When I was a controller, one thing that I applied was taking down notes. Talking to a vendor, take down notes of the conversation. You want to make bullet points of what was said, when it was said and how it was said. In this way you become a very active participant in your job description.No matter where you work, if you take down notes, any issue that comes up you have it in writing and with exact time, place, form and event. There is very little wiggle room when you have documented the conversation. It really is a great tool, whether you work with vendors, customers or on various projects. It also helps to review your notes and to append them to the appropriate file or project.Little details can end up hurting you or hurting the business overall. If you verbally let your boss know when you are going to get something done, make a note of it. Place notes on your calendar, please don’t paper your desk or computer! Have a business journal or calendar on your desk and organize it for follow up, appointments, to do lists and so on.This is the best way of keeping track of your daily business life. Yet, it is an important learning tool when used properly. Let us say, you spoke to a vendor regarding a credit for some products that were returned. A few weeks later you note on an invoice from that vendor that the credit was not obviously applied. You can then call the vendor remind him of the conversation and note the resolve of the issue.When you are involved in multiple projects, this is a great way to look at and review your own progress. One can take a look and see if something was missed. For example, in Quickbooks in each of the vendor accounts there is room for notes. I wonder why it is there. Obviously, with vendors as well as customers, notes taken while conversing, clarifying what is being said leaves you at the advantage. If promises were made, ensure they are kept; one cannot do that if they “forget” that they made them.This helps you and your company. How else can your boss tell what you have been up to if there is no record of it? Now, this is where you can look at a pattern of administration or behavior and you can bring this to your boss and ask him or her, what are you not doing or applying. This places your boss in the position where analyzing your notes will show where you need help or further training. This helps your boss and you to become more causative over your job.A good example would be in sales. Let us say there is a salesman who sales are always low. He brings his notes on five or ten prospective customers and upon analysis, it is found that he doesn’t follow up days later, or doesn’t close since he never ask for the money. The boss then realizes in comparing with other salesmen, there are two or three things he can do to bring about the sale. The boss then recommends further training or a new approach and the salesman is now closing better.Most modern offices, want to go paperless. It will not hurt to set up a folder for each project or subject on your desktop and save your notes, emails and any electronic correspondence in that folder. I don’t know how many times I have looked back and realized that I forgot a conversation and was fortunate enough to have written it down. This allowed me to remind those concerned of such conversation and any verbal agreements that was made at that time.When dealing with government agencies, this becomes real important. You have what was said in writing, time, place, form and event. Notes are not for “I gotcha” situations, though that may happen. Notes are for learning and recording things that were said or promised. If your notes seem incomplete or cloudy, then you can always call back the individual and get things clarified. This is a sign of respect for yourself and for those that you do business with.A few more things, we like to save time. To save lots of time, within your notes always record the phone number or email address and the person you spoke with.To become an asset as an employee or employer, this tool of note taking is invaluable. It will help anyone to keep on top of their game. It can make the difference of being just good or becoming great. Take those notes and become great!
Being in business is like living itself. When one is in business, one encounters many things, including a few moments of enjoyment, pleasure, or happiness. Many times there is devastation, panic, desperation, or confusion. The majority of business consists of not-so-exciting, repetitive, and half-pleasant daily experiences. Some people become successful in business. They become rich because business is mostly about making money. These successful businesspeople have basic and common ground. When asked how and why they became successful, they always answer that they are lucky.Of course, they were not just lucky. They put a tremendous amount of effort into studying, researching, and experimenting. They reached the point where they had gone through thick and thin. They all had embarrassing failures. They all share in common that when they failed, they did not give up, and they did not run away and disappear. Instead, they thought, analyzed, and built the next step.There seems to be a pattern or cycle in business experience. It consists of three realms. The first and bottom is the “Lower Ground.” The second located above “Lower Ground” is “Water.” The top of the structure above “Water” is the “Higher Space.” The structure is shown below:Higher Space (Solutions and Experience)Water (Devastation and Desperation)Lower Ground (Problems and Suffering)Someone starting a business stands on the “Lower Ground” at the bottom. He has lots of problems. He is suffering. He does his best to address and solve problems, but his situation does not improve. He goes up to the “Water” process, where his problem gets worse. He is devastated and desperate because he cannot breathe. He feels like he could suffocate to death.Most people give up at this stage, therefore, they cannot be successful. Only one who has continued to maintain effort and struggle to survive will find himself in Higher Space. Oddly, this happens suddenly. This person finds himself breathing normally and no longer suffocating. He finds himself with solutions and experience.After one has reached this stage, there is only one process left. It is analysis. The individual needs to consider, analyze, list, and record the successful process in a business journal or personal article. This also must occur when a person fails. He needs to know exactly why and how he succeeded. If one does not run this analysis process, he will go down to the Lower Ground, just like one loses all his skills if he had not practiced his favorite sport for a long time.