How to Hold Productive Small Business Meetings

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Like any other small business owner, you have held and attended your fair share of business meetings. Business meetings are a very effective way for a company to communicate, brainstorm, share ideas, and promote its vision. They can serve to set clear goals and to organize and empower a team to carry out those goals. Why is it then that some business meetings turn out to be very productive while others seem more like a big waste of time?  A good meeting will be clearly defined, stay focused, and only be called when necessary.  By following the tips below, you can be sure to get better results from your next small business meeting.

Have an Agenda. Prior to your business meeting, create a clear agenda that lists the topics to be covered during the course of the meeting from beginning to end. Distribute the meeting agenda to all participants ahead of time. The agenda will thus enable attendees to come to the meeting well prepared. It will also be used to keep the business meeting focused and on track throughout its duration.

Record and Review. During the course of your business meeting, you will communicate important information and often delegate new tasks to employees. Do make sure that the information and the details of the new tasks don’t get lost in the shuffle. Designate an employee to draw up the meeting minutes. He or she will be responsible for recording all of the relevant points made at the gathering and keep track of which employees were assigned to what new tasks. At the end of the meeting, review its main points, as well as the new assignments, and email a copy of this summary to all participants.

Quality not Quantity. We have all been to that clearly unnecessary meeting. A study on “meeting annoyances” conducted last year by showed that one of the biggest complaints by employees about meetings was when meetings were held just to be held.  Before you call an office meeting, think about if there are any other ways you can achieve your goal without calling a meeting. Often, a simple back and forth on email can take the place of a lengthy gathering. As you begin to hold fewer meetings, you will see how the ones that you do hold become more important.

Photo Credit to hellochao on Flickr.

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