How did you start your last bank holiday? Did you start it by cleaning something? I think UK residents in particular have this obsession that with every Bank holiday we must clean out shed/house/garden/car (delete as appropriate) before we can actually relax and unwind!
My sister lent me her power hose with the wise words ‘Be warned it’s addictive and you’ll want to clean everything’ to which I laughed but she definitely had the last laugh because I hosed literally everything in sight. Next-door’s cats only just had a narrow escape!
Have you ever wondered why in business you can’t be as enthusiastic about ‘cleaning’ or streamlining your administrative processes as you are in life outside the office? I think there are several reasons for this:
- The thought of starting overwhelms you to the point that you block yourself and don’t start
- You think it’s going to take much longer than it actually will, so you refuse to find the time
- You actively hate administrative tasks, so you do everything else first
There is a simple remedy however to this constant putting off which requires 2 things from you 1) making a list of what needs doing 2) doing it habitually
Think about the simple tasks in your business that you could ‘clean’ every month that would help you keep on track and ahead of the business competition. If you don’t know what your profit and loss is at the end of each month, or your audience engagement, or you are spending hours searching for emails never assume that your competitors are in the same situation!
There are 4 pillars to every business 1) financial 2) sales 3) operational and 4) marketing so make sure to put effort into all of them
5 Tasks to Keep on Top of Every Month:
- Email or Download any receipts related to business expenses to one folder so you can find them easily and don’t have to go hunting through 1000’s of emails at financial year end
- Reconcile your bank transactions in your online accountancy package at least once a week so you have a realistic view of your profit/loss at every month end
- Create a segment in your Mailchimp account to weed out those with 2 star or less interaction so you can either delete or send a dedicated marketing message to them
- Set up rules in your Inbox to move emails to certain folders, set up flags to remind you to do things and regularly delete actioned emails (Check out Wendy Cree’s article on Inbox management)
- Make a calendar appointment (and stick to it) to have a coffee with your staff members if you have hired staff to see if they have any concerns. If you are a freelancer lift the phone and catch up with that client, you haven’t heard from in a while to make sure everything is okay and if there are tasks you could be helping them with.
Not everyone is at the stage of their business to outsource tasks but remember you can hire a Virtual Assistant for a set budget of the hours a month you can afford.
If you are in the position that you don’t have a) an online accountancy package b) a CRM system to store your contacts c) an online automated marketing system such as Mailchimp or Convert kit please drop me an line and I help you set them up or point you in direction of experts in these areas.
For more tips on how to be productive in your business and more in the neutral zone of ‘whelmed’ rather than overwhelmed all the time, please sign up to my VirtuAli newsletter .