Tag Archives: tips

You know your stuff, you have a comprehensive website, marketing materials and customers who depend on your services, but can you do more to earn money by sharing your expertise? Absolutely!
A targeted or niche business retreat may be the missing link in your business plan. Hosting a business retreat can not only help your current customers get to know you in a different genre, it may open the door to new customers who are looking for a more intimate approach to learning about your expertise and what services you can offer them.
When creating a plan for your retreat, there are many elements to think about and execute to make the experience enjoyable for both you and your participants.
As with all events, the success of the retreat largely depends on the preparation. Get this right and the retreat will not only give amazing value, but it will be an unforgettable experience for all involved.  Working with someone familiar with retreat planning is always advisable to help ensure success.  Many virtual assistants are skilled in planning, executing and providing follow-up assistance at the end of the retreat

Here are 5 important starter steps when planning a business retreat.

  1. When should you hold the retreat?
    Take into consideration holidays, and give yourself plenty of time to market your retreat.  Decide what months make the most sense for not only you, but your customer base.  There is no magic solution to picking the date, and it may take some trial and error, but think about if a weekend retreat would work better, or if doing it during the week will get better traction.
  2. How long will the retreat last?
    This is where preparation is key.  Think about your ability to sustain your energy level throughout the day, and ensure that the retreat duration is enough for the material you plan to teach.  You may also want to make sure your retreat location has other activities your guests can enjoy during any downtime.  This could include quiet sitting areas, hiking trails, a health and wellness spa, or workout room.
  3. Where will it be held?
    What ever location you choose, be sure to visit  it in person. Decide if you want a formal or informal setting.  A retreat is usually meant to generate ideas and mastermind discussions, so make sure the environment is appropriate.  Talk to the event coordinator and be sure you get everything in writing.  Be clear on lodging expectations, pricing, and food accommodations.  Nothing is worse than having unexpected surprises when your retreat customers arrive.
  4. How will you market your retreat?
    This is where a virtual assistant can be a huge asset to you.  Have them place Facebook ads, create email marketing campaigns, tweet about it using an appropriate #hashtag.  Advertise the retreat in popular online retreat directories such as http://www.retreatfinder.com and http://www.retreatsonline.com, create a video series that can be shared on social media, offer partial scholarship opportunities.
  5. Create a retreat program
    Determine your daily objective. Use graphics, charts and graphs if appropriate.  Be sure your branding and contact information is clear and included on the program.  Have this printed program available to all guests.  Make sure your powerpoint presentation (if you are using one) matches this program so that your presentation is cohesive.

Are the stockings hung, is your shopping done, and do you have the party arrangements made? ‘Tis the season for a lot of extra to-do’s, commitments and social gatherings. Do you feel that the 8-12 productive hours of your day goes by too fast and by the end of each week, does it feels like the countdown clock is ticking faster and faster and your energy level is dropping quickly?

There are things you can do to help you stay on track.  Below are 5 examples of productivity tips, tools and delegation techniques. This is our gift to you!  Practice or use some of these examples, and you will immediately start to feel less frazzled and more in control of your day.

  1. Do you use Gmail a lot? Then you need to see this graphic with all the keyboard shortcuts that can make like a million times easier. It comes complete with visualizations of each action, for some reference of what you’re actually accomplishing. Source:Gizmodo
  2. Delegate! The more you hand off to others, the more productive you’ll be. If someone else can do a task, if you can show someone else how to do it or if somebody on your team can show someone else how to do an activity, then don’t do it yourself. Don’t get caught in the trap of thinking you have to do things because nobody else knows how. Source: Barbara Bates, Founder and CEO of Eastwick
  3. Some tools that can help you be more productive and save you time are:
    Evernote can change your life. If you have a bad memory, and don’t want to waste time trying to remember where you have stored something, you should be using Evernote. From kids artwork to family or business identification numbers, from shopping list to your next book project. Evernote is a place for everything and everything in its place.
    Hootsuite is a way to manage your social media account all in one location with a simple to use dashboard. Schedule your posts, engage with your followers, and set up filters to keep communication flowing easily.
  4. Two Minute Rule: A tip from David Allen is that if something takes less than two minutes, do it now. By adopting this rule, you will clear a lot of things from your To Do list very quickly. It also gives you a sense of satisfaction and achievement which only fuels your productivity.
  5. The first few hours of the work day can have a significant effect on your level of productivity over the following eight—so it’s important you have a morning routine that sets you up for success. You may have to attend to projects or discussions that rolled over from the previous afternoon—but try to treat each day as a fresh start. Source: Forbes.com