Business – Constructing Efficient Systems – Having a System to Manage Information Overload

My adult children are disgusted when they noticed that I have several hundred emails in my Inbox or can’t find a computer report with ease. They are even more annoyed, however, when I print documents that they think could have been better left as digital records.

These children have grown up with computers and therefore have learned how to deal with things in a different way than I have. They also are used to protecting the environment and trusting electronic files whereas I tend to feel more comfortable with physical files and printed documents.

Because we live in a world in which we receive an overwhelming amount of information, it is important to learn how to manage it in an effective manner. Following are some tips for handling both electronic and printed data:

1. Set up folders in your email software to hold information that needs to be kept. I tend to use the name of the person who sent it to me and the folder name but you can use any method that will help you to file and then find it again.

2. Deal with things as they arrive. Organizational specialists often recommend that you only touch a piece of paper once. It’s act on it, file it, or destroy it. The same applies to emails.

3. Develop a system for storing reports or documents that you need to keep. It only takes a couple of minutes to properly label a file folder.

4. Ensure that all of your photos are downloaded from your camera and labelled properly.

5. Learn about specific techniques that you can use to search for information stored on your hard drive.

6. Get rid of everything you don’t need. If you can’t name the items in a box before opening it, you likely don’t need the contents!

7. Keep your voice mailbox cleared. Writing a list of caller names and numbers will allow you to delete the messages as you listen to them.

Managing information involves having a plan that includes responding to it, filing it or destroying it. Responding means you will deal with it right away. Filing it means that you will have a system which will allow you to quickly find it again when it is needed. Destroying it means that you will have a shredder, garbage can or trash folder available for immediate use.

Business – Constructing Efficient Systems – New Client Processing

Before you ever have the first appointment, you will need to ensure that you can provide appropriate services to match the needs and then ask a number of questions to gather information for your file.

Following are the things that need to be asked when the prospect initially contacts the office:

1. Who referred you? This will help to determine the type of services that are needed and help to identify if there is a third-party who will pay the fees.

2. Have you had previous appointments in this office? If so, you will be able to reactive an archived file and review the case before the client arrives for the session.

3. Why does the client want to see a psychologist? Gathering this information will allow you to understand the issues to be dealt with and then refer the client elsewhere if the work falls outside of your competency or mandate.

4. Who will be attending the sessions? This questions provides you with an opportunity to accurately determine fees and also give an opening for discussion of confidentiality.

5. Is there are any fee coverage available for the client? You will then be able to describe the process for the client regarding payment. Some companies allow the therapist to direct bill whereas others only accept a receipt and form from the client who will pay you and then submit a claim. Also, some companies only pay a portion of the fee so the client will need to know how the balance can be paid (cash, cheque, debit or credit card options should be explained).

6. What is the client contact information? You will need full name(s), address and telephone numbers. I have a printed form which we use to record this. There have been several times when the receptionist neglected to collect the information. I was unable to follow up and, when the client did not follow my twenty-four hour cancellation policy, I was unable to invoice them for not showing up.

Once you have gathered the above information you will need to explain:

1. Office location and parking. I have all of this information on my website so besides explaining, give them the URL to review. It is also important to give simple directions and details such as when any outside doors may be locked.
2. Fees and payment information – Explain what forms of payment you accept, the timing and and amount of fees.
3. Cancellation policies. For example, I charge the full fee if the client does not cancel or rebook twenty-four hours in advance.
4. Information they can access before the appointment (your website, current newspaper articles or any other resources).

During the initial contact with your prospect, you will be developing rapport with them. It is a scary thing for some people to call a professional for an appointment, especially if they think that their problem is embarrassing. Your tone and words will help them to relax and look forward to their first appointment.

Building the Right Business – Construction Franchises

When considering purchasing a franchise there is a fantastic option in the construction field. This is another field that provides services that pretty much everyone will need at some point in their lives and even multiple times through out their lives. Pretty much anyone can work in construction but not everyone can run a company.

It is important to consider buying in to a franchise that provides quality services as opposed to running a small under the table business. We all have hard times but buying into an established franchise will help avoid start up failures as there will be a tested and proven guidelines given by the main owner of the company as a whole.

There are so many aspects to construction that concentrated areas are definitely where the money is. Being a jack of all trades is always beneficial, but costumers appreciate those that are well versed in the particular construction that they are needing done. When the company is trying to provide multiple services at once the quality can go down but there are times when that is different.

Having a construction franchise with multiple employees under you that have the experience to make sure that there is always quality work will help prevent loss of quality. There are a few different specific construction business opportunities such as flooring franchises, equipment rental franchises, and even hardware franchises. Find what your passion really is and pick a franchise based on that.

A construction franchise involves a large amount of bureaucracy. This is because of many things such as administration and such dangerous conditions working as a construction worker brings. There are higher insurance costs and more strict regulations in regards to health and safety. There are many things to consider when going into business for yourself as a franchisee including all of the responsibilities you will have for yourself and all of your particular franchise’s employees.

The next thing to consider is how you are going to fund the purchase of a franchise. There is the initial investment and then after that there are the prices of the upkeep and having to purchase all of the materials. There is also breaking ground, health insurance to consider, and royalty fees. Despite the investment, purchasing a franchise will be cheaper in the long run due to the fact that these are business models that have been proven to work.

Find a new found enthusiasm for working when being in control of your very own construction franchise. This will help you push forward into a prime career that you actually enjoy taking part in. This will mean that you need to take the time to really consider what your passion is but it is more than worth it. Even if your passion isn’t construction there are plenty of franchises in all kinds of industries. They will help you get on the path to true success and you will be able to live comfortably in no time. There is no cap to what goals you can reach with your own franchise.