5 productivity tips from a small business success

1st March, 2016

Kathy Vant Foort is owner and founder of Backyard Buyers, a business that helps property owners sub-divide and develop excess land. Kathy is one of the few female Registered Building Practitioners in Victoria.

Having grown the business from concept to start-up, Kathy now manages her company from Melbourne.

Nearly ten years on, business has never been better.

Here are Kathy’s top five tips for success:

1. Know your objectives

“I have two whiteboards visible from my desk. One has long-term objectives and targets. It also has a list of big or innovative ideas.

“The other whiteboard is operational, mapping out all current and pipeline sub-divisions, key performance metrics and projects.”

2. Make a to-do list

“Whether in a diary or in the cloud, make a new list of key tasks each day.”

Kathy is a pen-and-paper person and prefers the tactile nature of writing a list each day. This helps her focus on the priorities.

3. Build a trusted team

Even with a high rate of personal productivity, everything relies on your team.

In an industry often seen as notorious for poor workmanship, Kathy says, “I make sure I am at the job, talking with the contractors. It builds trust. I say thank you, and that goes a long way.”

4. Lead by example

“If contractors see I have pride in the site, then they do too. They think if it is good enough for me to clean up the site, they then know I care about that and they make the extra effort.”

5. Carefully manage your cash flow

Kathy has used MYOB since starting her business to stay on top of her financial and client details. “I need to know where we are financially. MYOB makes visibility over my cash flow easy.”