Category Archives: Optech

Productivity & Your Business: 4 Master Keys to Success

productive living

Let me ask you an important question: How much is the lack of the personal productivity of you and your employees costing your business?

Sometimes it can be hard to quantify, but instinctively all of us know that unproductive people hurt our bottom lines, both directly and indirectly.  They do it directly by taking longer to do tasks, thereby increasing the labor cost of products and services and reducing profits.  They do it indirectly by causing shipments to be late, and that can cause disgruntled customers who never return to do business with us again.

It is perfectly logical that making an investment in personal productivity in the work environment can pay huge dividends – BUT HOW DO WE PRACTICALLY ACCOMPLISH THIS?

Here are some suggestions that will help you navigate the personal productivity waters.

  • Hire a professional.  Just as doctors specialize in various areas of medicine, there are those of us whose major focus is on improving personal and business productivity.  Our observation skills and abilities to formulate effective action plans far transcend the capabilities of the average individual, and the investment made can pay huge dividends.
  • Communicate.  Your employees need to know where they fit in.  Have you taken the time to make them aware of where they fit – how what they do contributes to the organization and to satisfied customers?  And have you done so in a way that really personalizes it for each employee?
  • Listen, Act, and Give Credit.  Improving productivity has a lot to do with understanding what people do, how they do it, and more importantly, why they do it the way they do.  Listening involves getting to this level of understanding, but it also involves asking for input on how things can be done better – and then listening – really listening – to the feedback.  But listening is not enough.  Good ideas need to be acted upon and implemented as soon as possible.  And finally, the recognition – the credit – needs to go back to the person who authored the idea.  Failing to do this last step practically guarantees that you’ll never get another good idea from an employee.
  • Share.  Consider running an open-book business.  Have monthly communications meetings with your employees, during which you talk about the state of the business.  Be honest in asking for their help and ideas to be able to improve quality, reduce costs, and shorten deliveries.  Tell them about your competition and the challenges you are facing in the marketplace.  You’ll be very pleasantly surprised to see just how intelligent and resourceful your employees can be.

As always, we are here to help.  At Optechs, our core competencies are built around delivering Optimized Performance to you and your business.  Call us at 203.599.1467 for a FREE, no obligation 63-minute consultation.

©2014 by Gary L. Smith and Optimum Performance Technologies, LLC (optechs.com).  All rights reserved.

Gary Smith Interview On Ask The Expert

Small Business CT recently hosted Gary Smith for a segment of Ask The Expert that allowed Gary to share some of his philosophies on succeeding in business.

You can hear the full interview through a download here and we have laid out some highlights for you below.

Why Sign Up For Ask The Expert Segment

Gary Smith has spent the past 15 years helping business owners succeed by using his knowledge of professionalism and workplace culture. His expertise throughout his years in business has helped him bring his company, Optimum Performance Technologies, to the forefront.

Now that Optechs has a growing reputation, Gary is able to give business professionals the right tools and a strong focus on their goals to help them succeed.

Defeating The Goliaths In Your Small Business

During the Ask The Expert segment, Gary was asked about his book The Shepherd and the Princess and how the concept of conquering your small business Goliaths came about. Gary said the first step is knowing “why” you’re in business.

He said having a business comes down to what you’re trying to accomplish in your life, and how does that goal relate to what you are doing in your business. He said the first step to making this realization is coming up with a Mission Statement for yourself to tell the world what you are all about.

The Optechs Consulting Method

Gary Smith was asked during his interview on Ask The Expert about the model of his consulting business and how it helps business owners keep from sinking before they become profitable. Although the model began as a consultation of understanding, it has blossomed to coaching people on dealing with every day problems.

Gary said “people problems” is often a troublesome problem in growing businesses and he cited a few situations that were easily solved through his coaching methods to ensure leaders of business succeed.

Learn More About Gary Smith

If you would like to learn more about the consulting experience with Gary Smith you can contact him here. For a quick glimpse into the ways he is able to help your grow in business or personally you can download the full interview here.

Giving And Receiving

You work hard in your vegetable garden and harvest an abundance of fresh produce. You fill a bag full of tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, and squash and knock on your neighbor’s door to share the bounty of your harvest. As you hand her the gift from your garden, she asks if she can pay you something. You decline, but you also understand why she’s asking. If it’s not Christmas, a birthday, or an anniversary, people are uncomfortable with the idea of receiving a gift.

We have a human tendency to want to work for everything we get. That is sometimes accompanied by the feeling that what we don’t earn is sometimes undeserved, and that feeling keeps us from both giving and receiving in a way that blesses others.

Importance Of Giving And Receiving

Life is about graciously giving and receiving in all areas of our lives. We must all bless in order to both be a blessing, and receive blessings, in life. But when it comes to our businesses, what are the practical expressions of blessing others?  Consider these as examples:

  • Under-promise and over-deliver.  Learn to employ the motto, “Always deliver more than you promise.”
  • Add valuable content to social media.  Follow the 80/20 rule.  All of your social media content should follow the rule – 80% value added and 20% asking for business.
  • Don’t nitpick the pennies.  If you charge hourly fees, as I often do, be more concerned about doing what is right than getting paid for every minute you spend with your clients.  Trust me – they know when you do, they appreciate it, and they will bless you with more business because of it.
  • Be employee-centric.  Developing a profitable business requires a customer-centric approach – and developing a customer-centric business requires an employee-centric approach.  Don’t expect your employees to care about and for your customers until they know you care about them.
  • Be customer-centric.  Focus your business on blessing and delighting your customers.  Always remember – people do business with those whom they know, like, and trust.  Be known, be likeable, and be trustworthy.

How many more ideas can you and your team come up with?

 

©2014 by Gary L. Smith and Optimum Performance Technologies, LLC (optechs.com).  All rights reserved.

5 Practical Steps For Drowning Your Problems

There’s an old saying that contains a great deal of wisdom:

When problem solving, don’t just put out the fire – find the guy with the match!

Another saying admonishes us to make sure that we solve problems completely. It simply says:

Hold every problem under water until it drowns!

Learning Effective Problem Solving

Both of these statements are aimed at communicating one thing to those of us who are in the problem solving business – and that is that far too often, problems are never solved because people are addressing the symptoms instead of identifying and killing the real root cause.

My forty plus years of experience as both a technical and business problem solver have taught me some powerful lessons. Here are a few of the things I’ve learned when it comes to effective problem solving.

  1. Most of the time, the root of the problem is deeper than you think. Just like a pesky dandelion in your yard, the flower (symptom) waves in the wind, but the root of the plant (the real cause) is hiding deep in the ground. You can chop the top off all you want, but until you extract or kill the root, the plant (problem) is going to keep coming back.
  2. Be patient. Taking the time to think things through, and being careful not to overreact, is important in the problem solving process. Cool, logical, analytical heads always prevail.
  3. Listen to the process. Every business process has a story to tell if you listen closely. Observations, data collection and analysis, and a healthy dose of common sense can be integrated to create a picture of what is going on. Just as a doctor uses the skill of observation, combined with information in the form of test results, to diagnose what is wrong with a patient, so must you combine all of the information you can gather to understand the problem with which you are dealing.
  4. Test your theories. The ultimate test in solving a problem is not “did it go away.” Where the rubber meets the road is in answering the question, “Can you turn it on and off?” Being able to turn a problem on and off means that you have identified the causative factors that, under the right conditions, allow the problem to manifest itself.
  5. Verify effectiveness of your solutions. When you finally put corrective actions in place, always monitor the process for a period if time to make sure that the problem never rears its ugly head again.

Need help with problem solving? Give us a call at 203.599.1467, or email us at info@optechs.com. We’re here to help!

 

©2014 by Gary L. Smith and Optimum Performance Technologies, LLC (optechs.com). All rights reserved.

Al Kim Hosts Gary Smith For Rise And Shine Radio Show

Gary Smith was recently a guest of the Rise and Shine Radio Show hosted by Al Kim. WSDK 1550 AM radio station allowed the two radio show hosts to join forces for an on-air segment, and each broadcaster brought their best material to the table.

Al Kim Talks About Achieving Unusual Greatness

Gary discussed his most recent book, “Achieving Unusual Greatness,” and how it was constructed from several blog posts created in the past few years. Gary crafted the book to be read a little at a time or all at once, giving daily lessons that are the “essence” of achieving success.

Gary told Al Kim that he hoped people would use the book almost as a daily inspiration that could be quickly read for motivation. He said it was one of the more powerful projects he had worked on because of the amount of years it spanned.

Macro View Of The Business World

Gary said his background as an engineer in the manufacturing business led him to seek further education to gain a macro view of the business world. He said moving away from providing a small part of a big business has been a great career choice because he understands where those smaller, integral parts fit into the large model.

Looking For A Change Or Improvement

Al Kim commented that the economy in Connecticut was not in its tip-top form, and he asked Gary what he would say to someone who was looking to make a change or improvement. Gary said it’s important to look at your passions in life and what you’re good at before pursuing a job.

He said many people give up looking for work because they cannot find a position in their field, but a simple inventory of what they enjoy doing most in their life can lead to civic activities, leadership roles and much more.

Trusting God To Spur Change

One of the hardest things to do in life is to accept and embrace change. Gary talked to Al Kim about the common nature to resist change and how it can hold people back from their full potential. However, by trusting God and asking him to guide you, you can make major life changes that lead to amazing opportunities.

He said the most important thing to dealing with change is having a positive attitude and trusting God’s hand to guide you to where you belong. Fear is something that will have to be faced in these situations, and Gary said fear can be your best friend or your worst enemy.

Learn From Gary Smith

Whether you’re looking for business success or personal coaching, Gary has helped countless people through the toughest times of their lives. You can contact Gary through his business, Optimum Performance Technologies, to find out how he can help you get through major changes, understand your business specifics better and much more.

Be sure to tune into The Gary Smith Show on WSDK 1550 where he gets his messages out to everyone. He is always looking for new guests to showcase who have different backgrounds and skills than him, giving the audience a good sense of what can be achieved in life if you put your mind to it.