When your day-to-day starts to get in the way of the bigger things, it may be time to step back and take a hard look at the way your business is structured. If you find yourself constantly missing emails or wasting precious time on figuring out what’s next, you’ll need to begin focusing some of your time on getting all of your “ducks in a row”—that is, get organized.
You may be asking yourself, “How am I expected to spend time on organizing when I don’t even have a minute to breathe?” This is a good question. A better question, however, “Do you plan to continue with the same old routine that produces the same old results?” Chances are you’re fed up and ready to make some changes. The good news is that with a bit of simple organization, your business will begin to work like the well-oiled machine that it should be!
In addition to saving you your hard-earned time (and money!), implementing policies and procedures into your regular operations will make things much smoother within your team. You won’t have to answer as many questions and your employees will feel confident that they know what they’re doing, all while keeping consistent with your brand. Talk about a win-win situation, right?
Break it down
So, what’s stopping you? An organization overhaul may seem like an overwhelming process, but rest assured that breaking it down into baby steps will make things much simpler for everyone.
Sit down and look at your client intake process. Initially, you can do this by yourself but it’s always best to bring in your team members to help brainstorm. They may be able to provide some additional perspective that you aren’t seeing. Is there anything you can do to save yourself an extra step? What does your typical workflow look like? How can you or your employees improve upon it?
For example, if you feel like you’re constantly drowning in prospective emails, consider blocking out an hour to develop email drafts for every situation, from initial inquiries to hold notifications to welcome messages. It may seem pointless, but you’d be surprised how much time you can save by streamlining your emails.
It’s also important to set policies with clients in order to create boundaries. This is key to a healthy work-life balance and for clients to understand that you’re not always at their disposal. Let them know when you’re available and what the best method is to reach you. Make sure they also have a good idea of what they have to work on to keep the process flowing. This sets expectations ahead of time to ensure that nobody gets caught off-guard at the last minute.
We live in a wonderful time where technology can help with a lot of streamlining needs. From to-do list apps to automatic billing software, there is a tool out there for everyone. While some may come with an upfront cost, it’s most likely worth it in the time saved.
Finally, be sure you’re keeping your ears open and listen to your employees. Have a team meeting at least once a month to check in on what your staff is working on and for team members to share any potential issues they have come across.
Remember – it’s your brand, so it’s up to you to treat it as such! If you don’t like to think of yourself as disorganized, then your business certainly shouldn’t be that way either. A happy and orderly workplace reflects a professional and reliable brand!
Jennifer Taylor is the owner of Taylor’d Events Group, a planning firm that specializes in celebrations of all kinds in the Pacific Northwest and Maui.