Fall is officially here and we can already feel and depending on where you are in the world even see the change of this beautiful season. There is no better time to start reflecting on our business to identify what’s working and what’s not so that we can make a plan to make this season our best yet.
Fall is that time that gives us a time to reflect over the past 6 months, prepare for the holiday season as well as set new goals for the upcoming year….meaning sometimes during this time of of the year and when the weather starts to get cool we tend to get a little too comfortable with our business and Fall is that time of the year that gives us a pep to deep clean out what no longer serves our purpose.
When we think of Fall Cleaning we are typically ready to turn up the stereo and dive into every room and closet for the ultimate seasonal deep clean regimen. However, if you are a business owner Fall is also the perfect time of the year to air out your business and lay the foundation for a productive and fertile business as the year is coming to an end and also in preparation for the year ahead.
At the first of the year we are pumped up and hitting the ground running in our business which is an exciting time. This momentum although great, can also cause us to get behind on filing and organizing as the busy days of the year have start to add up. Now, it may require an investment of time over a day or two to properly clean out the old but it’s definitely worth the time and attention to set the tone for what’s to come.
Here are some quick and easy ways to make the task seem less daunting that every womanpreneur can follow to Fall Back this year.
#1. Paper Management
The Fall season for many entrepreneurs means “holiday money”!!! However, do not forget that in the midst of all the holiday busyness that you start preparing for the upcoming tax season. Therefore that will require a great deal of paperwork, receipts, invoices, statements that are ready to be sorted and organized into your bookkeeping software (if it hasn’t already been done).
Now is the time to create a 2020 box and prepare to archive these documents after the end of the tax season of 2020. You also have the option of scanning these documents into a Dropbox or other cloud filing system to prevent storing unnecessary documents. Shred any documents that have personal information on them such as bank statements or credit card statements. Be sure to also review the current paper flow system that you have in your business. This is the ideal time to determine if the system you have in place is helping you be productive and increasing the profit in your business. If not, now is the time to ditch what’s not working and implement a new system.
#2. Update Software Programs
This is a step that is highly overlooked by many, just because we simply don’t think about it. How many versions behind on software updates are you? Running the latest software for your website platform, smartphone, computer operating system, email and anti-virus security is key to business productivity. Remember, outdated software can cost you and make your systems vulnerable to malfunctioning. Batch task this process and devote about an hour to updating all of your platforms to their latest system updates.
#3. Create a Digital Folder System
You have created a filing system for your hard copy documents but what about your soft copy documents?
Create category folders within your email account to prevent your inbox from becoming cluttered. Along with the desktop on your computer and smart phone. Your email account should not have more than 10 emails within your inbox. Losing important emails or files means a lot of wasted effort trying to search through your computer. Take the time to devote a few hours solely to organizing your desktop files and email inboxes.
Remember, once you have a productive system in place it’s all uphill from there!
#4. Close Out Spring / Summer Inventory
If you are a product based business this would be the perfect time to offer discounts on any remaining inventory to help you free up space and recoup some of your costs just in time for the holiday season. Put together a Last Chance sale for your customers that will benefit them on getting your great items at a super low cost and allow you to upload your website with what’s fresh and new for the year ahead. This is also the time to review the workflow system you have in place to track your inventory, listing products, shipping and delivery, etc. Review each step to make sure that it’s not slowing you down and is in alignment with your Brand direction. The key is to always work smarter not harder!
Having proper systems in place will give you the peace of mind that your business is running smoothly everyday (even while you’re sleeping).
#5. Update Your Contact Lists
Organize your customers, clients and vendors into updated groups. Follow up with each group to make sure the information you have on file is accurate and take this time to determine who you will continue working with and what contacts you will part with. This is critical to your business, you don’t want to be in the middle of a project and need to contact someone only to find you have the wrong information!
#6. Update Your Social Media + Website
Take stock of your online presence and make some positive changes across the board. If you don’t have the time to do it yourself, appoint a staff member or virtual assistant to mange your social media accounts and create relevant posts. Update your website copy to reflect the current status of your business. Changes to pricing or policies, different hours and new products are all things to keep regularly updated. Visit your site page by page as a viewer to ensure that all links are working properly and that their viewing and checkout experience is seamless.
#7. Fall Into The Cloud
Many entrepreneurs are taking full advantage of technology and going paperless with apps such as Evernote and Dropbox (both are my personal favorites). Both of these apps have cross-platform capabilities, which gives you 24/7 access to not only important documents but the amazing advantage to run your business from anywhere in the world. Moving your files gives you the benefit of having everything you need in one place for future reference, and the generous sizes of cloud storage available ensure that you will have the space you need for all of your documents. This is particularly important as we move into the beginning of the next tax season and will streamline this process for you and your accountant.
These simple tips will have your business organized in no time and have you ready to hop in your flip flops and sundresses to embrace the new season with ease.
Now, tell me which of these lifestyle tips will you implement? I would love to hear from you.