Staying Focused Written by Chuck and Sue DeFiore
Three of biggest areas of concern to our survey participants were repeat sales, getting new business and staying focused while working at home.
First, let's discuss staying focused at home. Remember, to have a separate office or to delineate one area and one area only to your home business. This can be your kitchen table, a desk in your dining or living area, but only one place for business paperwork. Obviously, if you have to place supplies in a different area, this is OK. In addition, if you have clients come to your home, you can do this in your living room, or family room area, or an area you have designated for clients.
I know, it's summer and all that sunshine and water beckons you. Remember, folks this is your business. If you need a few days off to get it out of your system, do it. You'll come back more motivated, refreshed, and ready to tackle anything.
Your home-based business is no different than that job many of us had years ago, that when Spring and Summer came along we had a hard time concentrating, and maybe took some time off. However, when we came back we were ready to work. And this time it's your own business, so that should motivate you even more.
Don't forget one of basic tenets of running a business from your home, set distinct hours for that business and stick to them. When work day is done, close door, or clean up that area, and go on to household chores, or outside interests.
Getting Organized For The New Year - Part 2Written by Chuck and Sue DeFiore
In part 1, we discussed a system you could use to organize your office. In this article we will discuss what material is needed to implement that system.
You will need following items for your office system. Calendar/Daily Planner; Accordion File (1-31); Manila Files with Months of Year (Or you can make them up yourself - a lot less expensive); Hanging Files; Manila Files; Boxes and Envelopes (9 x 12).
The calendar/daily planner will contain all appointments, meetings and deadlines for project.
The accordion file dated 1-31, along with Manila Files with Months of Year will contain materials you have tickled. The tickler file is a very popular system in legal offices. Any materials you need to act on by a certain date are tickled, usually one week in advance. It is also used for standardized meetings. For example, if staff meetings are conducted on Friday, place a Manila folder entitled Staff meeting in Friday slot, and place any agenda items or meeting items in folder. Remember to tickle it for day before meeting, if you need to make up agenda, or give agenda items to someone else. This system is also excellent for gathering information for client meetings. This system will also serve to give you a clean desk, as you can place To Do items for next day in your tickle file. It is also used to put in notes to yourself to follow up on certain items.
The hanging and manila folders are for your files. Boxes are for your records and files to be stored in at end of year.
The 9 x 12 Envelopes are used to hold your receipts, canceled checks, expenses and income sheets. You should label one envelope Income and place your income sheet in file and note when any checks come in. Label one other envelope as Expenses and put in it all receipts for purchases, canceled checks, and any other expenses you generate. At end of month tally up monthly totals. I place month on envelope and separate my expenses into categories, such as supplies, telephone, utilities, copying, postage, etc., put total cost next to category and then a final total. At end of each month's tally, paper clip or staple that month's receipts together, place them back in envelope and file for following month. Since most self employed individuals pay estimated taxes every 3 month period, envelopes will have 3 months on them, for example, October, November, December. Remember bundle each month's items separately. Seal envelopes, file them, and then you are ready to calculate amount to pay IRS for next estimated period.