Business Articles

How to Find a Complementary Business to Help Yours Grow

If you’re a small- to medium-sized business that is trying to carve out a place for itself in a competitive market, you want to differentiate yourself from the competition. One way to do that is to offer something no one else is doing. You can create a new product or service or go after an untapped market. But if you’ve already tried all of those and you’re looking for something else, it’s time to find the peanut butter to your chocolate or the peas to your carrots.

Partnering with another business can help you both offer something to your markets that neither has seen. Here are three ways to find your perfect complementary business so you both can profit.

Finding the Ideal Business Collaboration

If you’re old enough, you may remember the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup commercials that showed two people enjoying very different snacks—one a chocolate bar and one a jar of peanut butter. Inevitably the two collided, one had chocolate in their peanut butter, and one claimed to have peanut butter on their chocolate. But either way, a scrumptious dessert was born. The same can be true of your business.

You don’t need a formalized partnership with stakes in one another’s business. Instead, you can create special collaborations, offers, or referrals that are mutually beneficial to the businesses and your audiences.

Brainstorm Businesses That Fit Yours Like Peanut Butter and Chocolate

Make a list of businesses that provide a complementary service or product that you don’t offer but would benefit your target market. Ideally, the collaboration between you and this business should create something that other businesses aren’t doing. For instance, a bar that doesn’t serve food may pair up with a food truck to provide bar patrons with easy access to food while food truck aficionados can enjoy an alcoholic drink. Since some food trucks have sizable followings giving them access to your parking lot or a place to park can bring in new customers for you as well.

Think About What Your Customers Want

Building on that, make a list of what you hear customers asking for that you don’t currently do/offer. Take that list and decide whether those ideas make sense for your business.  You can then decide to offer a new product or service line based on those customer requests, or you can collaborate with someone who has already created a successful business doing those things. For instance, if you own a gym, you could create a juice bar on-site or offer a healthy menu planning service.  You could also work with someone to fill those needs. Here too there are options. You can rent some of your space to that business or create an affiliate or referral program so your gym members receive discounts for those other products or services at the other business’ location.

Decide What Is Stopping Customers From Buying

Is there something that is prohibiting potential customers from buying from you? What is the wall to purchase? Identify what is holding people back and solve it through collaboration. For instance, if you sell something large like furniture but you don’t offer delivery, partnering with a delivery or moving company may increase your sales. Some people don’t have the means (strength or room) to bring a large item home. But you may not want the headache of employing movers and covering the insurance. A partnership of this kind can benefit everyone.

Business collaborations can help your business, the collaborator’s business, and (both of) your markets. By understanding what your customers need and want, as well as what holds them back from buying, you can create a satisfactory collaboration that benefits everyone and serves to separate you from your competition. This way, you’ll gain exposure to a new market or additional customers as well as improve business relationships. If you’re not sure how to make connections with other businesses, contact your chamber. They can put you in touch with someone looking to grow in a similar way.

10+ Tips for Saving Money on Your Business Expenses

While the MetLife and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index reached its highest level of confidence since COVID in Q3 of 2023, there are still many businesses that are battling rising costs and trying to make every dollar count. According to the report, 33% of small businesses are saying the U.S. economy is in good health (up 9% points from Q2). The report read, “Small businesses also feel better about their own business health and cash flow: Two in three (66%) report that their business is in good health and roughly seven in ten (72%) say they are comfortable with their cash flow.”

But “comfortable with cash flow” doesn’t mean you can’t use some business savings tips.

10 Ways to Save Money in Your Business
Negotiate with your suppliers. Don’t be afraid to negotiate with your suppliers for better prices. Many suppliers are willing to negotiate, especially if you agree to order in bulk or commit to a long-term contract. Perhaps you can qualify for a discount by consolidating vendors and using the same one for multiple needs.

Shop around for insurance. Compare insurance rates from different companies before you renew your policy. You can save a significant amount of money by switching insurers.
Take advantage of tax breaks. There are tax breaks available to small businesses. Be sure to consult with a tax advisor to learn about the tax breaks you may be eligible for including green incentives.
Outsource tasks that don’t require your level of expertise. This may seem like an oxymoron that you should spend money to save money but let’s explore it. If you’re spending too much time on tasks that you don’t require your level of expertise, you should outsource them to a freelancer or virtual assistant. This frees up your time to focus on more important revenue-generating tasks. By spending a small amount of money, you can make a much larger sum.

Automate tasks whenever possible. There are many software tools that can help you automate tasks like accounting, marketing, and customer service. Automating tasks can save you a significant amount of time and money. Using AI to generate administrative correspondence and communications can also save you time that you could be using in revenue-generating pursuits.

Use free and open-source software. Examine your current subscriptions and fees. Are they all necessary? Can they be replaced by free and open-source software programs? If you’re not sure search online for free competitors of ___. You can find free versions of everything from operating systems to productivity software.

Barter with other businesses. Bartering is a great way to get the goods and services you need without spending any money. For example, you could barter with a local printer to get free printing services in exchange for promoting their business on your website.

Learn about member discounts for chamber members. If you’re a member of a local chamber of commerce, be sure to ask about their member-to-member discounts. Many businesses offer discounts to chamber members on everything from office supplies to marketing services.

Get creative with your marketing. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on marketing to be successful. There are many low-cost and free marketing strategies that you can use, such as social media marketing, content marketing, referral marketing and email marketing. Plus, you can learn how to use these through free videos on YouTube, e-book downloads, and possibly even a chamber lunch and learn program. (The chamber likely has some of the best, and most affordable, learning opportunities in your community.)
Offer referral bonuses to your customers. Referral programs are a great way to generate new leads and sales without spending any money on advertising. Offer your customers a bonus for referring new customers to your business. Even if you provide them with a gift certificate, chances are your referral bonus will not only make them more loyal (and may get some free social media marketing out of it when they post about it) but there’s a very good likelihood that they will buy more than the discount or gift card is for.

Bonus tip for saving money (everyone could use a bonus these days, right?):

Track your expenses. One of the best ways to save money on your business expenses is to track them. This will help you to identify areas where you can cut back. There are several software tools that you can use to track your expenses. Some of the most popular include: QuickBooks, Xero, FreshBooks, Zoho Expense, Expensify, and Concur Expense.

By following these tips, you can save money on your business expenses and boost your profits. Isn’t it time you boosted your consumer confidence?

20 Reasons Why Chamber Membership Is One of the Best Business Investments Out There

Have you ever attended a chamber event? If you’re not a member, you’re missing out. Before you think you don’t have the time to attend events, it’s important you know chamber life is not just mixers and ribbon cuttings. Chamber membership is one of the best-kept secrets for free or nearly free business resources like webinars, lunch & learns, and written collateral. Plus, a whole lot more. Chamber membership is one of the best business investments you can make for the money and return.

Is Chamber Membership Worth It?

Not if you don’t know why you’re joining. In this article, you’ll learn all the benefits chamber membership can give you professionally and how it is a worthwhile investment in your business. But before you sign up, for maximum benefit, you should be very clear about what you want out of membership. Why?

Because you want to communicate that to the chamber staff when joining. When they know what you want, they can help get you on the right track. The chamber offers many benefits, and to get what you’re looking for, you need to ensure the chamber knows what that is.

Perhaps you’re not clear what you want out of chamber membership. That’s okay because after reading this list of why membership is a great investment you should have a better understanding of what’s important to you.

What Will I Get with Chamber Membership?

It’s always best to begin at the beginning. If you’re not sure what you need from the chamber, look at a list of member benefits and make a mental note of which of these things are the most important to you/your business:

Networking Opportunities: Let’s start with the obvious. Chambers offer various networking events, such as mixers, business expos, speed networking, and industry-focused lunches, where businesspeople can connect with other professionals, potential clients, partners, and mentors. Building relationships is one of the best ways to help your business grow.
Visibility and Exposure: Membership often comes with a listing in the chamber’s directory, both online and in print. This can increase your business’s visibility and credibility in the local community. Your chamber may have additional opportunities for your business like being listed on a business map, featured in their visitor’s magazine, or being invited to participate in a Wine Walk or other member-exclusive exposure opportunity.
Credibility and Trust: Being a chamber member can enhance your business’s reputation as the chamber is generally seen as a credible organization that supports businesses. Membership shows your community you care about the area and have made an investment in it. Becoming a chamber member can also help people get to know your business (and show you’re connected) if you’re new in town.
Advocacy and Representation: Chambers represent the interests of local businesses to government bodies and policymakers, giving you a voice in local economic and regulatory matters. Being a member makes you part of something larger and thus amplifies your voice and business needs.
Business Education: Chambers organize seminars, workshops, and training sessions to help members stay updated on industry trends, business strategies, and best practices. Members and guests can learn from top-notch thought leaders for just the cost of membership or a token expense to cover the meal. It’s one of the most affordable (and best-kept secrets) in business education.
Marketing Opportunities: Chambers offer an array of advertising and sponsorship opportunities, allowing businesses to market themselves to the wider community. They often have large audiences/good traffic, name recognition, and a strong reputation—all helpful when looking where to spend your marketing budget.
Access to Resources: Members can access resources such as business development guides, market research, and economic data to help them make informed decisions. (Chambers also give away a lot of free information to the community including blog posts, newsletters, articles, etc.) Some chambers also offer extensive leadership programs for interested members to help them achieve their leadership goals. Our local program is called Leadership Webster.
Discounts and Exclusive Offers: Many chambers negotiate discounts on products and services for their members, ranging from insurance and office supplies to software and event tickets. Some offer exclusive member-to-member discounts as well.
Community Involvement: Being part of a chamber provides you with business-directed volunteer opportunities to contribute to community development and philanthropic activities, which can foster a positive public image for your business.
Referral Network: Chambers often refer their members to others who are looking for specific products or services, increasing your business’s chances of gaining new clients. Check with your chamber as they also might offer referral groups that can be free with membership or a fraction of the cost of a BNI group.
Partnerships and Collaborations: Connecting with other businesses through the chamber can lead to partnership opportunities, joint ventures, and collaborations on projects.
Business Support: Chambers can provide advice and assistance to businesses, especially startups and small enterprises, on various aspects such as funding, legal matters, and growth strategies. Some offer business incubators, pitch contests, and other opportunities to launch and grow.
Government Relations: Chambers can help businesses navigate government regulations, procedures, and other challenges, as well as provide insights into legislative changes that might affect your operations or the business climate, in general.
Access to Influential Contacts: Chambers attract a diverse group of professionals, including local leaders, executives, and entrepreneurs, which can open doors to valuable contacts.
Brand Building: Active involvement in chamber events and initiatives can help build your brand within the local business community.
Market Insights: Chambers have access to economic and demographic data that can help businesses make informed decisions about their target markets.
Professional Development: Chambers may host training sessions, workshops, and leadership development offerings to enhance your professional skills. Your chamber may also have opportunities to help you step into a new skill or business. For instance, if you wanted to add the title of professional speaker to your resume and launch a speaking business, you may be able to start with the chamber. By speaking in front of members at a special event, you could build clientele and experience.
Local Support Network: Joining a chamber can provide emotional support, because you’re part of a community of business owners who face similar challenges. As well-meaning as friends and family are, if they’re not involved in business or your industry, they may not understand your challenges and triumphs the way your fellow chamber members will.
Access to Business Services: Some chambers offer their members business services such as mentorship, business incubation, space rentals, marketing, and consulting.
Membership Perks: While the chamber helps all businesses in the community, many chambers provide special perks to members like access to exclusive events, VIP receptions, ribbon cuttings/celebrations, and members-only resources.

Ultimately, the decision to join a chamber of commerce depends on your business’s specific needs, goals, and offerings of the local chamber. Knowing what your biggest challenge is in business can help you see just how impactful a chamber membership investment can be to your business.

Is Threads Right for Your Business?

If you’re on Instagram, the answer is probably. And it’s easy to do.

Facebook err…Meta does it again. We have yet another social media platform to consider. Usually when businesses are deciding should they participate on a social media platform, they identify their ideal client then go by demographics. If your ideal customer is on the platform, go for it. If not, skip it—unless you just really enjoy being overextended in your posts and social media attention. But threads isn’t exactly a new platform. Well, it is technically. But if you have Instagram, it feels more like an extension.

Note: at the time of this writing, members of the EU cannot join because it is blocked currently owing to privacy questions.

What Is Threads?

Threads is the newest baby of the Meta world, and it’s taking aim at Twitter. Threads allows you to log in with your Instagram username. You have the option of importing from Instagram or creating a new bio from scratch. Just like Instagram, you can make your profile public or private. (For business, private isn’t going to do you much good unless you operate a Speak Easy or something where membership has its privileges.)

When you join, you’ll be asked if you want to follow the same accounts you follow on Instagram (even if these people haven’t signed up yet).

The app is powered by Instagram, and it uses your Instagram information to personalize ads and other experiences across the two platforms. According to the intro, Meta has plans to create a “fediverse” where people will be able to interact with one another across platforms. (Perhaps that means it will allow the young people on Insta to see what their oldie relatives are doing on Facebook and vice versa.)

As you would expect, you must agree to the terms and privacy policy on your data/data sharing, etc. Etc. One important thing to note in the Supplemental Privacy Policy, “You may deactivate your Threads profile at any time, but your Threads profile can only be deleted by deleting your Instagram account.”

The User Stats

At most recent counts, Instagram boasts 2 billion users while Twitter has only 250 million. If only a fraction of Instagram users sign up, Threads will quickly outpace Twitter. But it remains to be seen if the same communities on Twitter will switch to Threads. Twitter is big in the sports recruiting arena as well as the publishing pitch world. Will they make the switch?

What’s New with Threads?

Like most new platforms, it looks vaguely familiar but with slightly different functionality. After all, people don’t usually love big, sweeping changes. Threads adheres to this through a format that looks a lot like Twitter, but it allows for longer posts. Most Twitter users have a 280-character limit (remember the early days of 140 characters?), while Thread users can enjoy 500 characters (what will you do with all of them?) and the ability to upload a five-minute video.

Since Threads resembles Twitter more closely than Insta, it’s overcome one of my biggest pet peeves with the photo sharing platform. On Threads you can easily share links. Yippy!

To encourage the migration, Threads prompts people to follow the same individuals they do on Insta and then automatically sends a follow request. According to early reports, Threads garnered 10 million users on one day and are now up to 30 million.

It looks like most are viewing it as an extension, not necessarily a new platform. And that’s understandable. Users in Threads can also easily switch to their Instagram profile with a click of the icon.

According to Meta, Threads was developed with features that “promote positive and productive discussions.” Users can manage who can mention or reply to them on the platform. Like Instagram, Thread users can utilize hidden word filters to exclude replies containing specific words from their threads. Managing profiles on Threads uses familiar activities such as unfollowing, blocking, restricting, or reporting through the three-dot menu. Additionally, any accounts blocked on Instagram will automatically be blocked on Threads as well.

In addition to these features, Meta has announced its plans to enhance Threads by making it compatible with the ActivityPub protocol. They also aim to introduce improved recommendations in feeds, real-time trend tracking, and enhanced search functionality.

Currently, Threads is accessible on both iOS and Android devices, and users can download the app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Will you explore Threads for your business?

4+ Tips for Attracting More Tourists to Your Business

It’s that time of year again and many of us are preparing for a seasonal increase of tourism. Even with high transportation costs people are traveling and still—hopefully—buying. If you’d like to attract more tourists to your place of business, here’s how you can prepare.

How to Appeal to Tourists

Many tourists are looking for something unique in a business, something they don’t have in their hometowns. Here are a few ideas to make a big impact on them whether you are in retail, the restaurant and bar industry, attractions, or services.

Create an Experience

Again, tourists are looking for something different. If you want them to visit you need to offer them an experience. This could be a class, special tasting, photo op, or any other “special” time.

Whatever you decide on it needs to be marketed in a variety of outlets. Don’t forget your local chamber/visitors bureau. You might be surprised how many people stop in when they’re looking for recommendations. We are welcoming tourists almost daily!

Offer a Special

Create a deal or special with a short window of opportunity. Buy one, get one offers are a good idea or a free item/service with purchase. Your free service could even be a sampling of a much longer service to entice a future purchase. For instance, a mini head massage with every facial. You can even give them the ability to extend the service for additional money. Who can say no to a longer massage when they are already feeling the benefit?

Host Contests

Run fun contests just for travelers like a prize at the end of the day for people who have traveled the farthest or a small, free item for anyone who is visiting from over 1,500 miles away. (This is also a great way to build a mailing list if you ask them to give their address to be eligible. Just make sure you give them an opt-out option and be transparent that you are adding them.)

Be Travel-friendly

We all know the limitations of plane travel when it comes to carry-on liquids and such. And with the rates that airlines charge for checked bags, many people are hesitant to do that. If you want more tourists to buy from you, you should consider offering ways to get your goods home to them. Offering shipping options is also great for those who decide to send something to loved ones.

Speaking of…

Some tourists may love your business, but they simply aren’t ready to buy. Or they may love your business so much that they want to continue a relationship with you after they return home. Perhaps they’re even thinking about doing some holiday shopping with you but aren’t quite ready to do it on that visit. If you don’t offer a website or mailing list, you’re missing out.

If you want to draw more tourists in this summer, follow these tips. Just remember that the relationship doesn’t have to end when their trip does. If you’re smart about your offerings and have a mailing list, social media, and/or website to keep in touch, you can continue sales (and the relationship) well into the future.

27 Engaging Ways to Use Mother’s Day in Your Marketing

Mother’s Day is an ideal way to honor the women in your life who have helped you become the person you are today. In recent years, it has surpassed the celebration of one’s own mother and encompassed grandmothers, women we think of as second mothers, mother-in-laws, fur moms, best friends, and even female mentors. Mother’s Day is also a great way to honor women in our world who have made a difference.

Broadening the definition of mother also allows for a more inclusive celebration on a day that can, for some, be a sad occasion. While everyone may not have a mother living or a good relationship with one who is, everyone has a special woman in their lives who they can celebrate.

Mother’s Day can now be transformed into a time to honor those women who have nurtured us and helped us grow, whether they gave birth to us or not. Keep that in mind in your marketing.

27 Ideas to Celebrate Mother’s Day at Your Business

Here are some engaging marketing ideas to celebrate this heart-warming holiday:

Host a contest by inviting people on your social media page to share stories about the special women in their lives. Allow people to vote on the best and award prizes.
Offer a Mother’s Day discount. Offer a discount to your audience and invite them to share with their favorite moms out there.
Give away a Mother’s Day flower (or other free item). Provide a flower to every woman who walks into your store (or buys something from you) and wish them a Happy Mother’s Day.
Record a video of your staff telling stories about women who influenced them.
Share your mother’s best recipe.
Create a gift guide. Work with other businesses to list their items and services as well.
Offer last-minute, e-delivery of gift cards.
Send reminder emails counting down the days until Mother’s Day with gift suggestions or ways to honor their mom.
Create a video of a DIY project for mom.
Host a special event moms would enjoy.
Create kits of things moms can do with their kids.
Create a taster or tester bag, free with purchase to all ladies in your store.
Offer a free consultation or roll out a new service for busy moms.
Create a page (or landing page) dedicated to Mother’s Day shopping.
Create a themed board on Pinterest of gift ideas, places to take your mom, or activities to do together.
Offer a “Tell your story” session or memoir writing for moms class.
Create a special wine-pairing or tasting event in honor of moms.
Host a tea at your business. Encourage people to dress up. Offer prizes for best hat or outfit.
Post mother-related quotes on social media in the week leading up to the big day.
Hold a Mother’s Day selfie or funniest video contest.
Host a photo contest of moms with your product.
Offer chair massages for moms while people browse or wait for food.
Run a “Caption this” picture contest with an endearing picture of motherhood.
Invite people to share pictures they think epitomize motherhood.
Encourage people to share generational pics of mom, grandmoms, great grandmoms, etc., or post about how much you miss your mom if she has passed on. You might be surprised how many people identify with this sentiment on Mother’s Day.
Host a “Tag your mom (or a special woman)” for a chance to win contest.
Post funny questions on social media. Categories could include “hardest working mom in the animal kingdom,” “Who has it harder—boy moms, girl moms, both?”, “Sign you’re a mom”, or “This or that” questions “like which would your mom like more as a gift—chocolates or jewelry?”.

This year, have some fun with Mother’s Day and use it to get more engagement with your audience while also bring smiles to many faces.

What Does It Mean to Be a Chamber Member?

Traditionally, a chamber of commerce was a membership organization that supports the interests of its business members. It is not affiliated with the government, nor is it a charity. The chamber is separate from the Better Business Bureau. Now that we’ve explained the traditional notion of chamber membership, let’s dive into what it means to be a member of a chamber of commerce today. If you think chambers are outdated, it’s time you take another look.

As a chamber member, you are represented by a powerful organization. Because they are not government-affiliated, chambers weather the political storms, cannot get voted out of office, and always represent the business community. And since healthy communities are good places to work with strong employment opportunities, a chamber helps all members of a community.

Chamber members are a critical part of the following work in your community.

What Does it Mean to be a Chamber Member?

There is a long list of benefits to chamber membership. But those benefits are only the surface of what you and your employees receive from joining. If you want to be part of something larger than yourself and your business, striving to improve opportunities in your community, chamber membership is an ideal way to do that.

Volunteerism and Cause-based Marketing

There are many ways to volunteer in the chamber. From assisting with events to running educational webinars, serving on the board to working with the scholarship program or chamber’s foundation. Your skills or sponsorships will be leveraged in a way that helps you increase your network, your knowledge, and your business exposure.

When you volunteer—and the chamber shares that information with others—your business is aligned with the cause in the eyes of community members. Chambers embrace many causes to improve the quality of life for the communities they serve. Check with your chamber to find out what its goals are or view its strategic plan. You may be surprised by what community efforts it’s championing.

Many people who question membership have a narrow-minded view of the chamber as a “business only” entity without realizing that every issue in the community affects business. If the community is not seen as a prosperous one, people won’t want to live, work, or open a business there. Being pro-community is pro-business.

You can likely help with the causes that are important to you through chamber work, while also strengthening your business and growing your network with cause-based marketing.

Community Leadership and Responsibility

Chamber members are viewed as reputable and dedicated to creating (or continuing) a flourishing community. When you become a chamber member, you are announcing to the community that your business is here to stay and you’re investing in the success of the area. Through membership, you are choosing to be part of an organization that has championed the cause of business for many years.


At first glance, you may assume the chamber is comprised of a very homogenous mix of business owners. That is no longer the case. In many communities, the chamber is leading diversity initiatives. Chambers understand the importance of representing every aspect of business and ensuring each voice is heard. Representing minority- and women-owned businesses is a responsibility that chambers take seriously because a chamber can affect change. By amplifying the business owners’ voices and convening community leaders, business owners, and employees, chambers are leading diversity initiatives across the country. They’re advocating for legislation, hosting town halls, and providing educational DEI programs.

Chambers often recognize what the business community needs before individual businesses can address it themselves. As a member of the chamber, you are part of helping traditionally underserved populations discover the joy, opportunity, and challenges of business ownership.

Being a chamber member in the 21st century goes beyond the list of benefits you’ll see in the membership brochure. Sure, those items are good investments for your business, and they can save you money and help you grow but the chamber offers much more than that. The chamber is leading the efforts to make your community a better place to live, work, and play for everyone.  And membership offers you a highly visible opportunity to be part of that excitement.

Making the Most of Your Minute

Small business owners usually have more on their to-do lists than there is time in the day. If becoming more productive is one of your New Year’s resolutions, we have a suggestion for you that could be a game changer.

One of the biggest productivity challenges is interruptions. But as a small business owner they’re practically in your job description! You never know when someone will walk in or call. And while you want potential customers to do this in abundance, interruptions impact what you accomplish during the day.

One of the best ways to remain productive through interruptions is by planning. While you can’t plan interruptions, you can create a list of things you need to do sorted by the amount of time it takes to do them. Whether you realize it or not, your day is filled with small pockets of time. Even when you feel at your busiest, you likely have a handful of minutes that you aren’t maximizing currently. Creating this list will help you use every minute of your workday in the most efficient way.

Most to-do lists are organized around large demanding activities—the things with a noticeable deadline. Those kinds of to-do lists are still very valuable, but the “Mystery Minutes” To-do List will help you with all the time in between your large to-dos.

How Does a “Mystery Minutes” To-do List Work?

First, make a list the things you must do for your business that don’t have pressing deadlines or have deadlines months away that you need to work on bit by bit.

Next, organize it by the amount of time each item takes. For instance, if your to-do List contains “clean out the back storage room” the time assigned to that task might be something huge like two days (depending on the size of the area). If you’re like most small business owners, you don’t have two days to work on organizing your storage closet. You either need to hire or assign someone to do that or you must do it when you’re off/closed.

However, if you break the task down into manageable smaller jobs, you can assign each a shorter timeframe. For instance, imagine you have three boxes on the floor in your storage room that you need to unpack and organize. If you write that as a standalone task, instead of lumping it in with the entire room organization project, that job can be completed in a few minutes.

If you have large tasks break them up into smaller components. List each component on your to-do list. While this will make your to-do List longer, it will also make it more “do-able.” Plus, this to-do list isn’t something you’re going to finish today or even later this week. A Mystery Minutes To-do List is one that uses downtime effectively whenever you have it to ensure projects get completed a little bit at a time.

Next, organize the list by shortest activity to longest based on time increments. Your list may have several 5-minute activities, 10-minute activities, 15-minute activities, and so forth.

Then take each task within the category and sort it by importance or upcoming completion date. For instance, if you have three 5-minute jobs with one of them coming due next month (and the rest of them not being deadline specific), place the task due next month at the top of your 5-minute category.

Throughout the day you’ll have time to work on your prioritized to-do list. You may not always realize whether you’re going to have five or ten minutes at your disposal. So, for those times when you’re not sure how much time you have, you can either choose the shortest activity on the list or you can select a longer activity knowing you will need to break it into multiple sessions. There are some occasions where you will know that you have ten minutes such as before a meeting, phone call, or event. Make the most of that time.

It’s easy to allow ourselves to get bogged down in business. When business is nonstop and we have a few moments, we tend to use that time to catch our breath and don’t use it efficiently. However, if you have a list of quick wins that you can conquer in a matter of minutes you not only will get more done, but you’ll also feel better about your day and what you’ve accomplished.


Greater Minden Chamber
110 Sibley Road
Minden, LA 71055
P: 318.377.4240 | F: 318.377.4215

M—F   9AM—5PM