So you didn't keep up with the system you first made when you started your business. It's ok. It's really not your fault since all the clients and the work started to fully come in over the period of time.
Hey, honestly good for you in all the work you've gained since then, but let's be honest now, having a stable, organized system is key.
So where do you begin?
Step one: CLIENT & PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Make sure you are utilizing your client management system. This is the holy grail to helping you keep yourself organized. I can tell you from personal experience it is keeping me in check! What perfect way of having a stable organized system then having a client/project management program on your side. My recommendations? Dubsado or Honeybook. Want a program to track the small tasks that relate just solely to you and your business? Use Trello or Asana. Having these programs as a start will not only hold you accountable, but will help keep you & your work on track.
Step two: CALENDAR MANAGEMENT
Make sure your calendar is up to date ALWAYS. Booked a call? Awesome! Invited to a social virtual gathering you really want to attend to? Cool! Now put it in right away in your personal calendar. Yes Dubsado and Honeybook may have their own calendars, but when you are on the road, or possibly running some errands, some things may skip your mind. So why not put this reminder also in your phone to alert you that you have something planned? Trust me there is no harm in multiple reminders! I speak from an organized background, having your schedule online through your email calendar is great, but when we are out and about it's nice and super affective setting up reminders/alerts from our phone. Setting up alerts through our phone gives us a good 30 min. to an hour notice before a scheduled call with a client or an event we really want to attend to.
Step three: MAINTAINING RECORDS & FILES
Trying to keep those darn receipts in order for your taxes? How about scanning them into your computer and filing them according to the month. This is super affective and your accountant will thank you! Want to keep track of your business expenses but don't want to be pulling up the emails or bank statements? Make a spreadsheet girlfriend! This is where I mention having a client management system like Dubsado and Honeybook will be a lifesaver when it comes to keeping your income on record. Now let's move onto keeping your files in order so they are easy to find. If it pertains to a client, I sure do hope you have it in your Dubsado or Honeybook system, if it's something off the record, perhaps make a specialized client folder on your desktop holding all files that pertains to them. Remember, organization is KEY!
Step four: EMAIL MANAGEMENT
Hey why are you edging in your seat? Oh I get it...thinking of your own email ey? I get it. Trust me those emails! *sighs* they keep coming throughout the day unexpectedly. So how do we get you from 5,000+ emails down to only the ones you have not responded to in your inbox? Well, let me tell you my signature method. This method was perfected when I last worked at a corporate company, and I've seen the magic first hand. Let's start with Folders. Oh yes folders! Make folders such as these to get your inbox organized:
Clients (add sub labels underneath this main label with all your current clients, past clients, maybe clients etc.)
Programs (Pinterest, instagram, Dubsado, honey book, google etc. put them all in this folder. Any Program that you are subscribed to that gives you info you wish to keep)
Subscriptions (subscribed to some amazing emailing lists? file them away here)
Orders (ordered something for your business and want to keep it on record? An orders folder is the way to go! You can also make a sub label named "receipts" too)
Now that you have your main 4, the organizing begins. Start by deleting all things in the spam folder, promotions folder and emails that go way and I mean way back. Hey! I see that unnecessary email from 2017! I mean it was a good year, but c'mon let it go! If you've stumbled across an email that you feel is still relevant and super important, this is when main folder number 5 kicks in:
5. For Records
Listen, I strongly suggest you keep the main folders to a minimum 5-6 if possible, I don't want you losing your head now with repetitive folders just titled differently. Or you constantly clicking on folders when you have sub labels on your side. Ok, now this is my method of getting your inbox looking squeaky clean. It works like a charm. Just ask some of my clients and look down below on how many folders I have at the moment. My email is currently at one in my main inbox! I feel ~accomplished~
I want you to feel accomplished as well. I highly encourage you to get started on shifting some focus and energy into getting organized in your business. I can tell you from experience and helping those get organized, there is such a relief. I see how happy and lighter my clients feel once I fix an area that is just driving them nuts. Being organized can set you at ease and really help make you more productive in the areas you want to be.
After reading all of my strategies, I hope you set at least 15 minutes out of your day to start the organization process. However, I know we all function different, so if you are now finding yourself in an even deeper hole because you honestly don't have the time. Then it's time to swallow that hard pill and accept you need help. Look for a reliable person you trust and outsource the areas you need help in getting organized.
All great businesses aren't running alone. Just think on that.