Avoid The "Silent Killers"
Don't Let These Silent Killers Destroy Your Business Goals...
By Diane Thomas
We all know that we start with a business plan. The plan laysout where we intend to take our business in a specific time frame, how we plan to get there, and if it is feasable. We then set up our finances, buy some office supplies and we're on our way, right? Not exactly. If we don't have a plan to get us through the mundane daily tasks, many of us creative types will flounder.
The backbone of any successful business is organization, aka time management. Let's take an example: You opened your mail this morning, you know you received some kind of form from the IRS, but after you opened the mail you went on to other things and now you just have piles of papers. You have to find that form, maybe it is something really important! Maybe they are going to auction off your children to get money they think you owe (I don't think they have thought of this one yet - but you never know)!. Where is that form! You muddle through all of your piles of papers, and there it is - always the last place you look. False alarm, it doesn't even apply to you.
In the meantime, however, how much time did you waste? Do you really feel like writing that great novel now? Probably not. Confusion and frustration are the silent killers of many businesses. They kill time and they kill creativity. Fortunately there are ways to avoid this scenario. The following 5 tips should help you get better control of your time - and your business.
1. Organize your day: Set up a file with 5 folders.Label as follows and sort your morning mail accordingly.
Correspondence: Letters, etc.that need to be answered.
Priority: Anything other than correspondence that needs to be done immediately - no procrastination here!
Receivables: Those swell checks that have to be deposited.
Payables: Those nasty bills that have to be paid.
To Do: Anything else that is not a priority.
Now for the icing on the cake. Make sure your folders are empty by the end of your work day!
2. Set up a Roledex file for your contacts: I use affiliate programs on my website, so I split my file into two sections. One section for standard phone numbers and addresses and one for the affiliate programs. In the affiliate section I list the Website URL, my ID and Password, the products I sell, my URL for the particular products and the URL for the members only sites. I may have to spill over to the other side of the card in some instances, but all the information is in one easy to access spot. This is a real time saver, and can be set up in any way that is good for your business.
3. Organize your bookmarks: There is nothing more frustrating than scrolling thru zillions of sites that you have bookmarked, some of which you can't even remember why they are there - what were you thinking! To make your bookmarks easy to deal with, set up main categories and subdivide as needed.
For instance I might have a category for writing and subdivide that into Agents, Associations, Awards, etc. Keeping your bookmarks organized will save a lot of time - and a lot of stress. Once your bookmarks are organized you'll want to go thru them from time to time and add or change folders as your business grows and changes.
4. Organize your email: If you're like me, you receive a lot of articles, newsletters and ezines everyday and don't have time to read them all at once. Leaving them in your inbox gets very confusing and annoying. Here is the answer: Set up your email with categories and subcategories as you did with your bookmarks. With email, however, I find that "out of sight is out of mind", so you might want to set up a prioity file - and make sure it's empty by the end of the day! Once a month (or more) go thru your folders, clear out what you don't need and put what you do need on Zip Discs, CD's or other storage.
5. Organize your content: I found myself downloading so much "free stuff" that I didn't know where I put anything, and sometimes I would find a file or program and had no idea what it was. My desktop was a free for all. Don't let this happen to you! Set up Zip discs or CD's or the like. Categorize and label. Voila! Everything is where you can quickly find it. And as an added bonus your not clogging up your computer memory - and it will reward you for it!
If you do just these five things, you will find your business does not seem quite so impossible, your stress level will be lower and you will have more time for important things - like making your business successful!
About the Author
Diane Thomas has been successfully helping people write, publish, market and earn their way online for the past 10 years. For more information on becomming successful online, visit her at eBook Crossroads.com.
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