So many people are working from home these days!
That means a lot of responsibility and space needed for the keeping up with the ins and outs of business – income and expenses, marketing services or product positioning (for example: Is that baking soda being marketed for cleaning OR do you want to market it for cooking? How do you want to position it in the marketplace?) , scheduling clients, or delivering products. There can be a TON of little steps involved to get your business running, plus keep it growing!
Depending on the type of business your are involved in, there may be different types of responsibilities you have.
A contractor may have supplies and equipment to manage.
A music teacher may have independent teachers to train. Recitals to prepare for.
A pharmaceutical rep may have sample products to inventory, store and distribute. Plus, cart, present, and close a Rx sample deal. And, let’s not forget all the studying of pharmaceuticals, attending sales meetings, and conference events.
A creative artisan may have products to create, store, sell and deliver or ship.
A health or fitness person may have research to do, blogging, marketing and regimens to create for their clientele.
But at the root of any type of business is managing the running of the business, which is easiest to do by setting up systems to effeciently and effectively process all the information that you have to keep up with. No wonder it’s a lot!!! You should see behind the scenes of a retail store. But, we aren’t going there today!
To get you off to a great start, I’ll be sharing the basics of what you’ll need in your home office workspace to handle the administrative side of your busness.
- A clear workspace – desk, counter, console table, or dedicated work zone for administrative tasks – because working from home can leave you with a papertrail mess!
- Email inbox with categories to save important info, for example, accounting information – digital expense receipts and payment receipts. You may also want to create other categories in your inbox to save specific info in one place, depending on what category of items you need to keep all in one place to keep track of.
- Jan-Dec money tracking files – The brown accordion (expandable) file works great for storing income/expense/statements by the month. When you are ready to calculate your business profit/loss the paperwork will all be in one place. You can open your email “money file” to retrieve other money related items needed to complete your end of month calculations.
- File storage – a file cabinet is needed for storing permanent records you’ll need access to on a long-term basis – EIN, business license, liability insurance policy, DBA, business home occupancy permit, tax records, profit/loss statements, annual reports.
- Inbox or incoming papers container/spot– this is for paperwork that needs to be handled and processed. An inbox will prevent papers from getting scattered across your desk.
- To-do shelf to hold categories of to-do files or to-do piles – as you decide what action needs to be completed on a piece of paper, you’ll either do it immediately, or place it in the to-do category it belongs with: for example: pay, call, follow-up, schedule, respond, research, purchase. You can make your own categories based on how you get things done!
- “File This” spot or container: When an item needs to be filed away, place it in a file spot, and if you don’t file daily, file items within a month (weekly if at all possible!). Example: Income/Expense receipts for business would be filed into the monthly accounting accordion file.
- Basic office supplies: stapler, paper clips, nice pens, pencils, colorful markers, scissors, sticky notes, notebooks, files, labels
- Printer and copy paper – printer features I recommend are wireless, portable, ability to copy/scan, and ability to print directly from your smart phone;
- Container for electronics – especially for the extra cords!
- To-Do lists and forms for tracking what you’re up to and what you want to accomplish.
- Calendar, calculator, and any other fun things you want or need at your fingertips. I love clipboards!
For more office organizing ideas, download THE TOP 5 OFFICE ORGANIZING CONTAINERS guide today.
Set your office up so it runs well when you are super busy – not when you have plenty of leisure time – it’s when you are super busy that your systems have to work. That’s when they become a life-saving, sanity keeping, treasure vault of expediency.