A successful person is someone who uses their resources to their fullest potential. But, most of us don’t even know what we have available to us. This is one of the most common mistakes that I see when dealing with clients. In most cases, they are not even fully aware of what resources they have. They pay dues to an organization that offers classes, discounts, networking events or other items they don’t use. They leave hundreds of dollars worth of marketing materials sit in their desk drawer. They use a $1500+ computer just to surf the internet. They use a $300 smartphone for phone calls, alone. All of this ends up costing them in wasted time and diminished productivity.
So, are you using all of YOUR resources?
Discover untapped resources
One of the first ways to discover your resources so that you can more fully use them is to make a list of organizations you are part of, social media you use and the electronic tools at your disposal.
The company you work for may offer resources you are not using. Meet with your manager or director to be sure you are taking full advantage of the company’s offerings. Here are some examples of resources that some companies have:
- Membership in a local business leaders club (like the rotary club or neighborhood association)
- Discounts with local gyms
- Discounts with telecom service providers
- Membership in an industry trade group
- Professional development classes or support
Next, are you certified in an industry skill? If so, that certification was probably given to you by a trade group and that organization may offer additional services. A good example is the National Association of Realtors. This organization offers “designations” for Realtors who wish to earn certifications. It also has a great website that offers tips, studies on buyer and seller behavior, good post-able content for social media, and more. But, many Realtors don’t really investigate what the site has to offer. If you knew that most clients come from referrals, would you still advertise your business with costly newspaper ads?
2. SOCIAL MEDIA
Do you use social media networks? If so, have you used those to let people know how you or your products can help them? This doesn’t mean that you need to have a heavy-handed approach, hitting people with salesy posts on a daily or weekly basis. What about a simple occasional post that highlights a professional success story you’ve had? What if you just mention how much you like your job and why? What if you talk about something that excited you about your job this week? Those simple examples are a softer way to communicate and remind people of what you do.
Have you created a business page on Facebook? That is a great place to offer helpful information, repost about resources/news, and share interesting tidbits of information. It is also a great way to answer common questions.
3. FREE SERVICES
Have you investigated the benefits of free software or business services that are online? A great example of how you could save money and time is by using Google Apps (Docs, Sites, Gmail, etc) instead of other costly options. Google Docs offers free online word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software. That means you don’t need to necessarily buy Microsoft Office. It also hosts all of these things in the cloud, so you don’t need to worry as much about back-ups.
4. YOUR DEVICES
Are you using your electronic devices to their full potential? These days most people are walking around with a powerful computer in their pocket, purse or “man-bag.” Yet, many people don’t use them to their full potential. I have written blog posts, dictated emails (through Dragon dictation software), posted to social media sites for me and clients, participated in online presentations, shared files, sent invoices and more, all on my iPhone. This allows me to be very mobile and continue to work as I meet with clients at their locations. Figure out if there are apps or devices that can help to integrate normally desk-tied activities into your mobile work life. Ask colleagues, talk to experts and/or Google a phrase about your need. You will probably be surprised. Most apps cost 99 cents or up to $9.99. That is a lot cheaper than most desktop software.
Another great example of an untapped resource is the Apple store. Many of my clients own an iPhone, iPad or Macbook. But, most of them have never attended one of the free classes at the Apple store or have used the one-on-one services of the Genius Bar. They allow themselves to be confused over the functions of their devices without learning how to master them. That is a wasted opportunity and one that costs them lots of money in wasted time and diminished productivity.
These are four examples of places you could discover untapped resources that might support your business or active lifestyle. Can you think of others? If so, please share them.