Being an entrepreneur is no easy task, especially if you’re flying solo. It’s all too easy to lose track of deadlines, important dates, client files, and all the other tasks that you need to deal with on a daily basis.
While you may eventually find what you need in the “organized chaos”, consider for a moment the impression you leave on your customers and clients. More importantly, consider the amount of unnecessary stress you add to your day as well as precious time lost while searching for the important information.
That’s why it’s crucial to organise your business for success and the good news is that I’m sharing three simple tips that will help you get started with organizing your business.
Settle on the Right Tools
Choosing the right tools that will help you tame the chaos and get your business into shape is super important. However, a common mistake is to jump between tools and sign up for yet another app in the hopes of finding the magic solution.
Let’s be clear about something: no tool is 100% perfect. What works for one person will not necessarily work for another one so try to resist the feeling of obligation to any one tool just because others in your niche swear by it.
By all means, try a few of the tools you hear about. But, instead of adjusting to the tools, look at them and see if you can make the tools work for you.
If you don’t like Gmail, don’t use it just because the majority is. If you feel like you need to use Trello because everyone is raving about and you don’t like it and prefer good old pen and paper, then stick to pen and paper.
I won’t recommend specific tools but I will tell you that you will need to choose at least one way to manage, share, and collaborate on business files and documents, you will need a way to keep track of your finances, you will need a way to manage your to do list (or project list), and you will need a way to communicate with your clients or your team that doesn’t involve email but makes it easy to share ideas and get feedback.
Define Your Processes
Once you know which tools you will use, it’s time to define your processes. This might seem silly at first, especially if you think you’ve got this thing nailed. But by documenting what exactly goes on in your business, you reduce the chances of something not going according to plan.
On top of that, you also make it easy to hire out help and get your future VA or marketing manager on board with the inner workings of your business.
You can create a document or list out everything that happens in a project management tool. Consider writing down how your client outreach and intake process looks like, what steps your clients go through from signing on with you to the moment you send the last invoice; note down what your marketing process involves and who is responsible for it.
Doing this will allow you to provide your clients or customers with a streamlined process and help you avoid feeling overwhelmed.
In essence, you want a defined process for each of the following:
- Administrative tasks like sending out invoices, contracts, responding to emails or delegating them
- Marketing strategy like creating content, being active on your preferred social media network, guest post outreach, collaboration outreach
- Client/Customer journey which involves tasks that are related to your clients or customers such as what happens when they sign the contract, when are they supposed to deliver files to you, when are you responsible for sending their product, etc.
- Bookkeeping tasks like going over the books and making sure all the invoices were entered correctly, seeing if everything was paid on time, and more. While you may have an accountant, it’s still a good idea to go over everything so you have an accurate idea of how your business is doing at any given moment.
Have a Planning and Organizing Day
Lastly, make a habit of taking one day in your regular workweek and devoting it to planning and organizing your business. Throw away all the paperwork and notes that are no longer needed or scan them and attach them in your to do list tool or save them in Dropbox or Google Drive.
Empty out your inbox and archive emails that no longer need your attention or snooze those that you’ll need to go back to. Take a look at your to do list and see everything you accomplished this week and make a note of tasks that got pushed back.
It’s also a good idea to do a brain dump and get everything that needs to get done out in the open. You may not have a specific deadline yet, but it helps to have it written down and not in your head.
Organising your business may seem daunting, but it’s a lot easier when you keep it simple and put some thought into how you’d like to stay on top of everything. I hope the tips above have helped you and gave you some ideas to organize your business.
Ana Lynn Amelio
Digital Strategies Coach
Ana is on a mission to get your brand some clarity, make your website look awesome and help you kick business overwhelm to the curb! She helps mompreneurs establish effective business and marketing systems so they can spend more time with their families without sacrificing potential income opportunities.
Her services include coaching and private workshops through which she assesses your business situation and establishes workflows which will help you improve your business.