The ongoing demands of running a business don’t leave time for much beyond daily maintenance. What if you could implement a few organizational tricks to help you become more efficient with your time — and more importantly, your money? Here are six business organization tips, from streamlining processes to cleaning up expenses.
1. Plug Up Money Leaks
To organize a disorganized business, start with getting a handle on controllable expenses like rent, utilities and phones. Eliminating or reducing these costs is a guaranteed way to increase your business’s profitability. Scrutinize your overhead. Are you paying for office space that’s underused? There may be a less expensive location that better fits your needs. Is there enough work to fill your assistant’s hours? If not, could they be trained to take on another task to help free up some of your own time?
2. Check on Your Social Media Channels
The success of social media as a marketing tool depends largely on knowing which channels and content are working hardest for you. Determine what you are trying to achieve — awareness, engagement or customer satisfaction —then ditch underperforming channels and the types of posts that aren’t working. Some channels, such as Twitter, have analytics tools built in. You should also consider leveraging tools that allow you to compare results across multiple channels. At Farm Bureau, we provide our agents with full marketing support, including a one-stop shop Marketing Toolkit and robust social media resources.
3. Make People a Priority
A major part of healthy sales is investing in your customers, both current clients and prospects. And doing so sincerely — authenticity is key to fostering lifelong business relationships. Identify three to five achievable goals for the coming year that will deepen your connection to your clients and your community. A few ideas: Add regular check-ins with current clients to your calendar, attend monthly meetings with other community business owners, get involved with the city council, coach a youth sports team or volunteer with a local organization.
4. Delegate When Possible
A good time-management tip for entrepreneurs: delegation. If you already have a staff in place, great. If not, consider hiring a small team to support your business. Doing so will allow you to hand-off non-critical tasks so that you’re free to focus on big-picture projects. Not sure who to hire and what to delegate to them? Many Farm Bureau agents hire sales associates to assist in managing office work, scheduling reviews and ensuring their client/members are well-cared for. Some of the most successful Farm Bureau agents started off as sales associates.
5. Take a Workday Inventory
It’s not unusual for a new business to regularly require long workdays, but if that workload turns into your new normal, take a closer look at your day to find out what’s demanding so much of your time. Are you attending weekly meetings that don’t have clear objectives? Are you dealing with time-consuming chores that could be serviced automatically? The great thing about being your own boss is you make the rules and you set the schedule. Cut those daily chores that aren’t servicing your business from your workday and instead focus on the tasks that matter.
6. Refresh Your Email List
Your email list is an effective way to connect with customers on product information and updates, but that list needs regular tending. Comb your lists for addresses with typos, remove any email recipients who mark your emails as spam, and get rid of addresses that bounce back because of a permanent deliverability problem (a nonworking email address, for example). Send inactive subscribers an email asking if they’d like to re-engage, and give them an opt-out option.
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