The last—and hardest—step of getting organized is organizing your business. As a solopreneur or freelancer, it's complicated because you're responsible for all the things. You're responsible for meeting financial objectives, customer objectives, marketing, sales, operations, and administrative functions, and ongoing learning and growth.
In a typical day, you switch between these functional areas several times, and that takes a lot of energy. Try these four tips to simplify your cross-functional work and set your business up for success.
Integrate and automate
On average, you switch between apps up to 25 times per day. You might have a CRM, a project management tool, office software, a calendar, messaging apps, and so on. Every time you switch apps there's a chance that you'll miss something important, and you become less effective.
You can reduce the number of apps and mental strain through business integrations. Integrating your business tools allows you to access information from different sources all in one place. That means you can centralize your information in one app while also reaping the benefits of powerful tools like your CRM or office software.
Automating repetitive tasks will also help. For example, I have a process set up where if someone books an initial intro session through my website, or social media, the data is passed from my scheduling app directly to my CRM where I have an automation set up to send an email, and create a series of tasks for me to complete. Then I have an integration between my CRM and task management platform so that I immediately get a to-do item in my task manager.
I don't have to switch between my calendar app, CRM, and task manager to see if there's anything new for me to keep track of. I simply stay in my task manager and nothing falls through the cracks.
Break larger goals into smaller tasks
Large goals can feel overwhelming. When these big goals aren’t organized properly, you might feel like you're spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere. Connecting these larger, big-picture goals to individual responsibilities adds context to your day-to-day work and gives you a visual reminder that your work matters, and that you're getting work done.
For example, let’s say your long-term goal is to grow your revenue by 300% over the next 5 years. At this broad level, it’s hard to grasp how to do this, or what it means until you break it down into short-term goals, year by year, task by task.
By breaking your goals down into smaller, actionable steps, you’re both ensuring that you pace yourself well to hit target deadlines and showing how your daily tasks are contributing to large-scale, high-impact goals.
Create Workflow Templates
This is closely related to automating workflow tasks. Even if it’s something you do regularly, launching a new project, like taking on a new client can come with a lot of details to consider so it’s easy for something to fall through the cracks.
You don’t want to spend hours reinventing the wheel for every new project plan. The solution is a customizable workflow template that you can use and adapt to your specific project needs.
Templates give structure to repeating tasks, allowing you to track them and prevent duplications. They’re adaptable tools that can help you to work better and faster especially if you're taking on several projects at the same time.
Create a business information hub
Organizing your business comes down to creating one centralized source of information. This is the digital version of the office whiteboard and makes planning your week, and day much easier. When you’re operating from one source of information, it reduces confusion. You'll know what you're supposed to be working on, and when to do it.
It doesn't matter if you're on your computer, or mobile device. Access to this information means you can be mobile and work where you want, and still be extremely effective.
Getting organized helps you work smarter
It takes a bit of effort and time to organize your business and customer projects. But doing the upfront work to get more organized will help you down the road.
You’ll create more space in your workday to focus on the projects you’re best at or bring you the most joy—helping you work better and happier.