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Getting Organized

nothinglikeitnothinglikeit subscriber Posts: 27
edited March 2007 in Business Planning
I`m sure everyone has sung this tune or has heard this tune. I`m an beggining entrepreneurial. I`m doing about a bazillion things to launch my business. How do you all keep it organized.?I have files and that`s all well and good but I`m starting to get interest from people who may become clients. As a consultant/ game developer/everything else: time is a limited resource. So before I do anything (accept offers and the like) I`m trying to get organized now. So my question is how do/did you all determine was the most important thing? How did you balance planning/organizing a business while entertaining potential customers?I guess the biggest question is how did you determine what was the best way to spend your time?


  • lucky1lucky1 subscriber Posts: 0
    The best way to spend your time is efficiently.  Prioritze what things are most important to the success of your business.  I agree getting organized is primary, but you can become to hyper focused on it.  Look at your skills, some of your paperwork could be done by someone else that is skilled at filing, etc.  As your business grows rapidly it gets more and more difficult to keep it together.  If you need a good business program Quickbooks works for many businesses.  My accountant also helped me set up a daily routine to help me identify what information I needed to keep and how to keep it.  I only file weekly and do it while I`m watching or listening to Tony Robbins CD`s.  That way your able to kill two birds with one stone as they say.  Good luck!
  • Innovator7Innovator7 subscriber Posts: 9
    I do mostly R&D and that means making prototypes for my electronic designs, and many revisions for each.  Unfortunately, electronics involve lots of components, from resistors, capacitors to semiconductors and integrated circuits.  Literally many hundreds of them, and that`s a fraction of tens of thousands available from distributors.  (Some distributors carry 50 thousands and up).  Obviously some serious organizing for components is
    eeded.Well, necessity is mother of invention.  After trying many different systems, some home-brewed, I came up with a compact system for storing and dispensing all my surface-mount devices (SMD).  These are tiny components that come in reels of thousands, while we need only small quantitites such as 50-100 pieces max.  The solution is pictured on my newly updated web site, because my technician - who was a good inventor himself and made millions in his past - likes it so much, so I decided to make a business out of my simple system.  Now I can get really organized.  I hope other electronics labs have the same need and order my system of SMD storage.  Imagine all the SMD I and other electronics engineers and techs ever use stored in a compact "Mini-Lab" book!As to organizing documents, I use the directory structure of Microsoft Explorer to store all my docs, and Google Desktop to search for any of them if I don`t remember where a particular document has been stored.  And I use speadsheets for lists, extensively.
  • Innovator7Innovator7 subscriber Posts: 9
    Thank you Nikole.  My storage system can be used for women`s many small jewelries, students` coloring pens, Exacto knives, long instruments such as tweezers.The leaves and their long compartments come in different sizes from 4 mm to 14 mm and larger.  In due time we`ll figure out more storage applications for the simple and compact system for various industries, dental offices, trades, etc...I`m opening up an eBay store to sell them and the actual electronic components.  My hope is with time this efficient storage solution will spread and replace vials and square-ish compartments currently used, and there`s no going back.  How many people would go back to a typewriter now?
  • lucky1lucky1 subscriber Posts: 0
    [QUOTE=Whether it`s an energy thing, like The Secret, or organizing your life and business, I think it comes down to the mind side; having a clear and crisp, detailed view of what it is you want to do.
    When you have the final goal or outcome in mind, for no matter what you do ,  it becomes clear as to what steps you need to take to get there.  Suddenly things start to happen to support whatever it is you want to achieve.  The challenge is to notice it and act on it, because sometimes you can get caught up in the details of your business and not see the opportunities clearly.
  • Innovator7Innovator7 subscriber Posts: 9
    As carry-on baggage, yes, but without the knives of course.I also have a collection of Exacto knives and tweezers needed for handling the tiny SMD and fixing printed circuit board.  Now thery find a home!I`ll also market desk accessories (for pens, pencils) equiped with the same rectangular compartments inside those round or square pen storage things for better storage, i.e. more organixed and more pens.  Hey, that comes from smaller pieces produced during manufacturing of the storage books.Who knows, I may manage to get into Stapples/Office Depot with the right packaging of the basic material.
  • Innovator7Innovator7 subscriber Posts: 9
    Better Art Bins there`ll be.  Thanks Steve.  I feel now I`ll try to get into Michael Stores and other craft stores.
  • nothinglikeitnothinglikeit subscriber Posts: 27
    What I did about two years into my business was create these things, I call them the SIMPLE formula.  Now they help me better determine what to do and ...most importantly... what to say no to...
    Know that the SIMPLE Formula will take you time to do... and it`s worth doing.
    The SIMPLE Formula

    Create a business plan
    Create your ideal client profile
    Know what makes you and your company  unique (USP)
    Create and execute a marketing plan
    Create a pricing structure
    Create a financial plan
    Get out there and market, market, market.
     That`s actually a pretty good idea Martha. I`m going to give it a shot.
  • nothinglikeitnothinglikeit subscriber Posts: 27
    You might also think about the artist market. Those `Art Bins` are really
    the only option for artists to carry around supplies, other than bags and
    backpacks. When I was at art school, everyone had Art Bins (or knockoffs)
    which are nothing more than re-branded tackle boxes.I second what steve is saying. As an art student we usually only have these giant bags to carry our supplies in, or my personal favorite the zip lock bag. If your storage system is less apt to open than a zip lock baggie I`d say you`re in business.
  • TaylorMadeTaylorMade subscriber Posts: 0
    Hi, Marvin
    In response to your original questions, I want to take a minute to toot the horn - again - for Virtual Assistance (VA).  A VA is an administrative partner whose sole priority is working with clients so they become and stay organized by taking away the administrative burdens that running a business can create.  For example, you mention completing all of your paperwork before accepting clients... a VA can do these things for you so you are free to focus on your clients and are able to have more time to dedicate to doing the things you love to do. Of course, a VA can do so many other things - depending upon her/his special skill sets; and I would recommend you check out this option.
    I would also encourage you, and anyone who is interested in collaborating with a professional VA to do your research, talk to at least three potential partners, and take your time to be sure you are a good fit for each other.  The idea here is that you develop a long-term, mutually beneficial and collaborative relationship with your VA.  Most all professional VAs do not design their practices to offer immediate support or emergency management... it`s a committed relationship that helps you grow your business over the long-term with a `right hand` who is as committed to your success as you are.
    Warm wishes for you in getting your practice up and running.  Let me know if I can do anything to help!
  • nothinglikeitnothinglikeit subscriber Posts: 27
    Thanks Taylor. When I have some money I`m definately going to consider hiring an assitant or a temp.
    I really should organize my paper work. I shudder at the prospect of going through folder after folder trying to find relevant stuff. Is there are benefit to setting aside a day just to "Spring Clean".
    I`m most concerned about losing productivity. But if I don`t something now it could get out of control.
  • jcecjcec subscriber Posts: 0
    I had a nightmare last night about an old boss reprimanding me about not getting anything done - that`s how much I`ve been beating myself up this week with this exact issue. It seems I work hard all day but don`t feel like I`ve accomplished much at the end of the day. I do tend to write too many lists and get bogged down in the organizing and setting-up instead of the doing.
  • EmilyPEmilyP subscriber Posts: 0
    Marvin,I just ran across a program the other day called ViaCube. They might have what you are looking for, for organizational tools. I might check them out if you haven`t already found a program. I saw on their website (viacube.net) that they have date book/calendar and task applications which might help you keep track of your files, and your clients. Hope this helps.
  • EmilyPEmilyP subscriber Posts: 0
    I apologize for not providing a link. For anyone interested, the link for ViaCube is http://www.viacube.net. 
  • jchoijchoi subscriber Posts: 0
    NeatReceipts is a good way to digitize and organize your paper.  Full disclosure:  I`m a NeatReceipts employee.NeatReceipts is a scanner and software combination.  There are separate organizers / modules for your receipts, business cards and documents.  The software reads information from your receipts (vendor, date, amount, etc) and auto-populates the corresponding fields.  All data and images are stored in a database so you can conduct searches and run reports.  Majority of our customers are small business owners and they use NeatReceipts to track and manage expenses, run tax reports (the IRS accepts digital images of receipts) and manage contacts and documents.  Please let  me know if you have any questions.  You can also learn  more about the product at www.neatreceipts.com.
  • RoblueRoblue subscriber Posts: 0
    This is never ending battle for many business people. My best approach to your questions are to get an organizer. Your customers are the number one priority. As far as paperwork, you need to do it before you go out to meet with clients. Instead of waking up at the time you do now, you may want to wake up much earlier to do paperwork. People are most functionable in the morning anyways. I would invest in a mobile filing system, so you could speak with clients about your product.Your suggestion is excellent.  However, for an individual with limited resources, this may not be a viable solution for the problem.
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