Certified Professional Organizer® and Family Manager Coach, Ellen Delap, is back today to share tips for new small business owners.
I often meet with clients who are just starting their new small business. Their business is something they are passionate about and have excellent client connections. However they need a boost and some basic organizing ideas to keep them on track administratively speaking.
1. Consolidate your contacts all in one place.
This can be the biggest challenge for my clients since their information might be on a business card, a post it note or in their phone. Choose a contact base that will you know well and can easily access. For most people this would be Outlook in the Office Suite or Gmail Contacts. The biggest reason to consolidate this information is peace of mind. You will be able to look in one place and connect easily with your client.
2. Get control of your calendar.
When you start a business, the adage “time is money” is so true. How you spend your time is all about income in the beginning. Having a calendar that really works for you means that you can plan your week, see where you have time for “opportunities” and where you need to put more push into your week. Be sure to be diligent about a weekly planning time to review your calendar too.
3.Get control of your task list.
Keeping tabs on tasks and ideas makes for great use of your time and customer relationships. Task managers on Outlook help you keep up to date. Or, if you are paper person, a simple spiral that you carry with you all the time can work, too. Use technology with digital clouds like Dropbox and Evernote to help you capture ideas, ”carry” documents with you, and save space.
4. Keep track of your papers.
Creating a paper management system customized to your business needs will help you stay on top! Create a command center for your desk area with categories for action, pay, projects, and filing. For your car, create a system with the papers you need to meet clients. Have with you the papers you need to sign up a new client, sell a property or cosmetic, and take money to the bank. Be sure there is a spot for every paper you have.
5. Think about customer service.
Put processes in place to create consistency and great customer service. Think about the sequence of part of your business, write it out as a step by step plan, and then commit to it with a checklist. Once the process becomes routine, you are ready to go.
6. Other things to think about.
· Start off planning for an emergency. Use Carbonite to back up your computer! Using Carbonite prevents the ultimate fail, loss of important data.
· Cultivate resources who can help you and you can help too. Being a team player can be the best of all, with help in areas that you are most challenged. You can barter as well to get jobs done.
· Disorganization is costly and distracting. Get started right off with a great plan and make it work for you.
About the Author
Certified Professional Organizer ® and Family Manager Coach, Ellen Delap, is the owner of Professional-Organizer.com. Since 2000, she has worked one-on-one with her clients in their home and offices, streamlining their environments, creating effective strategies for an organized lifestyle, and helping them to prioritize organization in their daily routines. She holds ADD and Chronic Disorganization certificates and specializes in working with ADD and ADHD adults and students. Ellen has been featured at The Woodlands (Texas) Home and Garden Show, on ABC13 Houston, in the Houston Chronicle, and is an Expert on The Clutter Diet, an online organizing resource.
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