Have you ever heard of the book called Death By Meeting? When I first saw it I thought the cover picture was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen – a man sitting at a boardroom table with his head and hands flat down on the table as if he’d just keeled over!

Back in my corporate days as a software developer when I saw this book I immediately knew exactly what it was talking about, and I was almost to that point myself to be honest. The message that it was talking about is still relevant in the virtual world of today – if you let your small business meetings get off track you may indeed be afflicted with the dreaded Death By Meeting!

Let me explain in more detail: it can be easy to get caught up in an enjoyable conversation with a client or team member – you start with the weather which leads to what you did last weekend, which leads to etc. etc. But remember that they as a client are not paying for your wit and charm (although that can be an added bonus!), so try to keep the meeting on track or you may find you’re spending way too much of your valuable time in meetings continually trying to reach some elusive resolution over and over and over…

Using myself as an example as a Virtual Assistant, it’s my job to try to help my clients and steering them along during a meeting to keep it on track is one of those things that I should be doing, as well as keeping the chit chat to a minimum. Believe me, the chatting can come from either one of us!

On the other hand, if you and your client have a relationship that enjoys a bit of chatting then by all means, go for it – but make sure that the clock is turned off. Better yet, why not keep the chatting to the end of meeting? Then you’re not flipping your time clock on and off!

When we’re talking to our clients we should be asking them helpful questions to get the info that we need in order to get the job started, and finished for that matter. I find that a great way to increase business efficiency for both myself and my clients is to schedule weekly check-ins to make sure that all the tasks are covered and questions answered. As long as I keep this check in to a half an hour max, everyone is good to go, and neither one of us is spending too much time talking instead of actually working.

Keeping your small business meetings on track means you’ll have more time to spend actually doing the work instead of just talking about it!

Source by Sarah M MacGregor