Are you holding profitable meetings? Or are they a waste of time and resources?

Meetings, conference calls, emails, webinars. Our time at work gets stretched thin. How effective are all of these actions? Do they give you an adequate return on investment?

Yes, you should be calculating ROI for every meeting you hold and attend. Normally we don’t think in those terms. We think of ROI for our advertising budget, software investments, and personnel hires.

Most meetings that I attend seem to run between 30 minutes and an hour. That, my friends, is a good chunk of the day. Especially when some days we have two or even three meetings to attend.

But how is it possible to determine the “cost” of a meeting? And predict ahead of time if your meeting will produce a return on investment?

Here are 5 tips to help you maximize the efficiency of your meeting and calculate your ‘cost of doing business’:

  1. Set not only a start time but a hard end time to the meeting. Keep a timer going or an alarm. Set it for 5 minutes prior to the end of the meeting so that when it goes off you know that you need to wrap things up. If all items on the agenda are not met, schedule the next meeting with more attention to time management.
  2. Have an agenda. People, as a general rule, like order. Having an agenda that you go through point by point allows you to not only make sure all items are addressed but during its creation, you can determine whether the meeting is essential or a waste of time and resources.
  3. Keep it brief. Just like a good speech, brevity wins hearts and minds alike. While there will be some things that require a longer meeting a good rule of thumb is 30 minutes. Remember, the company is paying every member there so every minute you keep them is money that has to be returned on this investment. But keep in mind, the flip side of assuming that by not holding meetings you are saving money is far from true. The best, most progressive companies meet every day in something called War Room. Learn how to run a War Room meeting here.
  4. Stay on track. Unless the meeting is called for a brainstorming session to improve the business, staying on track will help you meet the first three points.
  5. Use this simple meeting ROI calculator to add up the hard costs of holding a meeting.

Whether you’re a business owner, manager, or employee, you can elevate your company by improving the strategy of your meetings.

Start today!

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TC Thompson is a husband and father. His writing focus is on leadership and discovering what you are called to be. He has written “Will the Real Men Please Stand Up” and contributes regularly to Leadx