Yes, I said it. Organize or die.
What does that mean?
We as entrepreneurs understand that BIG businesses must be organized to survive. They’re BIG, right? Big means complicated, confusing, lots of people, lots of, well, STUFF.
But it’s not just BIG businesses that need to be organized.
LITTLE businesses need organization, too.
And the smaller the business, the more crucial the organization.
Small businesses like one-owner businesses or small team networks require organization to keep their work on track and moving forward. Keeping small business clients and their work on schedule and delivered on time is an absolute must, as it is for any business. However for a small or individually-owned business, it could mean business life or death. The loss of even one client could kill a very small business, or a bad review can ruin its reputation, and the business can end up losing more business, i.e, business death.
As a small business entrepreneur, I can honestly advise other small business owners on how to keep their clients happy and on track through efficient and effective organization. Not only is that what I do now, it’s what I’ve done for over 30 years.
Yet, as a new small business entrepreneur, I had to learn the hard way.
Nevermind I spent 30+ years organizing Fortune 500 companies’ Quality Assurance Departments and personnel. When I retired and started my own company, EditAlley, all that organizational mumbo jumbo that I not only practiced but also taught other departments and companies flew out the window. What did I, an organization expert, need with organizational devices and programs? Ptah! I had a brain, right?
Well, I’m here to tell you, the more clients I (happily) acquired, the harder it became to keep all those details in my head. And the harder it got to mentally organize those details, the more those deadlines loomed unexpectedly closer with less work accomplished and work I’d agreed to popped up unexpectedly, seemingly out of nowhere.
I learned to listen to my decades of experience. Finally. I got myself organized.
At first, I started very simply. I kept a spiral notebook and dated a new page for each day and added work to my phone calendar. I had manila folders to keep notes in, but the sides are open on manila folders and guess what? Notes and receipts and invoices fall out.
Yet still, more work came in. Work that required months to accomplish while other work with shorter deadlines filled the gaps. That spiral got torn up and 3-hole punched into a 3-ring binder with dividers for each of my clients. Same for the folders. Last year’s work or closed jobs got filed in the filing cabinet. All else goes into the binder, ONE BIG BINDER. (Why? Because I’m about as scatterbrained as a chicken in a rainstorm. I call it multi-tasking.)
I now use a spreadsheet for my clients, deadlines, invoices, expenses, etc. Eventually, my client base will grow to require a database instead of a spreadsheet, and that is fine and probably already due, but I’ve got my blinders on to that for the foreseeable future because I’ve got this one BIG job to finish before I go off onto another project. (chicken and rainstorm, remember?)
As a Quality Assurance Manager, I created databases holding tons of data, wrote programs to analyze that collected data, feed reports automatically to department heads on a weekly basis, graphed, charted, and data-ed my way through my work life. It’s what I did. It’s what I do.
As a member of the Essentially Books team, I can help you get more organized.
Small business or big, I can help you keep track of data, analyze it, report it, graph it, use statistical analysis. Perhaps you need statistical process analysis? 6-Sigma? Perhaps you need a simple spreadsheet that pops up warnings when a deadline looms.
Whatever your needs, big or small, give me a call or email and with a free consultation, let’s discuss an opportunity to organize.