We get it. You are a dreamer, a mover and shaker. You caught a vision and started your own business because you had a passion for Baja fish tacos, organic skin care products, or capturing the perfect wedding pictures. Working with the clients in your gym or promoting your new line of children’s toys thrills you. But when it comes to paperwork, taxes, schedules… ugh, you would rather not.
You have worked hard to build up your business. Unfortunately, if you struggle with organization, a small oversight could lead to a huge loss. A lack of organization over time can decrease efficiency and raise expenses. It is worth the time and energy to organize.
1. Get help – If your personality is creative and idea generating, you may need a partner who can bring balance with problem-solving, organization, and careful evaluation. If you are starting small and notice an employee with these strengths, consider putting them in charge of some organizational aspects. They may earn a raise in this case or have designated hours for organization with separate hours for other responsibilities.
2. Manage your schedules – This is particularly important if your business involves client appointments. You do not want to miss the opportunity of a sale or create a negative client experience just because the sticky note with the details slipped off the side of the fridge. Have a master calendar, preferably in an online format where clients can easily book an appointment.
Even if you deal with walk-in customers more than scheduled appointments, you will still want an efficient scheduling system. Schedule your employees’ work hours, mark important deadlines, such as bill due dates, tax periods, schedule promotional events, etc.
3. Keep track of taxes – Not only are good financial records important to help you monitor the success of your business, they are also important for tax purposes. You do not want to endanger your business because you are not up to date on tax requirements or have not kept sufficient records. Tracking your spending will also make you more aware of which areas are a higher expense. You may be able to identify ways to reduce spending or find an effective area to increase spending if it yields a bigger return. With more and more information being shared electronically, it is important to have your data appropriately backed up.
4. Streamline your communication – The many outlets for advertising and communication available today can be great for increasing your client base. The disadvantage is that communication may be missed if you forget to check a certain platform. Or you may be searching through all your e-mails for details about a certain job when the client had sent you the info in a text message. If possible, have all your communication funnel to a common pool so that you can communicate in a timely manner and be able to reference info later.
5. Plan social media campaigns – Though social media is a casual platform, it does not mean that your advertising campaign should only consist of random, incidental posts. Work out a quarterly or yearly plan. Choose a couple themes and use a variety of text, images, videos, giveaways, polls, etc. Take note of holidays or local events that can help promote your business. Then put it on the calendar!
6. Organize the physical space – If your clients and customers come to a brick-and-mortar store front, this is particularly important for creating a good impression. Even if your clients never see the inside of your workspace, organization is still important for efficient work and a productive atmosphere.