How to run a productive small business meeting
Let’s be honest – most of us have attended a meeting that could’ve been an email. Although it may seem like the more meetings a business has, the more they will accomplish, it is important to make sure your meetings serve a specific purpose. As a small business owner, running effective business meetings will keep your staff focused and on track. With these five suggestions you’ll learn how to conduct a business meeting that is constructive for your small business, and won’t drive your employees crazy!
1. Stick to a schedule – The best meetings have a pre-determined start and end time. They do not follow the “end whenever” attitude, because that usually leads to never-ending meetings that make everyone involved antsy. Set an end time, and if a topic requires additional time, propose a follow-up discussion.
2. Create an agenda – Meetings should always have a clear reason for being held. By sending out an agenda prior to each meeting, you’ll give attendees the opportunity to prepare, and hopefully cut out unnecessary questions. If you’re confused on how to conduct a business meeting, creating a sample business meeting agenda will make your life much easier, and help everyone involved get organized.
3. Don’t over schedule – Perhaps the worst meeting sin of them all; don’t schedule a meeting for no reason. It can be tempting to have routinely scheduled discussions, but you may be wasting time in an attempt to be productive. Think critically about what you have to discuss, and schedule accordingly. Don’t hold a meeting just to say you held one, it will hurt more than help!
4. Stay on topic – Everyone knows (and somewhat loathes) that person who loves to bring up unrelated topics during meetings. When someone starts telling stories about their kid, or changes the subject to an idea they have about an unrelated project, it is important to re-direct the conversation. As a leader, you will have to learn how to conduct a business meeting by leading others and ensuring no one gets distracted.
5. Recap it – By writing a quick summary of what was discussed and what everyone is responsible for, your team will always be prepared for the next steps that need to be taken. Plus, if anyone was mentally checked out during the meeting, you’ll give them one last chance to get caught up.
Learning how to run a business meeting can be challenging, but it will provide your business with a stress-free, structured way of making decisions and communicating.