Are you organised? We recently hosted a fabulous breakfast session with #ialso100 Ada Obioha all about getting organised for 2022! It was a great session and Ada has kindly shared with us her blog from the event. Thanks Ada – please do follow her business ADAVIRTUAL.
As a small business owner you generally have to wear many hats and juggle many different plates in order to keep your business going. That is why organisation is so crucial. Not only to make sure that business runs smoothly but also to ensure you do not burn yourself out.
Here are some top tips on getting organised so you can concentrate on your business and smash those goals this year.
Five Organisational Areas
A business is made up of different facets, therefore, in order to stay organised,you need to organise the individual facets of the business which then feed into each other; and the results of organisation then start to produce the cumulative desired effect.
These facets can be broken down into 5 main areas:
- Your content marketing efforts
For many, content marketing gets pushed to the back of the to-do-list or is adhoc and you just add a social media post when you get 5 minutes in the evening. With some organisation you can make sure you have a more reliable and consistent approach.
There are so many social networks out there it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Think about who your audience is and what channels they are likely to use. If you are a small team or perhaps a sole trader, then just focus on one or two key social channels and you can always build on this as you grow.
Secondly, create a plan – decide on a few categories that relate to your business and how often you would like content to go out. Don’t forget to think about evergreen content that can be reused over and over again!
Finally, batch schedule using tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer or outsource if you have the budget for it – this means content is automatically being sent to your channels throughout the week.
- Your daily operational processes
Operations drive the growth or success of your business. We need to ensure we spend time on this area as it’s the daily operations that drive revenue!
Let’s break down this section into 3 areas of focus:
- Revenue: Map out your daily processes – these are the processes that are directly related to you making revenue. E.g From when a customer contacts you to you providing the goods or services, what steps are required? Then automate repetitive tasks where possible.
- Customer Service: Virtualize your customer service to avoid losing customers – use Chatfuel, Botsify, to build your own chatbot (using the Facebook Messenger platform).
- Create templates for just about every task you perform, if you can. For example, email responses, order forms, proposals etc. This means you have a base readily available which not only speeds up the process but is there for training future employees and means a consistent approach for the business
- Your comms, scheduling and project management systems
Did you know we spend 28 percent of our work week on email distractions?! That is vital time you can spend on growing the business.
Here are 4 ways we can help to limit this time:
- Comms/Email: Dedicate one to two blocks of time every day (in the morning and in the afternoon) where you give your full attention to checking and responding to emails. 30 secs per email & 60 emails = 30mins time loss per day
- Scheduling: Apps like Calendly can automate meeting scheduling without the appointment back-and-forth.
- Customer Relationship: Use a CRM to help capture all customers data in one place – some plug in to your emails so you can see all emails to a customer within the CRM.
- Project management: Use an app (Asana, Trello, to track and collaborate with your team on projects)
- Financial and accounting processes
Business finances may not be your favourite aspect of doing business, but it’s an essential one. Keeping your finances organised helps you stay on track with your business numbers.
Here are 3 tips to stay on top of your financial processes:
- Use the inbuilt functionality in Xero or Quickbooks to process expenses and store receipts.
- Create automations so that when a receipt hits your inbox, it is automatically forwarded to your accounting system and files the email away – use apps like Hubdoc for this.
- Set a weekly or bi-weekly slot in your calendar to scan all paper receipts to avoid a huge pile.
- Your physical and digital workspace
A few minutes at the end of the day will help you keep on top of your digital workspace and ensure a bigger organisational task in the future isn’t needed. Make sure your drive is growth ready like your business – think to yourself, if someone new came onboard, would they know where to find everything? Is everything stored in the right place?
Take a few moments every few days to delete unneeded files, and put new ones into relevant folders.
Organise passwords using Lastpass or Dashlane.
Top Tip: If you use the same websites each day for work, set up an automation in chrome that opens all the tabs as soon as you load Chrome.
Schedule 10 minutes per week, to tidy up your desk. Too much clutter or lots of paperwork can make you feel overwhelmed so make sure everything on your desk is important and has a specific place.
You could even reduce the clutter by going paperless – instead of keeping track of dozens of files and folders all the time, reduce everything to digital scans.
“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” – Benjamin Franklin
As business owners, we know what we want but we cannot achieve our goals without a plan.
Therefore plan for the following day at the end of your workday, or first thing in the morning to make sure you know what you want to achieve that day or week.
Review what you’re already booked in for, and map out what that task is going to accomplish.
Make sure you prioritise and create a priority list!
- Urgent & Important – Do
- Not Urgent & Important – Defer
- Urgent & Not Important – Delegate
- Not Urgent & Not Important – Delete
Create a timeline for each to-do and stick to it.
Finally, Reflect weekly to stay on top of your goals
As with all businesses and their owners, we are all unique and work best in different ways. Therefore make sure to reflect on what you have done and achieved to stay on top of your goals.
Ask yourself the following questions and adapt as you need to
- How did your systems help you improve the business this week?
- Is there anything that could have been done better?
- Are the techniques you have applied helping you gain back your time?
- Are there any key improvement areas for you next week?