Canadian Rental Service

CRA President’s Message: August 2012

By Ed Dwyer CRA president   

Canadian Rental Association

Good time management is making your association more effective.

Good time management is making your association more effective.

Time is our most precious gift. To make the best use of it we need to use good time management skills. Time management is critical to running a successful business while having a personal life at the same time. Although we cannot actually create time, we can put ourselves in control by managing our time. Time management means planning and setting aside a certain amount of time to get things done. Today in the rental industry we have many different projects going on at once. We cannot focus on any one project and forget about everything else. We have to be able to multitask and manage our time to be successful.

At our CRA national head office, time management is very important with a staff of two to run our growing organization. To free up time for our staff to deal with the day-to-day concerns of our members we are outsourcing and using technology. Over the past year we have outsourced our payroll to a payroll service that is very cost effective; they do direct deposits, keep all the records and save a few man-hours. As well, our financials are now prepared and reviewed by an outside bookkeeper on a monthly basis.

 We have purchased Ipads to loan to our national board members to use during their terms. These Ipads will be loaded up with such things as our meeting books. We can now email updates or changes to the books. Our office will not have to spend countless hours putting together sixteen binders and we will save the expense of couriering them all over Canada twice per year. We have also purchased a new trade show registration program called Cvent to manage our events. Getting started involves a lot of hours setting up, but that time will pay off in time savings for our CRA office starting next year and every year after.

Another way we can be efficient in time management is to hold regular meetings with key people in our organizations and delegate tasks to the people best able to do them. A team approach is very effective in time management. There should be an agenda prepared and a secretary to take the notes at all meetings. Unfinished business can be rolled over to the next meeting and everybody should leave the meeting with a job to get done. The secretary should send the minutes of the meeting and the objectives to all the participants as soon as possible afterwards. At your CRA, this is the approach we are taking. Our Website, Membership, Trade Show, Social Media/Advertising, Policy and Procedures and Executive Committees are all active and doing great things for the association with new and exciting ideas. Our executive director, Mandy Wellnitz, creates the agenda and records the minutes to keep all of our committees on track.

Another time management tool is technology. Little things, like having all your messages emailed or texted to you instead of having bits of paper and sticky notes all over your desk, or having and using your smart phone to answer some of your emails and messages right away, can save a lot of time and preserve a written copy of your responses. You will not have to worry about losing your messages.

If you are not into technology, then making a written checklist of things you have to get done and keeping it handy is the key to being organized. There is a great feeling of accomplishment when you get to check something off your to-do list. Also setting aside a dedicated time to work on different projects is very effective, for example Mandy has now set aside each Wednesday morning to work on our CRA website. If you see a problem on our website, let her know.

Freedom from your business is very important in time management. Taking time away from your business to spend with your family is very important. To do this, you may have to delegate some of your responsibilities to other people. This is good for team building, and you may find that you are not as important to your business as you think you are, which I think is a good thing. As my business coach from The Alternative Board constantly reminds me, “The more you work in your business, the less it is worth.” As a business owner, I feel it is my responsibility and goal to structure my business so it can run without me.

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