6 Ways to Make Every Business Meeting Productive

1-800Accountant explains how to hold a productive meeting in a small business.

1-800Accountant explains how to hold a productive meeting in a small business.

Meetings are a significant and necessary aspect of working as a small business owner. Perhaps you’ll be meeting with current employees or job candidates. Maybe you’ll meet with potential business partners, investors, marketing firms, web designers, or anyone else out there who could lend a helping hand to the success of your startup.

To ensure you make the most of each and every business meeting you’re involved in, 1-800Accountant offers up these simple tips to make a business meeting productive:

1. Type up and distribute a meeting agenda.

A meeting agenda is basically a roadmap to help all attendees follow the meeting. Your agenda should consist of bullet points that outline the various subjects you’ll be covering. Prepare it in advance, and e-mail it or print out hard copies for everyone. This document should be fairly short as the actual meat of the meeting will come through the ensuing discussions. Consider including people’s names on the agenda in relevant sections as well to bring their attention to certain items.

2. Determine what you want to accomplish ahead of time.

Make an effort to set specific goals for any meetings in your small business. Determine what you want to get out of a meeting, what information you need or want to learn from the meeting attendees, and what you need to communicate to those around you. The biggest key to knowing you’ve had a productive meeting is by walking away feeling better and more informed.

3. Set specific and consistent meeting times.

Perhaps you hold weekly meetings with your staff. Nail down a specific day and time to meet each week, and stick to it, whether it’s Mondays at 9 a.m. or Wednesdays at 3 p.m. Be sure to select a time when everyone is available to meet – and can give you their undivided attention.

4. Ensure everyone is engaged and participatory.

When all participants are fully engaged in a business meeting, everyone will benefit from the discussions at-hand. It’s difficult to deal with individuals who don’t seem interested in what you’re talking about and have nothing to contribute. Ask these types of attendees questions about the topics being discussed. When everyone offers something to the conversation, the meeting will be much more productive and comprehensive.

5. Eliminate any potential distractions.

Have your business meetings in a quiet place, such as a conference room in your office. Require all participants to turn off their smartphones and put them away. If possible, avoid using complicated technology to present information in case there’s a technical glitch that delays things. Distractions are not only annoying, but they also can increase the length of a meeting. Who wants to meet any longer than they have to?

6. Only hold meetings when they are truly necessary.

Business meetings should only take place when necessary. There’s no point in rounding up people for a face-to-face meeting or conference call if there is not enough business to discuss. If you hold a standing meeting on a certain day and time, don’t feel like it’s set in stone because there just might not be much for your agenda. Hypothetically, every meeting should accomplish something new – or at least make progress on an ongoing subject. On another note, only invite people to a meeting who really need to be there.

For all of your small business tax and accounting needs, along with business development guidance, turn to 1-800Accountant today. Call 1-800-222-6868 or visit www.1800accountant.com.

Image credit: The image included in this blog post is used with permission via the Flickr Creative Commons license.

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