Decluttering Tips for Your Home Office

Decluttering Tips for Your Home Office

A messy office is a huge problem. It inhibits productivity on so many levels. Sometimes the problem is not knowing where everything is. Maybe it is just the mental clutter that hinders you from getting things done. I can be one of the most unorganized people I know. I can organize my office and three days later don’t know where my phone is nor can I find a pen. Speaking from experience, taking time to declutter can take valuable hours away from your productivity. The best way to keep organized is to declutter your office and keep the habits up so you do not have to stop to organize. Here are my best decluttering tips for your home office.

Designate a Specific Place for Work

Making a place in your house that is designated just for working has a lot of benefits. First, the distinction between work and home can be good for physical boundaries and mental boundaries. Mental clarity for when you are in work mode versus home mode can greatly improve work satisfaction for those who work at home. Secondly, if you keep all items related to business is the same designated spot, EVEN if it a cluttered office, you know it is in the office and it is not in your living space. Having work materials in living spaces can prevent you from leaving work when you  “go home” for the day.

Organize and Store Documents Digitally

Keep records and receipts in the same place. Use an app on your phone to scan these so you can get rid of the physical paper. Less paper means less clutter. Scanning receipts at the end of the day or once a week will keep the clutter from piling up.

 

 

Plan Your Day

Using a planner either on paper or an online program, keeping tabs of your time is super important. This will declutter your mind as well as your time. I like using a planner I can write in. For me, it doesn’t really “connect” in my head until it is written down. Either way is fine; it just has to work for you.

 

Plan time or build time into your day to stay organized as you go. Throwing trash in the bin, organizing documents or answering emails at specific times can be super helpful on a day to day basis.

 

Organize Your Inbox

 

I get so many emails that it is daunting. As we speak, my phone says I have 42,387 emails.  Honestly, I have just let it go at this point. Here are some tips that I will be using too to get my email to a manageable level. This may not technically be decluttering tips for your home office per se, but necessary tips to staying mentally organized.

 

  1. Go through your lists and unsubscribe to anything that you don’t want. I am sure there are a LOT of emails you do not want in your inbox every day. My favorite tool for this is Unroll Me. Check it out here. It rolls up a ton of my advertisements into one big email so I get one email a day rather than 150 of them. It can also help you unsubscribe to newsletters.
  2. Search by company or address and delete all of those as a way to start cleaning your email up.
  3. Set up mailbox folders and route certain emails in those folders automatically. I get a lot of purchase receipts from when customers pay and they all go into a specific folder to prevent build up in my inbox.
  4. Use the Flag system. On my phone, I can star or flag my emails I read that I know I want to reference later or send a response at a later time. This is super helpful when you do get hundreds of emails a day. It is easy to lose track of ones that are time sensitive or important in between a bunch of advertisements, etc.
  5. Use different emails. I never did this before and I regret it. Use an email to give out for making purchases online so you always know where the receipts go and the advertising emails don’t get sent to your regular email. Keep your work email for work and your home for home things.

Back Up All Electronics and Computers

 

This one is big. If you decide to go the paperless route and keep a lot of documents, receipts, etc. on computers or servers, it is worth the money to have those computers and hard drives backed up at a different location. The best solution is backing up your information onto the “Cloud”. By backing up your information in a cloud you can access your documents anywhere you can connect to the internet!  We live in a scary world and if someone hacks into your computer or even if your laptop crashes, it is still stored somewhere. Your mind will thank you. So will your bookkeeper, accountant, and significant other.
Now that you have decluttered your home office, I will be talking next week about tips to stay organized, both digitally and in your workspace!

 

Do you have tips to keep your home office organized? Comment below or contact me!

 

Come join my facebook group for more ideas on how to look and feel organized!
Ways to Increase Sales When Business is Slow

Ways to Increase Sales When Business is Slow

Business can slow in any industry for a variety of reasons and, sometimes, no reason at all. Retail in 2017, in particular, was very sensitive to changes in costs, the economy and the ever-changing supply and demand. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. No matter what reason business is slow, an increase in sales is always important. Here are some ideas to think about and implement when business is lagging.

Trimming Expenses to Increase Sales

The first thing to do when business is slow is to look at exactly what money is coming in and what is going out. Many times there are unnecessary expenses that can either be diminished or cut out completely. In the age of credit cards and automatic drafts for subscriptions, programs, or supplies can add up if you are not paying attention. When business is good, many business owners do not have time to look at these expenses or feel like money is good so they aren't diligent in looking at those expenses. However, this is a surefire mistake.

A $15 subscription for a service doesn't seem like a lot. But, for example, if you pay for 10 various subscription services when you only actually use or need 5, removing the ones you don't need or aren't necessary can add up to $900 a year! That is a lot of breathing room over time. As business picks up, you may need those services again for efficiency but they will always be there. Take control of your business now so you can increase the sales and put more of your profit to good use rather than unnecessary expenses.

Focus on Marketing, Networking and Social Media Skills to Increase Sales

When business is busy, things such as marketing, networking or maintaining your social media presence can take a hit. If your business is slow, that is the perfect time to reach back out to your current contacts or former customers. As I will talk about in a later post, relationships are essential to a profitable business. Maintaining relationships are essential to a profitable business and a wonderful way to utilize a slow period. It may not increase sales immediately but it is an investment in the growth of your business for the long term.

Social media is constantly changing. And so many customers rely on social media when making decisions on where to spend their money. For example, Facebook no longer allows many of the “baiting” behaviors of the past. Now all users must be conscientious about posting meaningful and authentic content that others want to engage with. This is a great time to get a better game plan to have better content on your social media platforms. This will increase your brand awareness by using cheaper means of marketing to your advantage!

Make a More Strategic Plan Going Forward to Increase Sales

Many times business owners do not put together an encompassing business plan to get their business off the ground. Successful businesses at the beginning usually don't exactly know what is attrutible to their success. Businesses MUST take advantage of slow times to figure out what they are doing right and where they can do better. It is difficult to know how to do things differently if they don't know what did or didn't work previously. Without creating a better plan for the future, it is hard to think sales will increase or business will flourish again.

As I talked previously about “Wandering Entrepreneurs“, entrepreneurs without a sense of purpose or sense of direction fail to get the most out of their businesses. Owners can easily increase sales or increase profitability if more business decisions are made with care and forethought. Most people who win Monopoly on a consistent basis don't just “walk over” the Boardwalk, right?

Ask for Help!

Entrepreneurs are notoriously strong-willed and stubborn. That attitude and personality are how they got to be an entrepreneur. Stubborn people also find it hard to admit when a problem actually exists. Putting your head in the sand and ignoring advice can be the tipping point that takes your business under.

Talk with other entrepreneurs or mentors you know and trust! In fact, most people may not know you are struggling until you reach out. In addition, true entrepreneurs like to help other entrepreneurs out by providing networking connections, experience or advice. Look for those who are more knowledgeable and can give solid advice. Other's experiences can be one of the most valuable assets to increase sales and overall health of your business.

I want to hear what you do when business is slow! Comment below or contact me! Even better, join me over on Facebook!

Tools to Create Consistency in Business

Tools to Create Consistency in Business

Consistency in business is, in my opinion, the number one key to success. If you cannot be consistent, many things happen. First, your customers will not take you seriously. Lack of consistency in your business makes it look like you aren’t treating your business like a business. And when you don’t treat your business like a business, it is a hobby. If you want business success results, you MUST treat your business like a business.
 
Posting consistently on social media helps potential customers make decisions on whether to become a customer or client. 74% of consumers rely on social media to make buying decisions. Even further, 71% of customers recommend brands that give quick responses to questions. If you can’t be consistent in posting, how can you be consistent in responding in a timely manner? Inconsistency means you leave customers and money at the table that, without much work, could be easily added. No business owner wants that!
The biggest struggle with consistency in business is making the time to do it. Even if you want to plan it out, you still have to sit down to plan it out. That can also be difficult to find time unless you make the time. Whether you have multiple jobs or kids to cart around after school, life is rarely consistent. Here are three things to help you make being consistent in business when life isn’t consistent at all!

Tools to Help Create Better Consistency in Business

Use a Planning Program to Schedule Social Media Posts

I like to plan out my social media schedule at least a week in advance. With depression, anxiety, and just general busyness that comes with being a business owner, I never know when I will and when I won’t have time to post.
I started using Tailwind for Pinterest and Instagram. Instagram wouldn’t allow auto-posting until a few weeks ago. Now I can utilize Tailwind to schedule Instagram posts, find the best hashtags, and schedule content to be posted at the most optimal times for engagement.
Facebook in January 2018 decided to start cracking down on cleaning up news feeds. This means business pages and the like will receive way less reach than they did in 2017. Facebook also does not prioritize any posts that have outside links in them. Now I use the Facebook Post Scheduler. I can schedule posts for over a week in advance with pictures, comments, etc. The best part is that is FREE! Although it only works on a desktop currently, you can sit down once a week and post it and let it go. Consistency is business posts are complete for the week! WIN!

Write Out a Weekly To-Do List

Weekly to-do lists are the best for making sure you get what you need to get done! I suggest writing out a to-do list before bed the night before. My mind likes to bounce my to-do list around my head all night if I don’t write it down. Once I write it down I do not have to worry about forgetting something and I sleep so much better!!! There are many different types of to-do lists that you can use that works for you. On every weekly to-do list I make sure to include due dates of when it must be done by. This helps me prioritize my days when I am limited on time.
In addition to a daily to-do list, writing a to-do list that is weekly is essential for consistency in your business. On Mondays, I post on my team page in the morning and I go live in my shopping group to have Coffee with Christine. Tuesday is a day to order inventory. I always ship on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. These are just a few examples of what my weekly schedule looks like. No one’s weekly schedule will look the same. Remember, it must work for you!

Tell Other People Your Plan So They Can Hold You Accountable

I have a bad habit of saying I will do something and then later bailing on it. It’s a bad habit of mine I have wanted to change for a long time. If it is just me, I can talk myself out of a dinner party, going on Facebook Live, making dinner, having friends over, etc. BUT if I tell someone I will go live at a particular time or someone is going to meet me at a certain place for dinner, that seems to help hold me accountable for my responsibilities.
What things do you do to create consistency in your business? Comment below or Contact Me!
Join my Facebook group for examples of consistent posting in your business!
3 Must Read Books for the “Wandering Entrepreneur”

3 Must Read Books for the “Wandering Entrepreneur”

Bookshelf with Title of 3 Must Read Books for the Wandering Entrepreneur

3 Must Read Books for the “Wandering Entrepreneur”

Every adult in the United States has at least one or more problems with happiness, satisfaction, and financial wealth. This leads many people to walk through life on auto-pilot. We only get one life and it is important to make it a good one! Creating happiness is an active idea. One must work at being successful. No one ‘wanders” into success. So many people get tired of working multiple jobs to just make ends meet. For those with an entrepreneurial spirit, it is common to see people who have started businesses but don't know how to make them financially successful.  The most common problem is not having enough time or energy in a day to do everything they want to. These problems are what prevent people who have amazing potential in business and leadership from realizing that potential and instead continue to be a “wandering entreprenuer”.

 

What is a “Wandering Entrepreneur”?

I am so glad you asked! According to Google, Wandering is defined as “traveling aimlessly from place to place”. And the word entrepreneur means “a person who starts a business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money”.

One of the most defining characteristics of most financially successful individuals versus those who are not is this: They read every day. 67% of rich people watch less than 1 hour of TV a day.
Here is a summary of the books I have read in the last year that I think are Must Reads for those who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs of any kind. Get started now and you never know what you will find!

 

1. The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users

How to Be More Deliberate in What You Want Out of Social Media

Book suggestion for Wandering Entrepreneurs - The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users by Guy Kawasaki This book has larger font and is more of a reference book than anything. The takeaways in this are gold nuggets for those who want to be entrepreneurs. Social media can determine a business’s success or failure. 20 years ago, a business had to spend LOTS of money for advertising and marketing. Now, many startups do not even need to spend any money on advertising. Even if they do, it can be a very small amount. If you are a wandering entrepreneur, this book will help you get started doing at least something in the social media world more purposely.

Not only is there great content in this book but it shows all the different apps and programs available now to make your social media and your time more efficient and productive. Even if you don’t use any of the programs or apps suggested you at least know they are out there. In the future when your business grows, you need to streamline many systems and these will be within your knowledge.  Lastly, the author has an impressive resume, giving him some credibility to what he says.

 

2. Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money Making Machine

Managing money is one of the MOST important tools to go from a wandering entrepreneur to a successful entrepreneur! 

Books for Wandering Entrepreneurs - money management and cash flow business book Profit First
Profit First was a book that changed the way I looked at my business finances. I was tired of not paying myself and wondering at the end of the year if my accounting documents say I profited $25,000 where did it go? It sure wasn’t in my bank account! As a business owner, you never just work 9-5 Monday through Friday. It can be super frustrating not seeing the fruits of your labors. Just reading the first half of Profit First made me realize I NEEDED to budget in at least a little money in my pocket every month even if it was just a little, to incentivize me to continue to work hard. If you are a wandering entrepreneur', this is the important part –  how to determine where and what you want your money to be spent. The money doesn't go away on its own; you determine how to want to use it!
Profit First can be a little too technical for those who don’t understand accounting. The second half of the book went a little over my head. The first half of the book is worth buying the entire book, however. Realizing the importance of striking a balance between taking too much money out of your business versus not taking any money out for yourself can mean the difference in how you continue to do business. Business owner burnout is real and can be avoided by using tools like they suggest in this book.

 

3. Permission to Screw Up: How I Learned by Doing (Almost) Everything Wrong

Sometimes making mistakes can be the most valuable thing you do to grow yourself and your entrepreneurial skills.

Wandering Entrepreneur Must Read Book Permission to Screw UpThis is by far my favorite book to read so far. Ms. Hadeed shows humility and understanding of how we feel like we are inadequate, in personal relationships or business. By reading her story of how she was able to create a large business from the desire to buy a new pair of expensive jeans I was inspired to get out of my own way. My take away from this book was it’s okay to mess up! And in reality, if you are doing it right, you WILL screw up! It is how you overcome the mess that defines who you really are. She doesn’t explicitly tell you this in the book but she takes every disaster that could have been the demise of her business and once it is resolved uses reflectiveness to determine where it went wrong and how not to make the same mistake.

Remember, whether you are starting your own direct sales business or your own lemonade stand, you will make mistakes. You actually learn more from your mistakes than your successes. Mistakes make you wiser and stimulate personal and professional growth.

 

What books have you read recently? I would love to hear! Send me a message!

Want to see some of the takeaways from these books in action? Come join me in my Facebook community for ideas and suggestions to implement in your business!
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