Staying Organized as an Entrepreneur
Written by James Garvin for Gaebler Ventures
Starting a business and running a small business can be a hectic time for entrepreneurs, but if you want to succeed, you'll need to ensure you know how to stay organized and stay on track.
Starting a business can be one of the busiest times of your career and your life.
You are the sole owner for the responsibility of everything. You are responsible for ensuring all processes are set-up, running smoothly, sales are on target, costs are being kept low, managing employees, managing your time, managing your personal life, and much more. Learning how to focus on only the critical items and letting others perform non-critical functions is the first step in providing you the time and organization you'll need to focus your efforts on the things that will help you succeed with your business.
The statement "time is money" couldn't be more true for entrepreneurs. For each hour you spend doing one activity, that is one hour you could have been doing something else. Knowing how to select the activities that you as the entrepreneur pursue is a critical decision that many entrepreneurs fail to recognize. The "I can do it all" attitude will leave you and your business tired, unorganized, and unable to sustain a self-sufficient organization. The goal for every entrepreneur should be to establish a self-sufficient business that can operate even when the owner of the business is not there.
In the early stages of your business, hiring interns and a virtual assistant can be huge time savers. Finding an intern can be a low cost (or even free) alternative to hiring employees that allow you the opportunity to off-load some work to a competent individual who is excited about learning and participating in the start and growth of your businesses. Trying posting an internship on Craigslist or ask family friends if they know of college students or eager young professionals looking to help out in getting a business launched.
Virtual assistants can be god-send for those that know how to utilize and manage them properly. The learning curve in working with a virtual assistant can take a few weeks as you learn the ropes and processes of how to maximize efficiency of the work that you outsource to an assistant. Outsourcing such tasks as market research, database building, mass emailing, and more are tasks that do not require your direct action and can be done at a relatively low cost, but more importantly providing you the time you need to get other, more critical things done for your business.
Below are some other tips to help you stay organized and motivated toward moving in the right direction with your business.
1. Create a to-do list everyday, the night before. Waking up with a set of instructions waiting for you on your desk will limit your ability to procrastinate in the morning and will keep you tuned to the things that need to get done.
2. Stay off of email. Email addiction is a serious problem (seriously) and learning to close your email for certain periods of the day (at least 1 hour) can free up your mind to focus on items that require your complete attention.
3. Set-up an organization system so that you can keep your records, files, notes, and papers organized in an easy to find manner. There is nothing worse than not knowing where you put an important document or what notes you jotted down last week during your strategy meeting. Look at some organizing tips from online blogs to help you set-up a system that works for you.
James Garvin began his education studying biotechnology. In recent years he has turned his interest in technology to helping two internet startup companies. The first business was an online personal financial network and the second was an e-marketing platform created to help entrepreneurs demo their web sites. Currently a student at University of California Davis, James is spending his summer incubating two new online businesses and writing about his entrepreneur experiences.
Share this article
Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs