Getting organised for the coming year

With the start of year well and truly out of the way, business and franchise owners, franchisees and entrepreneurs of every stripe are knuckling down to a new year of working on their business. For most people, the start of a new year is a time to get organised. A time to throw off the bad old habits of previous years and prepare to make this year one which works. If that sounds like you, here’s where to start:

1) Declutter (digitally as well as physically)

    Working in a clean and tidy environment has been shown by study after study to result in more effective and efficient working practices. There are two areas to focus on:

Your physical space

Areas like your office, desk and general working environment. Items that do not need to be there need to be removed. Start organising on a “keep, give away, throw away” basis. Be ruthless. You don’t need this junk or those piles of paper sitting around. Consider scanning in important documents and shredding and recycling the originals to save space.

Your digital space

If you regularly work from multiple email accounts, have a desktop crowded with icons and a digital filing system which only you can make work, you are making life needlessly difficult for yourself. Instead, take the time to digitally declutter and reorganise. For all it might seem like hard work, the pay-offs in the long-run are huge.

2) Set (manageable) goals and targets

    As you’ll know, having goals and targets which can be measured is key to monitoring the quality and cost-effectiveness of everything your business does. So what are your goals for the coming year? It’s time to write them down and break them down into manageable chunks which you can work towards. Large monolithic goals tend to feel unapproachable. Goals which have a dozen or more smaller steps – each of which can be satisfyingly ticked off as you complete them – are much more mentally achievable.

3) Consolidate everything into a single calendar

    Multiple “to-do” lists, different employees or locations with different calendars… These are recipes for confusion – as well as for generating large numbers of disappointed customers.  That’s why it’s vital that, if you haven’t already, you consolidate all of your organisation into a single calendar. There are dozens of suitable apps and desktop applications out there. Even the humble Google Calendar will give you lots of the functionality you need.

4) Reconsider your administrative processes

    Most franchise opportunities should come with properly streamlined administrative processes – it’s one of the reasons why people look into buying a franchise in the first place. If you’re an entrepreneur or solo business owner though, you need to regularly evaluate whether the processes you have in place for all sorts of routine administrative tasks could use some streamlining or integration. Consider:
  • Payroll and wage processing
  • Invoicing
  • Expense recording
  • Inventory management
Again, there are multiple pieces of software which offer ideal – often cloud-based – functionality which allow you to collaborate with multiple team members clearly and easily.

5) Include time for some downtime

    If last year felt like you were constantly swept off your feet, you were almost certainly not able to give your business your all when you were actually present. Schedule time off for yourself if you want to be able to give 100% when you are at work. Dozens of studies have shown that if you are rested and relaxed. You will make better business decisions and be able to work harder and focus better than if you’re tired or on edge. Include time for some downtime in your schedule and start preparing yourself, body and mind, to be organised for this coming year.
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