Would it surprise you to learn the average individual spends 150 hours each year looking for misplaced information? That’s nearly four work weeks! And if you struggle with being disorganized, chances are you’re spending even more than that.
Implementing just a few simple organizing techniques when setting up your office will make you more efficient, productive and put more money in your pocket.
- Paper Management – Proper record keeping is vital in running a successful business. And creating an effective file system needs to be a first step. Everyone has issues with paper but it doesn’t need to be a cumbersome task. Keep it simple. Consider using an open file box where tabs are easy to see and files easy to access.
- Remember — keep your business records separate from your personal ones. When it comes to organizing documents which support the sales process such as brochures, catalogs, order forms and other items, use a literature sorter. They are easily accessible and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Company forms and other information available to you online will reduce the actual amount you need to store in your office.
- Telephone – Get a separate phone line for your business and avoid answering personal calls when you’re working. According to Microsoft, it takes the average worker 25 minutes to cycle back to the original task once interrupted. Talk about lowering productivity!
- Desk/Work Surface – Whether you’re working on a card table or a desk, have an area which is designated only for your business. When organizing your workspace, keep the 80/20 rule in mind: We use 20 percent of our supplies 80 percent of the time. Therefore, have only those items which you use on a daily basis taking up valuable desk space.
- Designate areas for incoming mail as well as files related to current shows, follow-up calls or other projects.
- Computer – Computers are indispensable when it comes to running your business. Many direct selling companies provide their sales force with software specifically designed for your business. You will be money and time ahead if you learn to effectively use these programs.
- Email is another tool that has become a part of our everyday life. When using email in your business, avoid the interruption of personal email by having separate email addresses.
- An effective calendar system is one of the most important organizing tools you can have. If you like working with a paper calendar/appointment book, stick with it. Don’t be pressured into buying the latest electronic gadget if your current calendar system is working for you. On the flipside, if your current system is failing you, you may consider using a software program such as Outlook or a handheld PDA.
- If your company doesn’t provide a contact management software, consider using ACT! or Goldmine to track customers, prospects and potential recruits. Contact management programs let you take detailed notes on each customer, pass that to other associates, set up alerts, sift data, and never miss an opportunity to bring in additional revenue.