Are you ready for PRIME TIME?

One of the key concepts of Personal Productivity Principles is the concept of PRIME TIME.

Every time you have a task to do, you have to weigh the time/cost – value equation against your own “productivity expectation” and determine WHEN to do it.

PRIME TIME is best explained with a telemarketing/sales example:

  • PRIME TIME = whenever contact (calls) can be made.
  • NON- PRIME TIME = the rest of the time.

A top gun salesperson (or highly effective business person) only does PRIME TIME TASKS IN PRIME TIME and vice versa.

For example:

  • Reports, time management, scheduling is done early in the morning (NON-PRIME TIME)
  • Calls are made during the day  – maybe even during LUNCH TIME when people have time to talk (PRIME TIME)
  • Paperwork, planning, educational and development tasks are done in the evenings and/or weekends (NON-PRIME TIME)

It’s all pretty SIMPLE to understand – harder to actually do – because most people don’t know what their PRIME TIME tasks/outcomes are.

Once you know your PURPOSE / OUTCOME, everything should fall into place…

But it’s all easier said than done – unless you have a SYSTEMISED approach to time/life management.

Of course, when time permits, NON-PRIME TIME tasks CAN be done in PRIME TIME as long as they don’t interfere with PRIME TIME TASKS.

If you want to learn more about these principles, contact us. These are skills we teach within our Platinum Program.

Keep Your Clients Satisfied With These Top Tips!

One of the top ways you can make your business successful is to keep your clients happy. After all, it’s down to them whether or not you make money. You need to ensure you have a good and honest relationship with them, so they become loyal clients to your business. Here are some top tips for keeping your clients satisfied.

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Make sure you are ready to deal with clients

You need to make sure your business is all set up and ready to deal with customers. If you aren’t ready, you could end up providing them with a product which isn’t up to the standard you promised. As we talked about before, your business could spiral into chaos if you are not ready. Therefore, make sure you have everything set in place before agreeing your first deal. Don’t make promises you can’t keep if you want to make them happy.


Listen to what your clients need

Another tip to keep your clients satisfied is to make sure you are listening to your client. When you meet them, remember to ask them questions about what they are looking for, rather than just talk about what you do. Take notes so that you can relay back to your team exactly what the client needs. Remember if you do a good job, they will keep returning to your company for further work.


    Creative Commons Photo

 Communicate with them effectively

You can also keep your clients satisfied by ensuring you communicate with them effectively. Give them updates of how the project is progressing, and don’t hesitate to call them if you need to clarify anything. You should also ensure you call them back and email them quickly when they have sent you a message. If you don’t speak with them, they will lose some of their trust in you. If you are going to be out of the office, don’t forget to put an office email reminder on so they know you aren’t available.


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Make sure products are delivered to them in a timely fashion

Another tip for keeping your clients satisfied is to ensure products are delivered to them timely. If you keep sending over the products late, they won’t be happy and will not use you again. Therefore, you should plan in advance exactly how you will get them there from the warehouse. And if you have clients across the globe, you need customized transport solutions via air, land and sea. It will ensure the product is delivered to them efficiently. Make sure you have a good supply chain management in place before agreeing on a deal with clients.


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You need to be honest with them

You need to be honest with clients if something does not go to planned. You are more likely to keep some of their trust if you are accountable, and explain why and what has gone wrong. Resolve the issues efficiently, keeping them updated as you do, and you will soon have them returning to use your services again.

Remember if you want to keep clients satisfied, you need to show them a degree of loyalty.  As this article reveals, if you are approached for work by a competitor of your client, you should think about it carefully. After all, you don’t want to end up losing your loyal customer.

The costs of a bad hire

As you know, small businesses often do not have the budget for an HR manager. Getting one is also often not appropriate considering the small scale of operations. As a result, the task is often left to people who lack human resource knowledge or, the founder (owner/operator) shoulders the task thus spreading thin his or her precious time.

In either case, the result is often a bad hire. And while getting a hiring manager is costly, the repercussions of a bad hire can cost a lot more.

According to a survey of 444 companies by Right Management, companies experienced the following after a bad hire:

  • 66% experienced a decrease in work productivity
  • 51% suffered higher training costs
  • 44% dealt with increased recruitment costs
  • 40% faced higher severance costs
  • 54% lost their customers and/or market share

To assist small businesses, Nectjobs developed a hiring guide for small business designed to equip you with the right tools, techniques, and strategies on how to recruit the right person. You can access it for free by clicking on the hyperlink with no opt-in or email capture.

The guide focused on the most crucial areas of the recruitment process in chronological order:

Knowing what you really need

  • Nailing the job design
    • Nailing the job description
    • Attracting the right talent
  • Knowing what to offer
    • Writing and posting a killer job post
  • Learning the techniques of the hiring process
    • Shortlisting candidates
    • The interviewing process
  • Effective employee orientation techniques
  • Onboarding smoothly and keeping them hooked

4 Things You Need At A Networking Event

Photo Under Creative Commons License

Photo Under Creative Commons License

Networking events are extremely valuable opportunities for all who attend. They are a great way to meet new people in your field and to make new connections that may help you in the future. However, it is not just enough to show up to these events; you should also be marketing your business or brand to the other attendees as effectively as possible. If you are attending such an event soon and you are feeling a little bit intimidated, here are four things you should have in your back pocket to help you get through it and make some good impressions.

1. Pens

There are plenty of promotional items on which you can put your business’s name, but the most popular of these would probably be the trusty pen. People love free pens, and even if they just toss the pen into their stationery drawer, there is a good chance it will be used at some point in time. Pens are also useful at networking events because people often forget to bring their own writing implements. If you think you might want some customised pens for your upcoming event, specialists in promotional products, such as Adcall, can help you out.

2. Business Cards

The good old trusty business card needs to be a staple in your business arsenal, and they are great to hand out at networking events as well. It will usually have all your details on it, including your name, mobile phone number, email address, and possibly a very brief overview of what your business is all about. Don’t be afraid to offer cards to people, though you will find that interested parties will usually ask for one anyway.

3. Name Badges

It can be awkward to continually ask for people’s names, and these events are usually quite busy and crowded, so chances are you probably won’t have the brain power to remember anyone’s name with any clarity. This is where name badges come in handy – you can either print these and have them ready or get attendees to create their own (if you’re the organiser). Either way, these are often a must-have at networking events.

4. Confidence

This might sound a bit cheesy and a little obvious, but confidence goes a long way at these sorts of events. Don’t be afraid of rejection, and don’t be afraid to approach people you want to talk to. You can gain an enormous amount of experience and knowledge from networking events, and you don’t want to squander that just because you lack that little bit of confidence.

These are only four of the many things you need at a networking event. If you are apprehensive about hosting or attending such an event, ask your friends or colleagues if they have ever been to one. Ask them for advice and then take it on board – good luck!

Do you often attend networking events? Do you coordinate these types of gatherings? Is there anything that you think would be essential for such an event? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Hire The Right Employees With These 5 Tips


Photo Under Creative Commons License CanStockPhoto

Hiring the right employees can be a critical factor in the success or demise of your business. But finding the right person for the job can be a stressful, time-consuming experience – sometimes you wonder if it would be easier to just take a gamble on the first seemingly qualified candidate that comes by. So how can you find the people you need without all of the stress? Here are a few things you should bear in mind throughout the hiring and interview process to help you make the best possible hire.

1. Narrow Your Search

Recruitment can be a really messy process and there are many different ways to streamline it. Some businesses prefer to list vacancies and opportunities themselves through public job search websites, but the responses are wildly varied and it can be hard to narrow down the candidates. Going through a proven recruitment company like Smart Worker will help you find ideal candidates and get them in for an interview far more efficiently.

2. Look For Commitment

Anyone who is committed to building their career is a person you want on your team. People with long resumes filled with short stints at other companies, jumping ship every six months for the promise of a higher salary, are not worth your time regardless of their skill level. A career-focused person tends to be a loyal person and this stability will lead to a long and fruitful business relationship.

3. Check For Compatibility

An employee who is a great fit for your particular company culture is essential. If a candidate possesses the social skills to start developing relationships with co-workers and management alike, they will be a vital asset and key to making your office a fun and enjoyable place to work. They must have a willingness to compromise and work cooperatively with others, so if their relations with current business partners or clients are strained then look elsewhere.

4. Ask Better Questions

Your interview process is a time when you can dig in and find out quite a lot about a given candidate, but it can often get bogged down in minutia or questions that make the candidate uncomfortable. Asking hard questions is fine, but ask too many and the candidate might think the job isn’t worth all the effort. Bring others in on the hiring process as other opinions might give you food for thought.

5. Check Social Media

As mentioned, getting too personal in an interview may cause a communication breakdown. Many employers are able to get a better idea of who a given candidate is as a person by checking out their social media presence. Some may be crafty and have their privacy settings maxed out, but others may be fine with leaving their accounts public. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are all excellent places to start.

These are just a few of the ways you can increase the chances that you’ll hire the right employees when the time comes. There are so many other considerations but these are key. What are your biggest considerations when looking at candidates?

Praise At Work

I am not an advocate of feeding Praise Junkies as spotlighted in the BBC article hyperlinked, but praise does go a long way to motivating employees. Here is a useful infographic to help you motivate your team.

Interview Question To Test A Candidate

Here’s a quick quiz to get your (mental) hamster working…

I have used mini tests (quizzes) like this math quiz for years in Interviews… You can find thousands of them online, especially on

Go ahead and have a look, try to solve it and then come back so I can explain WHAT you are looking for to determine a person’s skill, ability AND personality.

Continue reading ‘Interview Question To Test A Candidate’

How to Build a Healthy Relationship with Your Lawyer

businessman-agreement-cartoon_23-2147508090Lawyers may seem scary and intimidating, but almost everyone will need to see one at some point in their lives.

If you’ve never met with a lawyer before, don’t be afraid to ask questions and to meet with a variety of firms before settling on one you feel comfortable with. After this, it is up to both of you to maintain a healthy relationship with each other so you are getting as much as you can out of their expertise.

There are many different instances where you might need a lawyer, and these can often be unexpected. Lawyers also tend to have specialties, so be sure to consider this when making your selection. For example, if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, specialists in this field like Motor Accident Legal Service will be able to guide you most easily along every step of the way.

Whatever your situation is, here are some ways to build a good relationship with your lawyer.


Consistent and clear communication is key to the maintenance of any healthy relationship, and the one between you and your lawyer is no different. This also means that you shouldn’t be pestering your lawyer every day – they have other clients that are also deserving of their attention. In the same vein, make sure you provide all the information that you can so they aren’t calling you all the time to ask for clarification.

Realistic Expectations

In your first meeting with your lawyer, sit down and iron out some basic expectations that you both agree upon. This might include the frequency of updates, preferred methods of communication, and the delivery of invoices. Your lawyer might also give you some guidelines that they work by – every lawyer has their own little quirks. Setting such a baseline means both parties know what is expected of them, and this will make the relationship run more smoothly.

Follow Instructions

Your lawyer can only help you if you follow their instructions. They are qualified professionals, and they should always genuinely do their best to help you obtain the best outcome possible. Sometimes, the best course of action might not be something you want to do, but it will definitely be worth it in the long run. You will get the most out of your lawyer if you trust them and respect their expertise.

Be Honest

Honesty, as the saying goes, is the best policy, and this is especially pertinent when it comes to your relationship with your lawyer. They cannot help you if you omit or lie about information – this might even hinder your chances of a positive outcome. Such issues will eventually be uncovered, which might lead to your lawyer losing trust in you and possibly the deterioration of your professional relationship.

Just keep in mind that no matter what kind of lawyer you end up with, the lawyer-client relationship is a two-way street. Be professional, honest and respectful, and you should not have any trouble with your lawyer.

How do you maintain a healthy relationship with you lawyer? Are there differences between your approach to a personal lawyer when compared to a business lawyer? Leave your advice and experiences in the comments section down below.

So, you want to quit your job… Don’t make this common mistake

Quitting a job or starting a new business is part of the circle of ‘business’ life that is now well accepted and expected. The reasons include a faster-changing world, accelerating with new technologies, the desire to expand one’s reach beyond a single industry and/or role and of course life-cycle changes following a life-changing event such as a divorce/separation, birth of a child, loss of a loved one, etc.

Early in my career, I was disgruntled and a very wise colleague told me “never leave without knowing where you’re going“.. AND “the more you understand why you’re leaving, the better your choice (of new job, career, company) will be.”

That wisdom has stayed with me over the past decades as I saw myself create several reincarnations for myself – each one progressively better as my decision-making process improved.

In the first instance, I am not ashamed to admit – it took me almost a year to stop whinging (to myself) about what I didn’t like about my “job/boss/role/situation”.

I listened to motivational recordings (they were on cassette tapes back then) by Brian Tracy, Anthony Robbins and Jay Abraham, among dozens of others. It was a journey of self-exploration that led to starting my first company and setting me on my course towards my ultimate destiny.

Admittedly it is easier said than done, but there is a process you can follow:

  1. Identify all the things you LOVE about your job, boss, colleagues, clients, suppliers, industry, etc.
  2. Do the same for all the things you DON’T LIKE, that annoy you, are missing or you would like to have IN THIS JOB.
  3. Ask yourself the all-important question – WHY do you want to change jobs/careers?
    1. The more honest you are with yourself, the better. Remember – NO ONE will see your list!
    2. Sometimes the reasons are, you need a change because you can do the job with your eyes closed and you’re bored. If that’s the case, then you need to determine what is the NEXT challenge you need, desire, want for yourself… Or is it just a change, something “new” you’re looking for?
  4. If you were to apply for the IDEAL/PERFECT job/role what would it be?
    1. Be specific. Where would it be? Downtown, in a suburb? A view or next to nature?
    2. What would you be doing? Who would you report to? How much autonomy would you have?
  5. What would the IDEAL/PERFECT company be to work for?
    1. A small, entrepreneurial, a start-up?
    2. A large corporation with big budgets and lots of career choices and opportunities?
    3. Your own company so you can make all the decisions?
    4. How about going “solo” / freelance for a while? As you figure out what’s next?
  6. How long will you commit to this new venture, opportunity, role?
    1. This is important to know BEFORE you take the role, to be fair to your employer and for you to know how much you are willing to invest to get a return on that investment (career or industry changes come with some necessary extra time/effort investment). Will you need to take courses, read after-hours to catch up on stuff you don’t know? Will you need to acquire certifications or other accreditations?
  7. Last, but very important – WHO are you doing this for? Yourself, your family… You need clarity in respect of the forces at play, otherwise the incongruency will manifest itself at some point.

No one can or should be telling you what to do or not do. You need to follow your heart and accept that with the independence of choice, the onus/responsibility is on you to make the best decision possible.

I guarantee you that once you achieve clarity of intent – the Law Of Attraction will come to your assistance.

Once the mind can Conceive and Believe, it can Achieve… anything.

I wish you what your heart and mind desire so you can flourish to become the best version of you, you can be.


Do you have a legitimate case for unfair dismissal?

Written by: Laura Costello (Bachelor of Law/International Relations at Latrobe University).

In Australia, unfair dismissal laws and regulations protect employees from being dismissed on prejudicial or unreasonable grounds.

What is an unfair dismissal?

An unfair dismissal occurs where the Fair Work Commission (the body that deals with cases of unfair dismissals),determines that;

  • the dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonable
  • the dismissal was not a case of genuine redundancy (the employer no longer required the person’s role to be performed by anyone)
  • the dismissal was not consistent with the Small Business Fair Dismissal Code. (A small business is a business that employs fewer than 15 employees).

By bringing an unfair dismissal application to the Commission you begin a legal process that can help settle the dispute between yourself and your former employer. Whilst is preferable to settle the matter by agreement, the Commision can step in to make an order if an agreement cannot be reached.

What constitutes a harsh, unjust or unreasonable dismissal

The Fair Work Commission must take the following into account;

  • whether there was a valid reason for the dismissal
  • whether the person was given an opportunity to respond to the reason after being notified
  • whether the person had been warned if the dismissal related to unsatisfactory performance
  • Whether the person could have been reasonably  re-employed after being held redundant elsewhere within the company or an associated entity of the company.

Who is eligible to make an application for unfair dismissal?

To apply for a remedy in regard to unfair dismissal, an employee must be covered by the national unfair dismissal laws and also have completed the minimum period of employment. In a small business, the minimum period is one year, and in a larger business of 15 or more employees this is six months. You will not be eligible to make an application if you are;

  • a casual employee unless you had a reasonable expectation that your job would continue
  • a contractor
  • earn $129,300 or more.

The Small Business Fair Dismissal Code

You will have a legitimate case for unfair dismissal if your employer has failed to adhere to this code. The code provides that It is fair for an employer to dismiss an employee without warning when the employer believes on reasonable grounds that the employee’s conduct is sufficiently serious to justify immediate dismissal. Such conduct includes violence, theft and fraud.

In all other circumstances a small business employer must give valid reason for the dismissal, or risk being subject to an unfair dismissal claim. The employee must be warned verbally or in writing and give the employee a reasonable chance to rectify the problem. All small businesses are required to produce evidence of complying with the code if a former employee makes an unfair dismissal claim.

Are you within the time limitations for an unfair dismissal remedy application?

An unfair dismissal remedy application must be lodged within 21 days of the dismissal coming into effect. The Commission will only accept late applications in exceptional circumstances.

Lodging your application

When lodging an application for an unfair dismissal remedy, you will be assigned a case manager whose role is to assemble your file for the Commission. However, it is important to note that the case manager cannot assist you with preparing the application and cannot give you legal advice on how to submit your case and the likelihood of your case being successful. It is therefore advised that all applicants seek the advice of a lawyer to assist with the application process.


If the Commission finds that you were unfairly dismiss, they may order the following remedies depending on the specific circumstances

  • reinstatement to the same or equivalent position
  • payment of lost wages
  • compensation instead of reinstatement into the same position

Author Bio: Laura Costello is in her third year of a Bachelor of Law/International Relations at Latrobe University. She is passionate about the law, the power of social media, and the ability to translate her knowledge of both common and complex legal topics to readers across a variety of mediums, in a way that is easy to understand.