There is no doubt about it; owning and running a business is a tough thing to do, no matter who you are. But, when you add children into the mix, you must be the most productive, efficient, and organized version of yourself.
For most people that launch a business, the early months and even years can be run without too much organization. You learn as you go if you still need to gain the skills. Eventually, you will have systems in place that will help you keep everything ticking over well. But in order to give your business room to grow – you need to reassess how things are going right now.
No matter what your business is, it is always the right time to take a look and see what you can improve. Some improvements will help your staff and team, others will give you more free time, and using a combination of things should reduce your costs too.
There is no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to the business organization, though, so it is always a good idea before you start any implementation to look at how your week runs. Try to look for tasks and other issues that delay how quickly you can do things. Look for areas that you have feedback on – so you can improve those too.
An organized business, or even a very organized freelancer, is going to perform to a higher standard. When things are streamlined, there will be no missed deadlines, no miscommunications, customer service will be better – and you will see an increase in profit.
When you start to take a deep dive into your company, you will find plenty of places where you are holding onto unnecessary costs.
Ahead of making any drastic changes, it would be best if you had a plan. The plan should involve all of the members of your team, stakeholders, and anyone who it will impact. Going in with open communication is one of the most important factors – and it prevents miscommunications.
Here are a couple of questions you can think about:
Focusing on the most common tasks that you and your team deal with and looking for how you can improve them will give you essential guidance.
Most businesses start small and grow over time, and as the demands of growth start to ramp up – one of the things that most business owners will find – is that they always need more time. Meetings start coming back to back, employee complaints never get heard properly, customer issues start to stack up – and eventually, the quality of the product can slip too.
Automation is one of the best ways to make sure the things that need to get done do – but with a light-touch approach.
What areas of your business can you automate?
Almost everything that you want to automate can be automated, but only some types of software are going to work for you. Always discuss your needs with a sales team, and ask for a free trial so you can see if the software works and integrates well with what you already have in place.
Depending on the type of business that you run, you are paying for space and services you don’t need. Instead of having office space and requesting any office staff to come in every day – consider either full-time remote or hybrid working. Look at the average cost of your office rental, heating, and more.
In the modern business climate, businesses who moved to a remote heavy office team are now more resilient – not to mention they save big on general costs.
To make remote work, you will need to build a communication system that works and ensure that your team wants to be remote.
Some business owners will always want to have physical files available – and for some businesses, this can be important. However, physical files take up space, and unless there is a system in place – they will eventually be difficult to sort through.
Businesses that need to keep physical files should make sure that there is a highly functional and easy-to-use filing system in place – as well as the security to keep them safe.
Filing anything physical by category is one of the things that you can do to make things easier for anyone to use the system. And, as well as filing by category, you can file those categories into years.
Digital files are the preference for many businesses – but unless you have a defined file naming system, you’re going to notice files like FINAL COPY(2). This makes finding files more difficult than if they had been physical.
Create a file naming process that all of your staff will adhere to. For digital files and collaborative working, a central platform is a good idea. It means that all of your remote teams will have access to everything they need. Most platforms have in-built instant messaging – which can help with fast communications (and reduce meetings and calls).
Business processes are any internal work that you do that is vital and usually repeated. You might not even realize that some of the things you do are called processes – because they just become something you get on with.
But where do you start sharpening up and streamlining your processes?
It is time to start implementing a strict email policy. Inbox zero can be difficult to manage when you are the business owner – but email management is a must. On average, workers receive around 126 emails per day, but the higher up the chain you are, the more likely you are to be CC’d in on more threads.
Read more about the best ways to clean up your email inbox: 10 Easy Ways to Manage Your Email Inbox | The Muse.
If any member of staff says, ‘Could this have been an email?,’ you need to take a look at the way meetings are handled. And, if you have more than one scheduling issue in a week with your calendar, it is going to need an overhaul.
Shared calendars can help to reduce the likelihood that you will have conflicts. In-house conflicts aren’t as detrimental as meetings that interfere with seeing clients at the right time.
Hiring new employees is one of the most expensive things a company can do – and that makes it one of the riskiest. You can help to smooth the integration of the new hire by using an automated onboarding dashboard that is purpose-built.
You should use a combination of face-to-face (or video calls) and gamification of onboarding to help them feel welcome and get them up to speed with the role, the team, and more.
Your onboarding should include all of the vital information to help them get off to a great start: HR information, payment information, role outline, team profiles, expectations, and more. It is also a good idea to have a portal where they can check on their benefits and any company news.
Before implementing any onboarding software, you should test it in-house and then see if there are changes you can make to ensure it fits your company and needs correctly: Best Onboarding Software (April 2023) – Forbes Advisor.
We are so plugged into our devices that personal and work notifications appear all day. What that means is your attention is just as likely to be pulled away by personal notifications as professional ones.
Many people prefer to have a separate cell phone so that personal calls and messages can wait until they are on a break. As parents, missing calls from the school or the children isn’t something you want to do. So setting it up to only ring if they call can help a lot. Filters on notifications can help you stay on task.
How hands-on are you when it comes to your daily list of things you have to do? Are you checking your calendar when you get to your desk? If you are, then you might be wasting valuable time. Ideally, you want to make sure at the end of every day, you check what the most important tasks are for the following day – and put them at the top of the list.
Select three urgent tasks, 3-5 non-urgent but must-do tasks, and then up to 5 tasks that would be good to do. Overloading your to-do list will mean that you never finish everything and are more likely to keep task switching – which also wastes valuable time.
Getting your business organized by outsourcing, automation, smart hires, and more will mean you free up time to spend with your children – and will mean your business runs better than ever.
Perhaps you are in the early stages of your business and still working out how to make it from the kitchen table to your own office; here are some great tips to get you started: How to Manage a Business When You Have Kids | Streamline Operations.
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