How to get the most out of your small business meeting
The small business today is up against allot of difficulty. A troubled economy and lots of terrible competition are just a few of the difficulties a small business faces. With little capital and little representation it can be very hard to find investors. People want their investments to be sure things. They don't want to invest in a small company that could fold at any time. As a result, they invest in big firms that they think will always only get bigger. While it is certainly not true that all big firms get bigger, it is true that they are probably a better bet than a small business. But our world needs small business, both to supply local areas with products and services, and also to help us develop stronger communities. Because it is so difficult to get your small business going, or to keep it going, you need to use the limited time you have well. Any time that is waisted is lost forever, and when your business could die at any minute you want to use those minutes well. It would be very hard to look back after a business has closed and realize that you could have saved it by not waisting so much time. If you only could have spent another hour a day working you might have saved your business!
Because time is such an important part of business, how will you spend it best? What is the one time in your business when you seem to be waisting time? Most people would probably say that meetings are the most waistful. This is not to say that they are not necessary, but we all know that many of the meetings we have been in are a total waste of time. People tend to only repeatthings in meetings. They don't say anything that is meaningful or that motivates.
For a small business that needs to spend its time wisely, meetings need to be kept to a minimum. The majority of time needs to be spent working. However, when you do have to hold a meeting, how should you structure it? What will maximize your time and efficiency?
The most important thing for any meeting is a sense of purpose. Identify a particular problem or need of the business. Make it clear that the meeting is there to help fix something concrete and not just to talk. You want your meeting to be fun but not overly social. Have a purpose from the start. Assing particular tasks and make it clear that you will check up on how those tasks are being achieved.
There are some questions that you should also ask yourself before the meeting. Is this meeting worthwhile? Does loosing the work time make sense for my business? Will this meeting help the business to approach things in a new way? If the meeting does not produce something new then it is not worthwhile. Meetings should change the status quo.
Another important thing to do in a small business meeting is to call attention to the importance of success. Make it clear that the business needs to grow. If it does not grow it will die. If employees leave thinking that what the business is doing fine and that they don't need to chang anything then nothing will be changed. Challenge your employees to come up with ideas about how your small business can grow. Focused and serious meetings can very much help a small business in ways you would never expect.