Organization is a major key in running an efficient business and avoiding future headaches. For landscaping businesses, there is often an ebb and flow of scheduled work due to weather changes. Colder temperatures means workloads may fluctuate temporarily. This is why being organized should be a priority.
Organization is not just a pillar of running a successful business; it goes hand-in-hand with professionalism. Operating an organized business encourages client and financial growth. You need to be organized in order to keep your business open, to keep your current clients happy, and to attract new ones. Not to mention, who needs the stress that disorganization brings?
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Here, we’ve compiled 6 essential tips for managing your business – and organizing every aspect of it – to help you become an office organizational expert.
1. Schedule your clients digitally.
Commit everything to a digital calendar to keep track of your clients’ needs. Give each client a time slot. Include their name, contact information, and who will provide the service from your team. There’s no such thing as too many details here. In fact, the more, the better. If a client likes their service done a specific way, add those tidbits into the calendar slot, too.
Taking the time to choose the right digital calendar for your business is equally important. Of course, there’s the run-of-the-mill options like Google Calendar and the MS Outlook calendar. Look into other digital calendar alternatives, such as Teamup which allows for group sharing.
2. Streamline your invoicing process.
Evaluate your current invoicing process. Does it work seamlessly or could it use slight tweaks and improvements? Invoicing for your business should be standardized. Make sure the process is clear and that everyone on your team (who needs to) understands it. Create a standard invoice sheet if one hasn’t been created already.
If you’re still using a paper invoice system, consider switching to digital invoicing. Paper invoices can easily get lost and are subject to illegible handwriting. Quickbooks is a great program for keeping accounting information all in one place and includes electronic invoicing options. If the cost of Quickbooks is beyond what you’re currently able or willing to invest, opt for a program like Viewpost. Sending and receiving invoices as well as invoice tracking are free via the Viewpost website.
3. Strategize a system for smooth team communication.
Most of us can recall a time when we were involved in an endless game of telephone. Likewise, you’ve probably lost count of how many times you’ve fallen victim to a “reply all” email that copied too many people on what could have been a simple, one-to-one response. Prevent frustration by reducing these unnecessary group communication failures.
If your team is digitally inclined, use a group messaging platform like Slack to manage quick quips that could eliminate never-ending email chains. Slack can be used on desktops or installed as an app on Android or iPhone. Slack will allow users to search for specific terms to find past communication threads, tag important parts of conversations, and alert individuals within a group chat. It’s the texting of the future.
4. Be meticulous with tax information and paperwork.
Keeping tax information organized and paying close attention to detail could save time and money once April 15 rolls around. Keeping itemized receipts for all your business expenses can be helpful, as is keeping a running tally of expenses you expect to be written off. Try to pass along all necessary documents for tax filing to your business accountant or bookkeeper quarterly.
5. Back up your records.
Ever had a day when everything technological went wrong? Your trusted computer that usually runs fast is acting wonky and keeps restarting. The Internet goes out in your service area for hours. All of a sudden, all the digital records you had are obsolete and inaccessible.
There’s not enough that can be said about using offsite backup systems. If you’re unable to access your records from your office or business computers, many offsite backup platforms will allow you to access your documents from a smartphone. Free options like Google Drive have handy applications that show you your documents and will even let you make edits to them. Search out other cloud-based backup options that will give you emergency and offsite access to your CRM system or other important files. It’s not safe to keep stuff in one place – back it up and save yourself a headache later.
6. Review, review, review.
When in doubt, review. Double check everything. Get a second set of eyes to look over things. Reviewing is the last piece of the puzzle to keeping your business running smoothly and the glue that holds it all together.
Despite what processes may be in place, they are null and void without proper review – both for mistakes and for evaluation of whether the existing ones are effective. By reviewing your current systems, you may find a method that formerly worked is no longer sufficient. From there, you can begin troubleshooting and tinkering with how to get back on track.
Internal system reviews should be ongoing. They shouldn’t be neglected until things are “out of control” or disorganized. Instead, use these reviews to consistently take a look at where you can improve to make your business stronger behind the scenes.
As a business owner, you wear a number of hats. Organizing your business office practices will help you alleviate unnecessary stress and make each part of your company run like a well-oiled machine.