1. Dedicate A Space
A major mistake a lot of people make when starting their business is not clearly defining a space or a place for running their business. We tend to do this in all other aspects of our lives except for business. For example, if you are a crafter, you go to the store and buy containers to store all of your charms, jewels, crafting paper, and markers. You have special scissors that you use to cut fabric and a different pair to finish the edges on your Christmas cards. Some people designate a large closet, a corner of their dining room, or even an entire spare bedroom for their hobby. If you have a baby, you set up a gorgeous nursery with stuffed animals, custom paint, and the works! Your business is just as important! To some people, it IS their baby! So why not treat it that way?
Even if it’s just a cheap card table you found at a garage sale, make that a space solely used for your business. Setup your laptop, file folders, turn on the coffee pot, and get to work! If you are able to afford it, rent an office that will suit all your business needs. This will help you to stay much more organized!
Before you go running to the bank and asking for a loan to make sure your business stays afloat, take a look at your finances first. Make sure you are keeping all of your receipts so that you can keep track of what you’ve spent. You can use whatever works best for you, an app on your phone, an online services, or do what I do and create a spreadsheet using Excel or Google Sheets like the one below. You will easily be able to identify the areas where you are spending the most money and find ways to reduce those costs whenever possible.
Whatever you decide is completely up to you, but make sure you are tracking your expenses at least once a week. Trust me on this, you don’t want to log several months worth of receipts come tax season!
3. Separate Business from Pleasure
Create a new separate email account for your business. They’re free, why are you still using your personal email to do business? Nothing more embarrassing than accidently sending a really important client pictures from your 21st birthday party or having them receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org. Please stop this immediately!
Most importantly, you need to have a business checking account that is separate from your personal bank account. Come tax time, you will have a much easier time accounting for all your expenses if things are not mixed in with your personal purchases. Check out this article from The Balance Small Business, that discusses five very good reasons why you need to have a dedicated business bank account.
4. Create a Process
A lot of businesses, big and small, can find the solution to their problems is due to a lack of, or a bad process. Period! For example, if you want to buy someone a $100 gift for their birthday next month, you need to come up with a way to earn or save the money within a set amount of time. How do you go about doing this? First, determine a deadline or due date. In this case, it’s 30 days or four weeks. Next, decide how much money you need every week in order to buy the gift. In our example, we’ll need an extra $25 a week.
Step 1: Define what you need – I need an extra $25 a week for the next four weeks.
Step 2: Explain in detail how you plan to make it happen – I will make $20 a week by driving for a rideshare service twice a week and save $5 a week by using coupons at the grocery store.
In order to make sure you have time to drive for the rideshare service and to plan your coupon trip, we’ll need to look at the next step.
5. Goals and Day to Day Schedule
After creating your processes, you need to schedule time to perform each task. This will ensure that you always have time to get it done. Sit down and create a snapshot view of your weekly activities. List out all the activities you do first, put them in groups, and then choose a day that works best to complete the task. You can use your phone to do this, but some
things in my opinion need to be done with good old pen and paper! You can create a template like the one below:
Or you can download a copy of my free workbook, Plan the Life You Want, and use the template provided. This workbook helps you to do less of the things you don’t want to do and more of the things you love to do! Click the image to visit my homepage, scroll down, and enter your email address in the sidebar on the right to download the workbook for free!
Back to our example, it looks like there’s time on Wednesday and Sunday to drive around for a few hours and Thursday would be a good day to prepare coupons since Groceries are scheduled for Friday. Let’s fill those in below:
Now, for the easy part, DO IT! If you simply follow the schedule that you took time to write out, will be able to surprise your friend with a great birthday gift next month! Just make sure the goals you are setting for yourself are realistic and that you establish and stick to your deadlines!
Even though the task used in the example was simple, this method can be used even for a complex situation like your business. Using the basic steps as explained, coupling them with thorough documentation, can help you to create a schedule like the one above for your business.
I hope that you found these tips useful and implement them right away! You’ll be surprised at how making small changes will have such a large impact on your business!
Comment below and let me know how you’ve decided to implement these tips into your business!