bulk in advance.

Of course, choosing which product to sell is just one part of a thriving online business, since you should also take into consideration the demand, potential competition, and reliable suppliers, among others. However, it’s also undeniable that finding a saleable item is a huge contributor to your business success. Good luck on your journey as an online entrepreneur!

If you're into ecommerce, you might be wondering what product to sell on your online store. Here are 4 great ideas that are sure to make you money and bring you loyal customers: #ecommerce #onlinestore #makemoneyonline #sidehustle