Coaching is an effective way to stimulate change and growth in business strategies and leadership behaviors. However, it is not just about achieving major breakthroughs, but also about making small adjustments that can make a significant difference. In today’s world, technology plays a crucial role in facilitating these changes. As a coach or consultant, you need to offer your clients tools and approaches that will build capacity, efficiency, and productivity. In this article, we will discuss ten tips that can help you and your clients embrace technology and harness its benefits.
1. Learn how to share and export files
Regardless of the bookkeeping software used, it is essential to learn how to export files to an Excel spreadsheet or a CSV file. This allows coaches and consultants to review their clients’ financial situations easily. By simply exporting the data to a spreadsheet, you can save time and reduce the risks of errors. Additionally, understanding how to export contact information from a PIM like Outlook or Entourage into a CSV file can help in mail merges and uploading them into services like Constant Contact to create electronic newsletter campaigns.
When sending documents for review, it is crucial to ensure that they arrive in the same format they were sent and protect them from malicious or accidental alteration. The most effective way to achieve this is by saving the document as a PDF. It provides a locked format that looks exactly like the original and cannot be easily altered.
2. Be systematic in using folders and files
Naming files and creating a system for organizing them can save time and reduce errors. For instance, creating a ‘New Client’ folder with all the subfolders required for client documents and making a copy of this folder and renaming it every time a new client comes on board can create a consistent structure for all client files.
When naming files, using a standard structure can facilitate sorting them by name, date, or type. A recommended approach is to name files “year-month-date-filename” for multiple versions of a file to sort them by the recent date first.
Backing up information and files is a critical aspect of modern-day technology usage. It is not only an effective way to deal with data loss but also helps one’s peace of mind. There are numerous backup solutions available today, from external hard drives to off-site network backups. Utilizing an auto-save function can also reduce the risks of losing your work unexpectedly.
Smartphones can also be used as backup storage for contact information and calendars. By synchronizing the data with one’s computer or other devices, it provides an additional form of backup.
4. Sync or sink!
Synchronization is the process of ensuring that the data on your computer and phone are consistently up to date. Any changes made on one device reflect on the other. Utilizing Bluetooth and off-site servers can provide seamless synchronization of contacts, calendars, tasks, notes, and other data between a phone and computer, eliminating the need to synchronize manually.
5. Dig a little deeper
When encountering issues that require expensive software to solve a particular problem, it is essential to dig a little deeper into the software already in use. Often, the functionality required is available, and all that is needed is a little training on how to access and use it. There is also the possibility of finding free software that can handle the task.
6. Learn your sums
Spreadsheets are not only useful in bookkeeping functions. They can also help to model various possibilities and options. Understanding how to create a basic budget, including sums, averages, and ratios, using spreadsheets, can provide greater control over finances.
7. Calendars, tasks, and alarms
With the average human capable of holding only 4-7 pieces of information in mind at a time, it is essential to outsource the simple tasks to a digital tool. By utilizing digital PIM tools, tasks can be scheduled, reminders set, and events, tasks, and alarms synchronized among various devices.
8. Leverage social media
Social media platforms can be a powerful tool in business and personal growth. For small businesses and entrepreneurs, it can provide a broader reach, drive traffic to their websites, and facilitate engagement with their customers. Coaches and consultants can leverage social media to grow their client’s online presence, improve networking, and increase their visibility.
9. Automate processes
Various administrative and operational tasks can be automated using technology tools. For instance, automation software like If This Then That (IFTTT) can be utilized to connect various online services and automate workflows, reducing the number of manual tasks required.
10. Online learning
Business training and education can be expensive and time-consuming. However, online learning platforms like Coursera and Lynda.com provide access to a wealth of knowledge and training courses on various topics at affordable prices. Coaches and consultants can recommend these platforms to their clients for personal development and business growth.
In conclusion, embracing technology and harnessing its benefits can provide significant advantages to small businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals. As a coach or consultant, providing practical tips and tools to empower your clients can not only help them achieve their goals but also position you as an authority in your field.