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8 Ways to Get Ahead in 2015

Now is a great time to honestly evaluate your business and develop an action plan for growing and getting ahead in 2015. Below are some of our favorite tips for getting ahead this year:

1. Exercise

Begin your day with a few minutes of brisk exercise. It helps to get the blood pumping and the juices flowing. Issues come up constantly throughout the day that are beyond your control, especially when you're running a business. So, no matter what happens, if you start the day with exercise, you can feel good that you've accomplished something that day. And that's in addition to all of the health benefits a little physical activity does for you.

2. Delegate

Surround yourself with people that you can confidently delegate or outsource to. Delegate things that keep you from growing your business. If accounting bogs you down, delegate or outsource. If you hate social media, outsource or delegate. If HR compliance steals your energy, we can help. You are the most productive when you focus on your strengths.

3. Keep it simple

All too often, we over-complicate things. Don't take life too seriously. Laughter is as necessary as oxygen. Make an effort to take time away from your business. You'd be surprised how much a short break can help clear your mind and increase your productivity. Also, make sure employees have a chance to recharge after particularly stressful projects.

4. Be Present

Turn off your email when you're working on a project. Alerts and incoming emails are distracting and interrupt your workflow. Be completely focused on the task at hand. If you can, try keeping your cell phone out of reach, too. Be present – it makes a huge difference in productivity!

5. Systematize

Evaluate and create efficiency-driven systems like customer relationship management, automated proposals and quotes, standardized email responses, automated accounting tasks, etc. Find ways to use "dead time".

6. Set Goals

When you set a goal, make it detailed enough that you can accomplish each incremental step. Far too often we set goals that are too lofty or too general and then we don't know how to implement them. Make goals with specific milestones. For instance, if your goal is to get five new customers, think it through and document the steps you’ll have to take in order to accomplish it.

7. Set Deadlines

Many tasks go uncompleted until you assign a sense of urgency to them, especially because other important things tend to pop up unexpectedly. Setting a deadline helps create a little urgency. Also, employees don’t like missing a deadline. Meeting a deadline is a victory, particularly for teams, so give your team a reasonable deadline to work toward.

8. Compliment

Be sure to compliment employees after they meet a deadline or complete a job well. Appreciation for the effort involved creates a positive atmosphere and attitude for the next task. Everyone starts the next task with more energy if they know their work is valued and appreciated.

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