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Keeping Up The Momentum for the Rest of the Year

Leijun Campbell - Monday, January 25, 2016

 

We’re winding down the month of January, and I hope this first 30 days of 2016 have treated you and your company well. We all set a variety of resolutions, both personal and professional. Often, one or the other can fall victim to the push and pull of everyday life, and without intending to give up, we let our goals slide away. If you’re still on track for your accomplishments, congratulations. If you’ve missed a few benchmarks or are struggling to motivate yourself, remember that you still 11 months left to get back on the horse. Either, way, here are a few tips on keeping up the momentum.

 

1) Find accountability – If you’re a business leader, remember that even those on top need sage advice and strong relationships if you plan to make your company’s goals a reality. Reach out to your top executives first and give each of them a list of tasks to use for the team members they manage. As much as your schedules allow, try to meet with each executive/manager once a month or quarter to discuss progress and offer an open-door policy for questions or concerns. Another way to maintain accountability is to find a few business leaders or friends in your network who you can discuss your goals with in a healthy, noncompetitive manner. Mentors are also an excellent resource.

 

2) Involve all members of your team – The first way you can do this is have your executive assistant set aside a one to two-hour meeting each month for a company-wide meeting to discuss goals and benchmarks. Have your assistant send it out in the form of a recurring calendar invite in your email system (Microsoft Outlook, etc). Make it mandatory for each team member to attend and provide a call-in number for telecommuters or those out of town for various business trips. Make each meeting half information and half team member Q&A and/or discussion.

 

 

3) Celebrate when benchmarks/goals are met – These rewards do not have to cut into your budget, but find ways to celebrate with your team member once every few months when a major goal or benchmark is checked off. Even if it’s something as simple as a catered lunch or letting them off an hour early on Friday, you’ll build morale and enthusiasm for what’s next.

 

Best of luck!

 

 


How Your Assistant Can Improve Your Overall Business Growth

Leijun Campbell - Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Sometimes in the business and corporate worlds, we limit the roles of our executive assistants to simply clerical and administrative tasks. Yes, the completion of this work helps sustain the daily operations of the company, but allowing your assistant to extend their reach and influence can do wonders for your overall business growth.

 

Here a few ways you can make this happen:

 

1) Create a review and coaching system for your team – Everyone likes to know where they stand with a company, especially if they are working to impact the business in a positive way. Take the initiative of scheduling monthly one-on-one reviews or coaching sessions where you offer proactive feedback and encourage questions from your assistants.

 

2) Develop tasks that let assistants have more of a business-related role – Your assistant often is in charge of sending out memos and emails as well as scheduling meetings for executives and team members. Allow these tasks to be augmented by other ways of company communication such as creating email and social media marketing campaigns. These campaigns can open up several doors of effective service for current and potential clients/customers.

 

3) If possible, allow assistants to attend and participate in important internal meetings – Providing a space for your assistants to be a part of the greater business picture and culture lets them know that their opinions are welcomed and valid. These meeting invitations can also help motivate them in their daily role and responsibilities, encouraging greater efficiency and innovation.

 


Executive Assistants and Event Planning

Leijun Campbell - Tuesday, November 10, 2015

We just saw the end of the Halloween, and the Christmas decorations are going up in every store you can imagine. The office holiday parties are just around the corner and using your executive assistant to help you with event planning will be key to making sure everything goes off without a hitch.

 

Here are just a few ways your executive assistant can help you put on a successful event:

 

1. Booking the venue and catering - Finding the best deals for these two key elements can sometimes leave you frustrated and overwhelmed. Executive assistants use their skills of scheduling meetings and managing a variety of databases to research and reserve the best venue and catering service well ahead of the event.

 

2. Creating promotional materials - If you're planning a major event that involves more than your small office staff, your executive assistant(s) can use several methods to invite your clientele and other guests. Email marketing is an easy avenue to create a digital announcement for a specified list. You can also create a public or private event on social networks such as Facebook. And of course, there's always the physical flyers that can be created in programs such as Photoshop and delivered by mail to clients and/or local businesses.

 

3. Delegating responsibilities - Depending on the size of your event and/or budget, executive assistants can help recruit volunteers to set up the space, sign up to bring items such as food, drinks, plates or cups, create activities for the gathering or clean up at the end of the night.

 

No matter what kind of event you're planning, executive assistants are invaluable resources for success!

 


Planning Ahead While Embracing Spontaneity in Your Business

Leijun Campbell - Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A common expression in business and life in general is "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail," a sentiment with which Campbell Business Services can agree, as seen in blog posts such as "Goal Setting for the Second Half of the Year". However, knowing the difference between setting flexible objectives and locking into strict expectations can help you improvise on the former while avoiding dead ends with the latter.

 

Here are a few ways to plan ahead and embrace the natural spontaneity that occurs in the day to day operations of your company:

 

1) Set objectives, but acknowledge that different steps can lead to the final result: Two plus two equals four, but so does three plus one. For example, your company has a specific profit goal for the year. You have a client who renews their contract every September, and this renewal makes up your biggest sale of the year. It's easy to get comfortable with that kind of arrangement, if the client has to cancel their service after 10 years of loyalty, you may be left scrambling. Remember that creating multiple ways to accomplish your goal is much more effective than putting all your eggs in one basket.  

 

2)  Understand that trends change, and you might have to follow suit sooner rather than later: In such a technology-driven society, businesses can always find ways to maintain their core standards and mission, but adapting your methods to maintain relevancy is necessary. Find time each day to read up on the latest industry news and encourage your team to do the same (you can also prepare a list of articles each week to send them). Pinpoint which trends affect you and your team and try to incorporate them frequently and smoothly.

 

3) Encourage your team members to put forth new ideas: As a company leader, you probably know specific ways in which you like to complete both short-term and long-term projects. While these habits are important to maintaining your company's vision,  be sure to set aside time before and after each task to discuss new angles and approaches, and allow your team to be part of the conversation. You may discover brand new ways to increase creativity and efficiency for your next product launch.

 

If you have any questions, feel free contact us at leijun@campbellbusinessservices.com

Preparing Efficient Monthly Checklists for Your Team

Leijun Campbell - Saturday, September 19, 2015

Though you never want to be labeled as a micro-manager in the eyes of your team, striking a balance between giving instructions and allowing autonomy for your assistants provides an unforgettable sense of trust.

 

The key question revolves around defining that balance and then creating a set of instructions and checklists that accomplishes that purpose on a monthly basis. Today, we'll discuss three different levels of checklists.  

 

1) Basic - This first set of checklists hearkens back to your assistant's job description and making sure every single "essential" task (big or small) gets listed. This level requires/allows you to maintain a relationship of accountability with that particular team member and ensures everything gets done in a timely manner.

 

2) Intermediate - After your assistants finish their "basic" tasks for the month, encourage them to schedule time during the month for pet projects that could help improve their department's productivity such as looking for a new CRM or accounting program. This level allows them to feel that sense of autonomy in their day to day as well as feel like they're contributing to the welfare of the department and/or company.  

 

3) Advanced - Finally, allow your assistants to establish a few steps in their checklist for professional development whether that is reading a certain number of industry articles or books per month or attending a 1-day conference every quarter. They will gain invaluable knowledge, and in turn, become a invaluable resource for your company.

 

If you have any further questions on this topic or executive assistance/business management, click here to contact us.

How Executive Assistants Can Kick Start Your Marketing Efforts

Leijun Campbell - Friday, August 28, 2015

Executive assistants help companies maintain their infrastructure in big and small ways every single day, serving as the administrative gatekeepers between the executive and the general public. Though executive assistants handle a variety tasks such as data entry/management and scheduling, companies would be wise to use their assistants’ professional, administrative and people skills to provide a jolt to their marketing efforts.

 

Here are a few ways to incorporate your executive assistant into this particular realm of the company:  

 

Social Media - By now, most (if not all) companies have discovered their clients live on social media whether on juggernauts such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube or discover and repost-friendly sites such as Pinterest and Tumblr. Your executive assistant most likely knows all aspects of the company including important product launches, company events and industry seminars. Utilize their scheduling expertise to help plan posts on your network of choice and their people skills to respond to client and customer questions. Encourage them to document important company details both ahead of the curve and in the moment.  

 

Copywriting - Similar to potential social media efforts, your executive assistant can also help your company by writing fresh website copy on a monthly or weekly basis, whether this is updating your event calendars or crafting blog posts. This steady content stream keeps your website from becoming static to your users and provides ammo for social media. The more reasons your customers have to come to your site, the more conversions you are likely to have.

 

Email Marketing - Executive assistants provide email management in one form or another already for their employers. However, they can take this task to an even more effective level by creating email marketing campaigns. As with social media, these blasts put you front and center in front of your target audience and present them with reasons to anticipate your messages and subsequently visit your site.

How to Be Productive in the Last Half Hour of the Work Day

Leijun Campbell - Tuesday, July 21, 2015

It's Wednesday at 4:30, and you collapse into your desk chair. Today was full of more meetings than you can count: the weekly team meeting, the monthly brainstorming session with your biggest client, and a surprise conference from a friendly entrepreneur who knows how to stay just a little too much over his time.

 

The temptation once you fire up your computer for the last time of the day is just to coast through the last half hour without incident or receiving any unexpected tasks. Social media is calling your name, and dinner plans need to be made. However, using those remaining 30 minutes of your work day in a productive manner can make a significant difference for tomorrow or even the rest of your week.

 

Here are three things you can do to increase your end-of-day productivity:

 

1. Choose one to three small tasks that you can knock out easily: When we eliminate the busy work in our schedule, we're able to accomplish more of the important tasks. If you know an email to send a coworker or some copies you need to make for your upcoming presentation, don't put it towards tomorrow's to-do list; get it out of the way now.  

 

2. Make your schedule and/or to-do list for the next day or week: Though it's tempting to put off thinking about tomorrow or next week's work, taking care of writing out your to-do list in the morning saves at least ten to twenty minutes when you first get to your desk at 8 a.m. Mark the highest priority tasks to alert yourself that these need to be done first while your mind is more alert.

 

3. Catch up on industry news: Don't let your last 30 minutes consist of watching cat videos on YouTube, finding recipes on Pinterest or making "crucial" trades for your fantasy teams. Subscribe to three to five industry newsletters or blogs and spend some time studying the latest trends and brainstorming ways you can incorporate these tips into your current position.

Goal Setting for The Second Half of The Year

Leijun Campbell - Friday, June 19, 2015

The end of June and the first half of 2015 will be here in less than two weeks, and the common phrase in passing conversation will most likely be some form of: "I can't believe how fast this year is passing by." If you're an entrepreneur who set professional goals at the beginning of the year, you may be celebrating, contemplating or panicking right now. If you're in that first category, congratulations and be sure to keep your focus and finish the year strong. If you're in the second or third categories, know that there is always hope to reassess and accomplish your goals.

 

You have to give yourself a little grace from time to time. Don't let failure to accomplish a few things dissuade you from creating new goals for the second half of 2015. Who said resolutions had to always be made at the start of the new year? As with any sort of goal setting, be sure to write down a list of major tasks and minor steps to make each one a reality. Being able to gauge your progress encourages you when you seem worried about what to do next. If your goals seem too general, aim to make them time-specific such as marketing initiatives for the summer or sales quotas for the fall. Set your deadlines with the holiday season in mind. Reward yourself and your team when major strides have been made to crossing something off the list as well as the moment of accomplishment. If you have any questions about goal setting and entrepreneurship, be sure to contact us today!

Summer Business: Enjoy the Weather & Keep Your Entrepreneurial Focus

Leijun Campbell - Thursday, May 28, 2015

We hope you had an excellent Memorial Day weekend!

 

If you didn’t take an extended vacation this week or don’t have one in the near future, you’re most likely watching the summer unfold outside while you sit at your desk catching up on email with possible beach envy directed toward some of your coworkers’ Facebook/Instagram/Twitter accounts.

 

However, there are several ways to both enjoy the weather and summer vibes AND be productive in your business this season.

 

1) Leave your office for your lunch break: Whether you’re walking down the street to your favorite restaurant or making a trek across town for a lunch meeting, find a way to incorporate the sunshine into your calendar. If you choose the latter, try finding an outside table to enjoy with your prospective clients or customers. A little Vitamin D with a sandwich and iced tea is always good for the soul and business deals.

 

2) Open the blinds: If you’re in charge of an office of employees, don’t rely on fluorescent lights and computer screens alone. Invite the summer sunlight to join you and your employees/coworkers by keeping the blinds open (and the windows too if it’s not too humid). Last year, the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine discussed the benefits of keeping workers near the windows.

 

3) Take walking staff meetings: Don’t keep the weekly office gathering confined to the conference table this summer. Find a park nearby with a 5-10 minute round-trip walking distance and take your employees for a few laps. Record the meeting with an iPhone or smartphone and email it out to everyone as an mp3 as soon as you get back. Your employees will be able to stretch their legs and be more alert to pump out a few more winning ideas for upcoming projects.

 

If you have any questions about keeping an office productive during the summer, please feel free to contact us at leijun@campbellbusinessservices.com!

Four Tasks to Assign Your Administrative Assistant

Leijun Campbell - Saturday, April 11, 2015

As a small business owner, entrepreneur or start-up enthusiast, you often play multiple roles when it comes to the day-to-day operations of your company. You want to remain close to your customers or clients through face-to-face interactions, you handle various aspects of accounting and you schedule all your appointments and meetings. However, as your business grows, hiring some help in the form of an administrative assistant eases any small task-related pressures and allows you to maintain the pace and potential of your business.

 

Here are four common things you can assign or delegate to your administrative assistant:  

 

1. Phone Calls: As much as you may want to interact and speak with every customer who contacts your business, it can be difficult to respond to each request immediately. If these requests come in the form of a phone call, you can set up an office number that your administrative assistant answers as well as an efficient messaging system.  

 

2. Appointments and Calendars: Technology has made this easier for us, and most of us have some kind of scheduling app on our phones. However, during the busiest times of our day, we can discuss an appointment with someone on the phone, but if we're out of the office or in the middle of a meeting, we may forget to put the date in our schedule. Administrative assistants can aid in making sure these appointments are made and can schedule reminders for you.

 

3. Filing: As receipts, expense reports, printed materials, business notes and the like pile up on your desk, sometimes it's hard to get organized with all these papers. A common task for administrative assistants is keeping everything in its right place through an effective filing systems. 

 

4. Memos and Official Emails or Letters: You want to be able to get an important or urgent message out to your employees, but are running to your next meeting or appointment. Your administrative assistant can type these memos or emails out and have them quickly delivered without any worry on your part.

 

Contact leijun@alittleassistance.com about the benefits of administrative assistance.


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