The following simple steps can provide you with useful structures in your business. Some will take more thought and time than others, but once in place will result in savings in time and money, and result in better productivity and less stress.
- Filing systems
Make sure your filing systems work for you, are easy to access and labelled clearly. Ideally old files are sorted into labelled archive boxes so they’re not encroaching on everyday working files.
Instead of holding onto hundreds of business cards, log all your contacts into your database. Once this is done you can sort your contacts into groups e.g. clients, prospects, supplies etc. This is a good system for tracking, and marketing to selected client groups.
- Marketing Resources
One of your best resources will be your database – you can market directly to the groups you’ve created and set them up such a way that emailing a special offer to clients or prospects can be done at a push of a button.
- Email sorting
Rather than keep hundreds [or thousands!] of emails in your Inbox, create Folders in your Inbox which can relate directly to your filing system. Dragging emails directly into these Folders, or Sub-Folders, is very simple and also means you know exactly where you can retrieve any email at a later date.
- Computer organisation
Your documents on your computer will also benefit from being filed into a system. Set up Folders and Sub-Folders in “My Documents” and file documents into these folders. You can then ‘shortcut’ any often used Folders to your computer desktop for immediate access.
- Client invoicing
One of the simplest methods of keeping track of invoices you send out to clients is to keep a spreadsheet Log with relevant details of each invoice.
- Client payments
As payments are received, simply tick them as paid on your invoice log. This system allows for easy debtor follow up as well, and you are able to see at a glance if a client payment has been received or not.
- Diary / Calendar
Your computer calendar is often the most effective and can be used to log all of your business and personal meetings, actions, phone calls and reminders. You can print out this calendar a week at a time to keep with you when you’re away from your computer.
Create a simple marketing plan for the year, from which you can then log actions and projects onto your calendar.
- Prospect and Client follow up
Again your calendar is ideal to diary follow up calls and meetings; and used in conjunction with your database groups is a very easy way to stay in touch with special offers or email newsletters.