If you’ve recently started a small business hoping to take the first steps towards changing your life, it’s certain that you’re looking forward to plenty of exciting new experiences and, hopefully, some success along the way. However, starting a business isn’t all fun and games, and many budding entrepreneurs will often fall at the first hurdle.
This is because they are not organized, or at least not organized enough. You can have the best, most appealing business around, but if you don’t organize your company and everything that goes on inside of it, you are doomed to fail before you have even gotten started.
So how can you organize your home business? Here are ten ways to do that to ensure you get the success you deserve.
Start With Your Storage Space
You can’t expect to feel organized if your office storage is completely cluttered. So cluttered, in fact, that you don’t know where anything is, and you take far too long to locate your pens, contracts, or notebooks.
A cluttered office leads to a cluttered mind, and it means you could easily lose important documents and information regarding your finances or clients. It might be a little old school, but investing in a filing cabinet will make this easier. Likewise, you can use online resources, such as cloud storage, or even dedicated business programs to keep track of all the information you need, storing it in one easily accessible place.
Keep Track of Your Customers
For a small business, your early customers are the most important thing. These will help you build your reputation from the ground up when you need it the most. Keeping track of your customers, including their names, addresses, and even how they act, will help to create a more personal experience for them, allowing you to develop an important rapport that is crucial for building loyalty and longevity.
Again, consider both physical and digital solutions for this. A file per customer should do the trick. Inside this, you can include all previous dealings with them, including orders and payments. From here, you can predict if they will require a top up, especially if you work with wholesale products. You can also include notes about them, which you can reference if you are unsure exactly who you are speaking to.
Never Miss a Deadline
Whether you are delivering a physical product or providing a service, it’s essential that you meet deadlines on time every time. However, running a small business from home can be stressful, especially if you’re a one-person show. It’s easy to get buried underneath the avalanche of work you have before you, and this means you could accidentally miss a deadline.
This is not a good look for you, even if it was an accident. Therefore, you must create a schedule that outlines everything you need to do, and when you need to do it by. You can use dedicated scheduling software, use your computer’s calendar, or create a spreadsheet with a list of your to-dos each week, with deadlines included. As everyone is different, you can easily find what will work best for you.
Know What Each Day Brings
You can also get organized by knowing what you need to do each day. This is similar to meeting deadlines, but there are still some key differences. If you know what each day brings, you can prioritize your work and avoid spending too much time on small but time-consuming projects.
Use a notebook to write down what you need to tackle each day, whether this is finishing a project or sending invoices to the appropriate customers, and tick each task off as you do it. If you find something is taking longer than expected but isn’t a high priority, move onto something else. Eventually, you will develop a routine that allows you to know how ;long everything will take before you start, giving you the chance to be more efficient and more organized.
Don’t Neglect Your Finances
Small businesses will often find problems with finances, especially if you have never dealt with anything like this before. You need to know how to make and how to send an invoice, but also remember to keep track of everything you earn, whether it’s a quick project for a few dollars, or one that has taken months to complete.
If you keep a spreadsheet of everything earned throughout the year, it is much easier to navigate your taxes once the year ends. This will make working out how much you owe much easier, but it will also allow you to budget better. You can see how much is coming in and how much you need to spend to keep your business afloat, which will enable you to adjust your spending and even get rid of subscriptions you don’t use.
Plan Out Your Campaigns Now For Later
Even though yours is a small business, you might still want to market your company, especially if you’re planning on taking a significant step forward. It’s not enough to include your website or Facebook page on your accounts, you need to think about the different marketing campaigns you can try to attract more business.
This can be tricky for someone with little-to-zero marketing experience, but you can still try your best by planning out possible campaigns. To get started, consider major holidays throughout the year, such as Easter and Christmas. This can give you ideas for unique campaigns. It’s also worth focusing on important dates in your industry to attract customers.
Keep Your Business Secure
Security is one of the most significant aspects of looking the part and organizing your business. Even if you think you are too small to experience a cyberattack, there is always the possibility that your data, and that of your clients, could be exposed if you are not careful.
Because of this, it is imperative that you keep your business as secure as [possible using a myriad of passwords to protect data, while also investing in cybersecurity programs to block any malicious third parties. Hopefully, you will never experience an attempted breach, but it is always better for you to be prepared and organized for this to prevent if from happening should someone try to gain access to your company’s information.
Boost Your Productivity Through Tidiness
A tidy office equals a tidy mind, and if you want to maintain productivity and organization, you must make sure your workspace is as tidy as possible. Start by organizing your desk and keep everything you will need for the day, such as your notebook, pens, and a calendar, close by. You should also remove distractions like your phone or tablet and keep as far away from the TV or other distracting elements as possible.
The tidier you keep your workspace, the better you will be able to concentrate. This will also prevent you from losing documents or phone numbers when you need them the most. To maintain this productivity, tidy your desk at the end of each day so you are ready for the next.
Track Your Time
Not everyone requires time tracking apps, but if you’re new to working from home, it can take some time to get used to being out of the office. A time tracking app will help you stay on task, and you can also use it to learn how much time you waste on seemingly insignificant things, like washing the dishes or checking your phone.
Tracking your time is also useful for your invoice. You don’t want to under (or over) charge for your services, so knowing how much time you spent on a project will allow you to give your customers a more transparent price. This ensures fairness and also gives them the right impression that you are not trying to scam them.
Strip Your Inbox
Your inbox is likely full of marketing emails leftover from that brief impulse you had five years ago. You might not think this is a major issue, but it will make your inbox cluttered, and this means you could miss important emails.
Stripping your inbox of junk mail is bound to take a lot of time, but it will be worth it. However, before doing so, make sure you find important emails with vital information, such as anything related to taxes or banking information, among others. When you find them, drag them into a new folder, and make as many folders as you need to maintain organization. Once you have removed the important emails, you can go through and delete everything you don’t need. From here, make sure you monitor what lands in your inbox, and either delete it or move it.
Looking The Part
Clients and customers will quickly recognize a business that is not organized, and this will drive them away and towards a company that knows what it’s doing. This can be a death-knell to your budding home business. If you want to attract a wealth of customers and build your brand into something that is ready to take on the world, getting organized is the best place to start. Not only will it make you stand out, but it will also make your life much easier, too.
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