Get the Most from Your Business Meetings

Posted August 16, 2016 by Exceptional Blogs
Categories: Business Solutions, Transcription Services

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Meeting with clock-1264696_1280Although many would like to do away with meetings, whether face to face meeting or a virtual meeting, they are an essential part of running your successful business. When getting the most from your meetings, they are one of the best ways for communicating with your staff and they with you. The trick is to get maximum leverage – get the most – from your meeting. Here are a few suggestions for making your meetings as effective as possible:

1.  Develop an agenda and share it with anyone who will be attending the meetings. This gives others the opportunity to think critically about the items to be covered.

2.  Provide a specific length of time for the meetings. This will help avoid the “when will this meeting    end?” syndrome. Some mangers and executives are known to use timers very effectively for this.

3.   Try to set the meeting under 30 minutes to be mindful of the average person’s attention span. Anything longer and there will be a lot of wasted “mind power.”

4.   Develop a “parking lot” for off topic ideas or subjects. One nonprofit executive who depends on her staff continually coming up with novel ideas, assigns someone to record these spur of the moment ideas, either by taking notes or electronically recording meetings and retrieving the parking lot ideas once the meetings are transcribed. Any discussions of topic at the meeting is discouraged to avoid unnecessarily extending the meeting time.

5.  Allow time for a summation of the meeting before its ending. Include assignments of responsibilities and make sure that everyone understands their assignments.

6.  Share taking points with meeting participants so that any information about the meeting is controlled and consistent.

7.  Immediately distribute the minutes from the meetings.

These are just a few suggestions to make your meetings more effective and productive. No one has the time to spend filling it with unproductive gatherings. Make the most of your meetings so that everyone has a sense of accomplishment and an understanding that their time is valuable and their input a necessity.

If you are in need of someone to quickly transcribe those meeting minutes, don’t forget that ExceptionalTranscription and Business Solutions can help with those minutes and with other business needs.

Audrey Dixon is CEO and Founder of Exceptional Transcription and Business Solutions. She and her team are masters at accurately transcribing your audio meeting minutes, podcasts, seminars, etc. into written documents.

Save Time: You Speak, We Listen, We Print

Posted July 19, 2016 by Exceptional Blogs
Categories: Business Solutions, Transcription Services

Tags: , , ,

computer, glasses pic

Your problem is that you, like so many others, only have so many hours in the day to do what you do best, which is running your business not creating and typing documents. So how do you take care of the manuscripts you need to create? Guess what? You need help! No surprise there.

When you speak whatever it is you want the world to know, we type it. Turn your thoughts and words into documents, Power Point presentations, articles, e-books, e-courses, content for blogs and Twitter and more. You can even get your audio message transcribed from teleseminars, coaching calls, expert interviews, podcast, dictated e-books or special reports, live events/workshops, or a mix of these.

What more could you ask for? Everyone wants to be heard and, more importantly, you want to know that someone really listened to what you had to say. When you speak every word is captured and converted to a document for your use for whatever purpose you desire. In our capable hands your audio becomes text as your  audio recordings are faithfully transcribed into well-presented, crisp and clear text documents.

Stop the madness of rewinding and fast-forwarding. Keep an accurate record of interviews and presentations. Hand over your typing burden by dictating your letters and reports and have them typed up by the staff at Exceptional Transcription and Business Solutions.

Get your message across as you sit, stand,  walk, or  ride with a hand-held digital recorder to create an mp3, wav, dat file, etc. Exceptional Transcription and Business Solutions is a mobile company. You can then send the file via a secure ftp site (Dropbox), email or CD. We listen to every word you speak. Believe it or not, 60 minutes of talking can take 4-8 hours of typing, formatting and proofreading. The ultimate goal is to ensure that every ‘i’ is dotted and ‘t’ crossed; that your words flow and accurately capture your intent.

Exceptional Transcription and Business Solutions turns your audio into professionally edited transcripts that are attractive and easy-to-read. We can even include your own images, custom header/footer, and special touches for a branded report.

We ensure quality and efficiency by using professional transcription equipment – computer, keyboard, headphones and transcriber hardware. We transfer your spoken words into copy that will aid you in your business success.

In addition, all of our transcripts are produced by professional typists without additional, sometimes inaccurate, voice recognition software. With a large pool of typists, we assign the best qualified typist to your transcripts, taking into account their fields of specialized knowledge.

Let us know if you need your text tidied up for clarity. The spoken word differs greatly in flow and structure from written text. In some cases, the best transcript is achieved by tidying up the grammar used by the speaker. When you place your order, you provide guidance on the type of transcript you expect.

Can you think of a time when you needed to be working but you also needed to transcribe a document? How did that turn out? What went lacking?

 

I am blatantly offering help from Exceptional Transcription and Business Solutions. We want to give you more time. Don’t hesitate to contact us when you need your work turned into documents.

The time is now to take me up on this offer. Feel free to leave an example of times when you had to attend to audio documents, such as transcribing depositions instead of running your law office effectively. Leave a comment. We’d love to hear how you solved your dilemma.

 

 

 

 

 

Do You have a Business Mindset?

Posted September 28, 2015 by Exceptional Blogs
Categories: Business Solutions

Tags: , , , , , ,

business team ID-10066165In order to succeed as an  entrepreneur you must have a business mindset. You can have all the schooling in the world, but if you are still clinging to a nine-to-five mentality, success in the business arena will be elusive.

Having a business mindset is often manifests as an innate quality that cannot be ignored. That is the reason so many individuals go into business from the start, bypassing the nine-to-five career. You know who you are: you had a lemonade stand as an eight year old; you pestered your neighbors for odd jobs like taking out their trash, shoveling their snow or babysitting; you delivered newspapers or pizzas.  You demonstrated that you were not afraid to think of ways to make money.

There are probably just as many of you who developed or discovered your business mindset after experiencing working for others and believing there was another way to create success.

Sometimes the business mindset is instilled as we watch others around us. In my case, it was in watching my father. I worked in corporate world, but ultimately I realized my greatest satisfaction was going to come from the framework of helping others through a business that I owned, just as my father had done.

Although it wasn’t necessary for me to shift my thinking in any large degree in order to adopt the mindset, I still needed a shift in thinking for a business mindset to fully emerge. I compiled a few of the ways that it was important for me to adopt/develop my entrepreneurial spirit and business mindset:

  • Absolutely have a purpose and a vision. You must have some idea of what you want from life and what you have to offer to life in order to make your vision a reality.
  • Focus your ideas not on making money, but on service to others. In other words, how can you help to make another’s business better or another’s life better? Build on that.
  • You should expect challenges and be prepared to tackle them.
  • Take risks. Without risks, there is little new that will come about and it will certainly be difficult to take action on your goals.
  • Don’t skimp on your education. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to pursue the four year college education, but it does mean take advantage of all education that you can garner from a variety of sources, including mentors, and that you should never stop learning. Today’s world changes too rapidly. As an entrepreneur you cannot remain stagnant.
  • Approach your enterprise with a sense of gratitude which will automatically put you in a positive mindset.
  • Don’t let failures derail you. Often success is that much sweeter when there have been failures and mistakes.
  • Make every effort to be around others that think the way that you do, whenever you can, in order to avoid the risk of having others negatively influence your thinking.
  • Believe in your enterprise, whether you are a solo entrepreneur or you are on your way to employing hundreds or thousands. If you don’t genuinely believe in yourself and what you have to offer – you’ve heard it many times before – no one else will.

Only you can measure what true success means to you and only you can develop your business mindset to achieve that success.

I would like to know when and how you discovered that you have a business mindset?

Until next time…

Be Exceptional!

Audrey

CEO/Founder Exceptional Transcription and Business Solutions

The Loss of a Pet: Goodbye Speckles

Posted July 26, 2015 by Exceptional Blogs
Categories: Uncategorized

Exceptional Transcription & Business Solutions, Inc.

cockatielPhotoSPECKLES

2003 – 2013

I heard the thud when Speckles fell from her perch to the floor of her cage.  I got up quickly thinking maybe she had hurt her leg or wing.

“Speckles!  Speckles!  What’s wrong girl?”

Then the sound of two screeching noises, her expanded wings started folding inward and her eyes slowly closed.  I turned her over and her little beady eyes closed for the last time and she was gone.  Just like that!  It was as sudden as snapping your fingers or a quick clap of the hands.

In that moment my heart fell.  I had that queasy feeling you get when something has gone wrong.  The first thought was that she hadn’t been acting any different.  I even watched her earlier playing with one of her toys.

I quickly got out the camera and took Speckles’ picture for the last time.  I couldn’t help myself.

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Success Tools of the Small Business Owner and Entrepreneur

Posted March 30, 2015 by Exceptional Blogs
Categories: Business Solutions

Tags: , , , , , ,

assorted_toolsWhen you decide to become an entrepreneur, you have taken an important step in bringing a product or service that you are passionate about to others. When take the leap and start your business, there are a few tools that are important for the small business and the entrepreneur to succeed. Many of these tools come in the form of apps or software that makes being in business, even as a solo entrepreneur, so much more feasible and definitely easier than ever before. I’ve listed a few must haves. Take a look and see if you are missing any of the essential tools for your business.

Smartphone. Okay, I know what you are saying, “Who doesn’t have a Smartphone?” You would be surprised at comments I’ve heard from those who are resistant to buying a smartphone. If they are in business, working away from their desks and desktop computer is that much more difficult when they don’t have a smartphone. If travel is a part of your business, the smartphone is an essential must have. Whether they choose android or a OS device, in truth, I wonder how much they are willing to really invest in the success of their business if they opt not to own a smartphone.

An email marketing provider. Marketing is at the heart of any successful business and email marketing is practically a must. At Exceptional Transcription and Business Solutions we uses Constant Contact to build out and send wonderful emails and email newsletters to keep my customers informed. Another is Canva which allows you to create personalized emails or marketing materials, even personalized cards to stay in touch with your customers. There are others. Explore the best for your business.

Cloud storage. It is essential for you to find a safe and efficient means of storing your data. Gone are the days when you are held hostage by crashed computers and software meltdowns. Cloud storage is data storage spanning multiple servers which are typically managed and hosted by a hosting company. There are many different hosting companies for your business and personal cloud storage. There is going to be one for your business.

Accounting/payroll software. This needs no explanation. There are many different types of software available, some free. It is best to find the one works for your business.

Scheduling and calendar management. There are a variety of apps that are available for managing your calendar. Google calendar integrates with emails and texts. There are other calendars, such as iCalendar, that work just as well. It’s a matter of what fits your business best.

While we’re talking Google, some of the products Google offers can enhance your business. Google+ is a social community that is a very effective marketing tool that can be used to let the world know about your products and services. Google Drive is also a cloud storage and document sharing product. We’ve already mentioned Google calendars, but Google also has a blog site where, again, you can market your business and help you attract more clients and customers.

Paid or free, there is a host of products and options for tools to grow your business. Get in front of your computer and search out other tools that have been tried and recommended as business tools.

What tools, including apps, do you typically use for your business? Leave a comment about what works for you.

Start a Woman-Owned Business – It’s about Making History

Posted March 12, 2015 by Exceptional Blogs
Categories: Uncategorized

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March is National Women’s History Month. It is safe to say that women, particularly women moving into business ownership, are making history daily. This observation is based on the sheer numbers of women entrepreneurs that are creating new businesses at historical rates.

In recognition of National Women’s History Month,Face Pic PEOPLE_line-lady I did some research about women-owned businesses. It is inspiring to observe the cadre of women making history daily, with impressive numbers of women moving into entrepreneurship in the United States alone.

American Express compiled some very revealing statistics in a recently published white paper about the state of women-owned businesses. Their study found that over the past year, each day an average of 1,288 women started their own business. An impressive number when paired with the fact that as of the end of that same year, a total of 9.1 million women owned a business. Those 9.1 million women-owned enterprises employed 7.9 million people. And, get this, they generated a whopping $1.4 trillion in revenue.

All that said, it is the growth that is most impressive. From 1997 to 2013, the average number of businesses started daily by women was 591. Compare that to the 1288 women-owned businesses started in 2014 alone.

Naturally, sustainability is always an issue. Business owners must be vigilant for ways to attract more customers, grow their business and find ways to compete in the larger market. Entrepreneurship is rarely easy, but is very fulfilling, as many women are discovering in record numbers.

Growth was greatest in the health care and social assistance arena. That included doctors, dentists, residential care facilities and child care providers.

According to the statistics from the Delaware based National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), one in 5 firms, or 51%, was women-owned. They generated revenues of an average of $1 million.

Exceptional Transcriptions and Business Solutions is a woman owned business. I founded the company out of a love for the service I was providing for someone else in their enterprise. I wanted to extend my skills as a transcriber and business problem solver to help others in business. My business has thrived over two decades with the help of a tremendous team of transcribers and other experts.

Over the years, the services offered at Exceptional have increased until today there is an array of business services we can proudly provide, either directly or through partnerships, to the solo entrepreneur and small to medium sized business.

Access to speaker services is one of the latest services to be added. In addition, I am working on a book to help others who are in need of expert advice on various business challenges.

I discovered a love of public speaking and sharing my knowledge as well as learning new ways to solve challenges from my audience has inspired me. I look forward to offering my speaking services to your group.

Women make history everyday as they enter the world of entrepreneurship. Are you a  history maker?

Until next time… Be Exceptional

Audrey

CEO/Founder

Exceptional Transcription and Business Solutions

Bring Back Good Customer Service for Your Business

Posted February 5, 2015 by Exceptional Blogs
Categories: Business Solutions

Tags: , , ,

Talking on phone file000884219889As businesses accommodate their customers with the convenience of online products and services, customer service seems to take on a less significant role. Customer service and support has, in many instances, taken the form of customer FAQ via email, within 24 hours. If there is a phone number, it is buried somewhere on the website in an obscure area, almost as if no one wanted you to find it. Speaking with a person may even cost more with an upgraded package. Ugh!

Maybe some time in the future, after years of offering this to the consumers and there is a generation of consumers who seem to dislike actually “talking” via phone, this may be ok. But for now, nothing beats a voice on the phone to handle your questions or concerns. The caveat? Not just any voice will do. Nothing can send a customer scurrying away from a product or spreading bad news about it faster than rude or clearly inadequate customer service.

How do you ensure good customer service? Whether you are the sole customer support for your business or you have staff for that, here are a few ideas:

  1. Customer service and support personnel should speak clearly. There are few things more frustrating than the inability to understand your customer service professional.
  2. Customer service personnel should speak with a smile. It really does come through over the phone. A friendly voice can often disarm the most dissatisfied, even hostile, customer.
  3. Ask your customers for feedback via a return call, text or email. Many customers like to express their opinions about the service or product. It shows you care about what they think and about their satisfaction with your product or service.
  4. Be sure your customer service personnel are knowledgable or know how to quickly find someone who is if they can’t help.
  5. Remind your customer service personnel to listen to the customer without interruption to get a clear picture of the needs.
  6. Don’t forget etiquette when speaking with customers. “Yes sir/ma’am” are still the most polite way to address anyone. Better yet, repeat the customer’s name. Everyone likes the sound of their own name.
  7. Train your personnel to thank the customer for using the product or service and for calling in.
  8. Train your customer service personnel. You must teach and train your staff to deliver excellent customer service. Don’t assume that they will deliver the service in a friendly manner. Your customer service practices should be uniform and consistent. Again, train your staff.

These are just a few suggestions to help you retain customers. After all, that is the purpose of good customer service. Be intentional about how you want your customers treated.

The best training advice of all? Remind all of your staff to treat the customer as they would want to be treated.

Tell us about your best/worst customer service experience. Your input can help promote good customer service skills.

Be exceptional,

Audrey

CEO/Founder Exceptional Transcription and Business Solutions.