In a small business, everyone has to perform more than one role. If you are a sole trader, you are responsible for everything. Whatever you are doing now, you’re probably aware that you are neglecting something else. To allay anxieties about this, you need a strategy that makes you comfortable that you have all the important aspects covered.
The All-important To-do List
You have to be aware of what needs to be done by when, so it’s important to have them in some kind of list. You need to find out the best way for you to do this. Some people like to have this on their computer or mobile phone, others just like to keep a handwritten list in a notebook they carry with them everywhere Don’t keep more than one list unless you have a master that you update daily.
When you’ve got a list, you have to make sure you consult it every day. It may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many deadlines are missed, or birthday cards sent late, even though they were on the infamous to do list.
Using a Bring Forward File
Some people swear by a BF file. This could be a couple of concertina files, one for the months of the year, and one with three sections at the back for the later weeks of the month, with earlier sections for the days of the week. Items are filed according to when they need your attention and moved into appropriate sections as needed. Again this must be checked daily, or it won’t work.
Prioritise and Get Help
When it’s not possible to do everything in your list, you have to prioritise. Get on with the important strategic things that will have the most impact on your business. If other things can’t wait, you need to get help. If necessary, book a temp. If you only need assistance every now and then, this is much more economical than having permanent staff.
Outsourcing your bookkeeping is an obvious answer. If you already do this, ask what other services they offer that might take another load off you. The answers could surprise you.