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What small business owners need to know about having meetings

If you are a small business owner you may find that as your business grows you will need to hold meetings in order to communicate effectively with those you work with. Whether you are meeting with your employees or need to meet with vendors and outside contacts there are steps that can help you to have more effective business meetings. These meeting tips will not only help you to appear more professional but they will help you to accomplish more in a shorter period of time. This is especially crucial since most small business owners find that they have far more to do during a day then they have time. Here is what small business owners need to know about having meetings-

- Meet only when it's needed-Many times inexperienced small business leaders think that they need to hold a meeting every time there is something to discuss. You should consider if a conference call or even just an email will take care of it. When you meet only when you need to then you are not taking people away from their jobs and lowering productivity. Do not assume that a meeting is always the answer for problem resolution or information decimation. When you hold meetings only when you really need to your employees, vendors, and others will thank you for it.
- Have an agenda-It is far too easy to get off subject when you are holding a meeting. Savvy small business leaders will have an agenda for the information that needs to be discussed. It can be very beneficial to have a printed agenda to pass out at the start of the meeting. This lets all of the meeting participants know what the meeting is about and what will be discussed. This also limits the chances that the meeting will go off-topic which only wastes time and effort. Finally, when you have a written agenda it helps you to set a realistic time frame for the meeting.
- Lead the meeting-It is important to keep in mind that you are the leader of your small business and the leader in the meeting. You should speak up and make sure that you are in control of the meeting. If you have called the meeting then you want people to pay attention to what you have to say so you need to take the leadership role. In addition, to leading the meeting when you actively show leadership you can keep the meeting on topic and on time.
- Start and stop on time-The bottom line when it comes to holding business meetings is that if you want people to take them seriously you need to start and stop on time. If people are late they should feel embarrassed when they come into the room because you have begun on time. If you habitually start meetings late you will find that your employees and others will not take them as seriously and will simply wander in when they feel like. Keep in mind that starting a meeting late and not stopping on time is a waste of everyone's time and ability to be productivity. In short, meetings that start late and run long are costing you money.
- Work on problem resolution-You should never hold a meeting that does not solve a problem. The simple discussion of a problem or concern should always result in finding a solution. Even if the solution is that more research should be done is the resolution at this time. If you allow problems and concerns to come up without finding a solution during the time of the meeting the people you meet with will consider the meeting a failure at best.

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