Keeping a business organized will also make it productive. Even if there’s a lot of business organization already in place, there are still ways to get business and workspace organized. If there aren’t any strategies in place, which we discuss more on our free webinar training, it’s more challenging to make money online.
Below are some tips on organization and how to get and stay on track.
Follow Through With To-Do Lists
Infusion Soft says to do lists, but only if you complete them. Find out what they recommend you do to use your to-do lists and complete tasks on time:
To-do listing is the universal language in the world of business organization. The problem is that few people ever actually follow-up with their lists. What’s the point of writing to-do lists if you don’t use it as a reference for your work priorities? Here are a few tips that will encourage you to keep up with your to-do list:
Jot down everything you need to get done (it doesn’t have to be in any particular order, just dig into your stream of consciousness and write down the tasks as they come to mind).
Group related tasks that could be completed together or in the same block of time.
Number your list according to priority level and rearrange as needed. Hint: people often mistake quantity-heavy tasks as being more important than quality-heavy tasks. Nothing could be further from the truth. Priority should be based on a combined system of time-sensitivity, productivity, and correspondence. For example, if I complete task A, I will be able to complete task B and C in less time and with less effort, so task A should be the first order of business.
Create smaller to-do lists under larger to-do bullets. This will help you coordinate the completion of a specific project and encourage you to continue working towards your larger goal.
Mark things off as they are completed. You will feel a sense of ease and accomplishment when you visually see a list of tasks with check marks.
While good ol’ paper and pen work fine for simple to-do lists, we recommend using a cloud-based app like Todoist to manage your tasks, even when you’re on the go.
Plan Social Media Campaigns in Advance
To stay up to date on your business, Neil Patel recommends scheduling your social media in advance so that it won’t eat up too much of your time. Planning things will give you much needed time to spend on other projects as well.
If you’re running a social media marketing campaign on a budget, you need to reduce the time you’re spending keeping things online.
Instead of wasting time publishing posts every few hours, you should schedule things beforehand.
This simple organization technique will save you countless hours and help you improve your efficiency and productivity.
There’s also another technique that can take things to the next level. Instead of just writing social media posts for the next few days, why not let a tool publish them for you?
Meet Edgar is a great way to manage your content beforehand, allowing you to write social media updates once, and then have them sent out multiple times afterward.
Similarly, Business.com also keeping your social media presence organized by using a social media management tool. Using one tool will help you keep track of all of your social media sites and schedule posts in advance.
While it helps to have an engaging presence on all the major social media platforms, the effort can eat up all your time plus it can be hard to keep up with in terms of posting, tracking, and responding. That’s when you need a social media management tool that will help you organize all your social media campaigns while leaving you time to interact and respond to your audience on these platforms.
Social Oomph helps you streamline your social media tasks by taking the manual labor out of updating Twitter, Facebook (including profiles, groups, and pages), LinkedIn (including company pages, profiles, and groups), RSS feeds, Plurk, App.net and blogs. You can schedule updates, get suggestions on people to follow, and gauge how your social media content and campaigns are doing in terms of engagement.
Take Control of Your Inbox
It’s easy for your inbox to spiral out of control, which is why you need to take charge! One idea is to sort through your inbox, and as Small Business Trends recommends, start with a clean slate.
If your email inbox has become a catchall for every email you’ve received over the past years, it’s time to clean house. It is possible to manage your email inbox so you only see the messages you still need to deal with and everything else is neatly archived for safe keeping. Start with a clean slate by filing away everything you no longer need to respond to.
Next, tame the level of new emails you get each day by unsubscribing to newsletters or other subscriptions you no longer read. Create specific folders where non-essential emails go automatically, so they don’t interrupt your daily flow.
Maintain Customer Records
Entrepreneur reminds online business owners of the importance of keeping records safely online. They provide on how to do that below:
One problem business owners have is that they need to be able to keep records safely. You have a legal obligation to protect any customer information obtained online. For example, you should store information on separate devices and have a number of secure backups.
Your systems must be kept updated and controls should be implemented and access should be restricted only to specific employees.
You should have a system in place to destroy things like credit card details securely when they’re no longer needed.
Take Control of Papers and Documents
It’s easy for papers and documents to pile up on your desk, making it challenging to find anything let alone get work done. Small Business recommends creating a filing system and developing a filing system.
We'll start with paper since that is the biggest disorganization culprit for most of us. What do you do with documents after you take action on them? How do you store papers for future reference? If you don't have a filing system and/or a digital archiving system in place, now is the time to build one. Start by taking a look at the papers you have laying around. Make a keep pile and a discard pile, then shred or recycle all of the papers, magazines, newsletters, cards, notes, etc. that made it to the second pile.
Now that you have a better idea about the type of documents you're working with, it's time to create — or improve — your office filing system. Susan Ward put together a helpful guide to creating a document management system that can help you create or fine-tune your paper process and get it organized.
If you decide it's time to start moving toward a paperless office, then you can start by scanning in and digitizing your receipts, using online invoicing and payment services like FreshBooks, moving to a digital signature program like DocuSign, and using the Cloud for data backup and archiving. If you collect business cards at events during the year, it may also be a good idea to invest in a business card scanner so you can digitize contact info immediately and ditch the paper cards.
Organizing Cash Flow
Organizing cash flow is another way to keep an online business organized, and you can do that by using online businesses like Freshbooks to keep track of on-going payments from clients. Business.com also says that online invoice tools can help you keep an eye on cash flow, which is helpful for online businesses.
Although it might seem easy to do as a startup to organize cash flow since there might be very little, you may actually get so caught up in the other aspects of your daily routine that you forget to send an invoice or remind a customer that a payment is overdue. That’s when it helps to have an online invoicing tool that gives you a dashboard view of your current invoices, those past due, and those upcoming if you have recurring payments from clients.
Companies like Freshbooks deliver this capability so you can continue focusing on core capabilities while still keeping an eye on the cash flow from any device. The online invoice tools sends invoices via email with convenient links to payment options like credit cards, e-checks, and payment portals like PayPal. You can set automated reminders and acknowledgments to keep a steady stream of cash flow.
Even after your startup is built out and you are generating revenues, these tools will scale up with you and continue to keep your business organized. Many offer more features that you can add later on to handle larger volumes and projects so you never lose that efficiency that helped you from the start.
Keeping a business organized has a lot to do without how successful your online business will be. If you’re not productive with your time or aren’t very organized it can cause your business to suffer. Organization plays a big part in making money online as well, and we cover more on this in our free webinar training.