As with most who have businesses, we also need to be efficient with our time and materials, avoid clutter. When you have a home business it is even more important because there is less available space.
Following a few basic principles keeps the place look tidier, making it easier to find things in a hurry and in an energy sense it clears the way for more good things to come our way, whether they are opportunity or money.
Here are a number of principles we can utilise to prevent clutter.
1. Handle things only once – we procrastinate by not dealing with things when we first come across them, and we think it will be easier to deal with it later. What actually happens if we don't do this, is that all the items accumulate then take more time to sort out and clean up, the date of action or opportunity it contained int the things sorted has often passed. So instead:
a) If a letter or bill arrives read it immediately, then
b) If it needs action enter the action date(s) in your diary immediately, then
c) Put it in it’s appropriate file immediately. If it is a bill to be paid have a file specifically for ‘Bills to be paid’ in action date order, where the next to be paid is on top. If it is a item to be actioned put it in a ‘Private – to be actioned’ file or ‘Business – to be actioned’ file in action date order, with the next item to be actioned on top
d) When you take off clothes that need washing put them straight in the wash basket
e) When you take shoes off, clean them (if necessary) and put them in the cupboard immediately
f) Fold clothes as soon as they come off the line and then put them away straight away
g) When you use any crockery, glasses, cutlery etc rinse it quickly and put it on the sink or in the dishwasher immediately etc.,
2. Keep like things together – keep things simple and logical, everything has it’s place, keep it there when it is not in use
a) jumpers in the same draw or shelf, T-shirts in the same draw or shelf, etc
b) all summer shirts together in the wardrobe, all work pants together in the wardrobe, etc
3. Organise a little at a time – set yourself a task to do one thing at a time. If you have a lot of sorting to do put 15 minutes aside each time to work on it.
a) start with the space you use most often – perhaps the kitchen
b) then move onto another room the next week
c) buddy up with a friend so you can help each other get things in order
Keeping finances in order can be a challenge for most businesses.
These save time, makes the place look tidier and make sure everything is in one place when it is time to go to the accountant.
Supplier / provider invoices and statements
- Ask suppliers or those you purchase from to email their invoices
- When an invoice arrives enter it into your bookkeeping system or spending list. If you don’t have a bookkeeping system like Zero, MYOB, Cashflow Manager or Quicken just use an Excel spread-sheet or a 12 column accounts book. If you use Excel or an accounts book have different columns for different types of income and expenses. For a copy of a really simple Excel spreadsheet to record this and customer invoices contact me and I will send one to you
- When you have entered the invoice into your bookkeeping system scan it immediately and file it in a 'outgoings' folder for that financial year
- If it is a paper copy put it in it’s appropriate spot immediately. For single item bills that don’t require immediate payment put the payment date in your diary and file them in a mini (A5 size) expansion file the day before they are to be paid. If you have particular days you pay bills then put it under the date 3 or 4 days before it is due to be paid
- If you receive a statement and pay on those instead of invoices follow the same steps (2 to 4) as for invoices after you have attached all the invoices on that statement
- Once the invoice or statement has been paid move the paper one it to a folder for that supplier, if electronic copy add the payment receipt to the outgoings folder, or you could even merge the two pdf's (invoice and payment receipt) in to the one file
Customer invoices and statements
1. As soon as you have completed the required work or received a product order for a customer create the invoice.
2. Enter the invoice the invoice details in your bookkeeping system when you create it. Again if you don’t have an electronic version, use a paper version, as mentioned above.
3. If you send your customer a statement create that when you create their last invoice for the month. If you manually create the statement record the statement date and invoice numbers it covers in your Excel spreadsheet or accounts book
3. Send the invoice or statement as soon as it has been created.