Tips for Simplifying Your Business for a New Year / PART 2
Welcome to Part 2 / 3 in the series. If you haven't read Part 1 yet, check it out here.
In Part 1 we covered sorting out your phone, filing systems and your online world. Next we'll look at [quiver] ... email.
DELETE ABANDONED DRAFTS
Do a simple cull of emails you never finished sitting desperately in the drafts folder.
UPDATE YOUR EMAIL SIGNATURE
A little refresh of your email signature can be rewarding! This is obvious, but make sure your details are up-to-date.
Check your social media links (if you include them. And if you don't include them, you should!). Don't feel like you have to include everything in there, for example if you don't use Twitter actively, don't include it in your signature.
A bit of colour goes a long way. Could you include a coloured line or make the name of your business in a brand colour? Keep in mind the phone e-mailers and don't go too crazy, but a little pop might refresh things for you.
CREATE AUTOMATIONS FOR OBVIOUS EMAILS LIKE RECEIPTS + INVOICES
This will save you plenty of time when you need to round up your business expenses. We have created filters for invoices like accounting software, email hosting etc.
You might need to set up a few different automations specifying different senders, but I'd suggest directing them to 1 general receipts folder (then you can simply sort by date and find the ones you need!)
HAVE A BANK OF CANNED RESPONSES
We have a Google Doc of canned responses which save a tonne of time! They are a set of pre-written emails containing responses to frequent questions or for steps of the design process.
Consider the emails you get from stores you love, brands you adore. Do you need to be receiving their emails? Could you unsubscribe from their emails and follow them on social media instead?
I much prefer this approach - I feel like they're barking at me from my inbox, but when I see it on social media I feel like I'm choosing to be involved.
CREATE A LIST OF REGULAR PAYMENTS
There are certain things that are definite expenditures each month. Do a quick round-up of what they are - project management tools, memberships, website hosting etc. It all adds up and it's a good place to start thinking about money when you know what your non-negotiable expenditures are.
SET UP AUTOMATIC PAYMENTS IN ONLINE BANKING
In the same vein, hop on to your online banking and set up automatic payments to help take the pressure off.
If you use your credit card a lot, consider setting up transfers of $100 to make sure you stay on top of the minimum repayments each month. You could also set up to squirrel a few dollars to your savings account and give yourself a nice surprise after a few months.
6. Project Management
I use Asana for my project management. It's awesome.
UPDATE PROJECTS THAT HAVE PROGRESSED BUT YOU HAVEN'T YET UPDATED
Guilty. Sometimes projects just get away from you! Go through and update your projects to where they are now. That might also mean adjusting deadlines or even removing elements of the project that are no longer relevant. While you're there, archive anything that's completed or finished with to keep your space clear for the important bits.
TIDY UP TO-DO LISTS
Ask yourself a few questions - is it necessary (will my business survive without doing this?). Can I ask someone else to do this? What else can I delegate?
We have certain things in the calendar that are regular occurring things, like monthly reviews, social media scheduling etc. I've found it a lot easier to stay consistent with these jobs by creating recurring events in my calendar. It's also worthwhile building in some time, say once a month, to do some routine maintenance on your filing systems and that could be scheduled in as well.
Part 3 of the series is up next. Til then, I hope you find space and calm by implementing a few of these suggestions!