This is part 3 of a 3 part series. Click here for part 2.
The final idea I have to share about making use of a slow time in your business is to use the time to create processes and systems for things you do regularly. I’ve seen many business owners get caught up in reinventing the wheel for tasks they do all the time. My rule is this: the first time you do a repeating task, write down the steps you think you need to do in order to complete the task. As you do the work, adjust your list and add notes to help you next time. The second time you do it, work from your list and again improve it based on what you learned. By the third time, you should have a pretty solid process that continues to change over time as needed. The more you can systematize and document repeating tasks, the more efficient you’ll be at doing them. You’ll be less overwhelmed and it will be easier to start. Finally, if the time comes for you to hire some help, you’ll have a process in which to train the person not just an ill-defined result you want.
Don’t get stuck on making your processes perfect. Paper is fine to start with (and maybe for a long time after). Don’t worry too much about formatting or formality. This isn’t for your customers, it’s just to make you more efficient.
Here are some ideas on processes you might want to start with:
- sorting and filing paperwork
- bank, credit card and cash reconciliations
- data entry
- compiling your newsletter
- cleaning and maintenance
- opening and closing if applicable
Give it a try! Leave a comment if you have any other processes you can write up.