Working full-time, having a home based business and being a mom of four children has it’s challenges. Time Management is a crucial part in making your days, weeks, even months more manageable. When it comes to your business, why not make the most of your “bits” time.
Definition: Making the most of “bits” of time–
- Using small pockets of time helps you make the most of moments in the day that could otherwise easily be wasted.
- You must know who to call when the smallest opportunity arises – wait time: doctor’s offices, picking up kids, between innings, waiting for dinner to finish, etc.
- Don’t go anywhere without taking something to do – Business updates to read, stamped notecards to catch up on correspondence, list of phone calls to make.
- Challenge yourself: if you know you only have 10 minutes before the pasta is done, see if you can make two calls in that time.
WHO do you spend time on?
- Who do you have to contact? (hosts, customers, recruit leads, consultants, etc.): know when, where and how to contact potential hosts, potential consultants, and team members – this tends to be the biggest problem for most consultants. Not having this info leads to paralysis in your business.
- This is the absolutely most important system you have to figure out and implement. This is what works for me.
- Contact Follow Up Report: attach DPS, make all notes on page; filed alphabetically in 3 ring notebooks. Each month (in non-prime time), when I need to fill the remaining dates on my calendar, I go through the pages and put a post it flag on the ones I need to call. That way when calling hours come, I pick up a notebook and start calling the tabbed contacts.
- Recruit Leads are tabbed with a post it note for easy access
- Host List: annually print out Host List for easy reference of show date(s), sales, address & phone numbers; these are my best repeat hosts and about 1/3 of my shows every month are with past hosts
- Customer Service – do your adjustments on line!! Accumulate adjustments and call only once a week.
HOW do you do all this?
By simplifying, delegating, and/or combining tasks
- use standard documents for everything – host letters, recruit package letters, invite labels, catalog show info, fundraiser letters, consultant training. Just change the details as necessary and print.
- Pack for your show the night before; use a standard checklist to make sure you everything. (It should be on that TO DO list!!)
- Wear your business “uniform” or logo wear.
- Use 1 calendar for family/work/personal info – eliminates crises and confusion
- Only work on certain days so that your family/team is not “surprised”.
- Send host kits out on the same day every month (for the entire month).
- Leave your clean tools in the car
- Use a GPS so that you don’t waste time getting directions or getting lost or search google maps or mapquest ahead of time.
- Get a “For Deposit Only” stamp with your bank account number
- Get Business Deposit Slips (takes 17 checks at once)
- Get a variety of postage stamps and a postage scale to save trips to PO
- Use a telephone headset so your hands can work while your mouth is!
- Have voice mail with no limit on the message time
- Get a printer/copier to save trips to copy store( I use an all-in-one; printer, fax, scanner and copier).
- Do all host coaching calls on one night, customer care calls on one night; bookings on another night, etc.
- Keep a consistent show schedule – this makes everything about your business easier!
- For Directors: have a meeting box with all necessary materials (name tags, paper products, gifts, etc.); Individual Performance Tracker email to be in easy touch with team; team postcards; newsletter service; spend specific days on team business vs. personal business
- Pay someone else to do the income maintenance work – it is a tax deduction and frees up your time. House cleaning, automated calls, team and customer newsletter services, email services
- Use kids, spouse, friends looking for income; mother’s helpers – when the PPW is done by someone else, you have NOTHING to do but income earning activities!!
- Train consultants together (conference calls or attending shows);
- Share meeting planning with other Directors and Future Directors
- If you have to do income maintenance work, do it while watching TV or after prime calling hours or while kids are doing their homework.
- Run all of your errands on the same day. Make contacts while running errands!!
- Bring Host and Recruiting packets to shows.
- Make your shows your office – host coach and recruit interviews at shows.
- Keep everything related to a show in a file folder for 1 year.
- Make up all your host kits at the start of the season. This is good whether you 15 or 115 shows in a season. The kit should include everything you EVER send to a host – postcards, envelopes, tally forms, show planner, catalogs. Only need to add invites, monthly specials flyers and host letter.
- When you send out a host kit, organize everything associated with that show: label and date the postcards being sent; file all correspondence; schedule the three calls in planner; register the show on the website, etc.
- I have three expandable hanging files in my desk. One for upcoming shows; one for shows held but waiting to close; and one for shows that are closed but waiting for the final customer service call. Then those files move to a banker’s box and are stored for one year.
Information and Materials: Always keep the most frequently used materials in arms’ reach. If you don’t have a desk and/or file drawers, use milk crates or banker’s boxes.
Finding everything you need:
- Have easy access to all of your materials that YOU NEED!
- Have all of your recruiting info in one place, all your catalog show info in one place, all the fundraising info in one place, all your stamps in one place, all your postcards in one place.
- Keep the things you use/need the most the closest to you. Old show files do not need to be on your desk. Recruiting packets, however, need to be easily accessible
I have one Business Reference binder that I can take with me everywhere:
- Sample host kit; scripts for host coaching calls
- Sample recruiting packet
- Monthly specials: host, guest, consultant
- Copies of recipes doing this season
- All I have to add is the list of names & numbers of my contacts and I have everything I need!
For Director duties, have one binder with all the pertinent Team info:
- Cluster Reports: Monthly Recognition; Roster; Cluster Calendar; Cluster Communication Log
- New Consultant Training Guide
- Home Office contact info
- Table Talk schedule
- Rewards Tracking Chart
- Trip Tracking Chart
- One file/divider for each consultant: contract; info card w/best time & place to reach; agreement; impt dates; training topics; goals.
MOST IMPORTANT ORGANIZATIONAL TIP: When I started this, it drastically reduced the stress level in my business. I started with a small box. In it I put 5×7 index cards with tabs at the top. There are 31 tabs with the numbers1-31and 12 with January-December month dividers. Also have one tab for Booking Tips; one for Host Coaching Tips; one for Recruiting Tips; one for Customer Care Tips and one for Show Tips. Everything goes in here! Bills, kid stuff (permission slips, camp info, school forms, etc.), calls to make, things to follow up on.
- Business Consultant Newsletter: read immediately; rip out specials & promotions and At a Glance page; write down a couple of critical tips; discard the rest.
- Weekly Bites: read and delete or save to appropriate electronic file; note important dates in calendar or on your business program.
- Notes from Workshops and cluster meetings: will never read notes again, save most important tips on index cards and file in appropriate section in file box. Have a section for each area of business.
- Recipes: available on line, use a different file box for copies of recipes used for shows (This is tailored for my home based business, you can amend for jewelry, make-up or other type of business).
- Theme show ideas: keep on the computer; use PC’s new binder system
- Company promotions: three ring notebook with month divisions. Keep for 1-2 years.
- Door prizes in one bin – just grab and go
- Show folders are made up at start of season
- Booking Binder gets updated once a month – monthly guest special on cover so I don’t need to make copies.
- File retention – how/when to let stuff go:
- WASTE method of information management:
- Is the document WORTHWHILE; do I need it?
- Will I use it AGAIN?
- Can I find it SOMEWHERE else?
- Will anything happen if I TOSS it?
- Do I need the ENTIRE thing?
- Always back up computer files, Microsoft outlook files and business program files once a week. Use flash drive or removable disk drive.
- If have hard copies of absolutely essential booking/host coaching/recruiting tips, scan and keep on your computer – this makes it easier/faster/cheaper to send and can make copies as necessary.
- File show info files in banker’s boxes: purge frequently.
Organizing your business will take more than just a few hours. Dedicate a full day or weekend to geeting yourself organized. After a few weeks you will see how much time you are saving.