You probably remember a scene in Tom Sawyer in which Tom cons his friends into whitewashing a fence for him by making it seem really appealing. When was the last time you felt snookered?  Sometimes owning your own business has that effect - that the pros of being your own boss, setting your own hours, and getting to do what you're passionate about - haven't off-set the cons.  But, if you manage your time well, including getting your bookkeeping tasks finished regularly, you'll have more time to spend on fishing lines rather than phone lines. (Click here for family fishing lakes in Tennessee.)

This month, we have time management tips for you to help keep your sanity through the holidays while still paying at least a mild bit of attention to your books. Give yourself time to review what to keep and what to toss when looking at your calendar.

Daily

What are your three must-do's today? Knock them out first!

Read something motivational/inspirational - take a deep breath and smile.

Take a technology break over lunch & have a real conversation with a co-worker, client, or friend.

Download transactions to be matched in your bookkeeping software.

Search your pockets for receipts.  Take pictures of them or organize them with cool Apps like Expensify or Tallie or Shoeboxed.

Weekly

Which clients do you need to contact or follow-up with? Have you considered using a CRM? 

Which bills need to be paid? It's faster to use Bill pay through your bank. Or, we use Bill.com. No envelopes or stamps and they mail it for us!  Saves lots of time.

Did you review your own time sheet? Where did you spend your time this week?  Being specific is a good way to prove the value you provide in your services. We use TSheets and love it! Use this link to get 10% off your subscription.

Monthly

Choose which networking events to attend to broaden your business & personal contacts

Send out invoices/statements to clients - Set up all clients to receive their invoice by email.  Who wants to print, stuff, and stamp? 

Reconcile your bank and credit card accounts.  If you sync with the bank - it should be "automatic" and will save you hours each month. 

Review your Profit and Loss statement and your Balance Sheet. 

Quarterly

Schedule a staff meeting periodically - it helps to promote rapport, find out where you may need to adjust internal processes, improve communication with clients, and keep everyone on the same page.

Review your goals, both business and personal. 

Annually

Schedule annual reviews for your employees - ask them to rate themselves, too.

Assign yourself periodic long weekends to recharge.

Find a mentor to help you learn & grow. If you're in a good place to add a mentee, do that, too! Decide expectations, parameters, length of time, frequency of meeting, etc.

Review your company insurance policies including Workers Comp and liability.

Get your end-of-year tax documents in order early for your bookkeeper and accountant.

Finally...

As you can see, we highly recommend keeping your nose in your financial books throughout the year. Keeping up-to-date on your company finances is essential if you want to not just start a business but stay in business! When you stay on top of tracking receipts, categorizing transactions, doing monthly reconciliations, and paying taxes on time, it makes document collecting much simpler for tax season.

For more time management tips, check out:

Stephen Covey's 4 Quadrants 

Entrepreneur magazine's 10 Tips

Compilation (Shopify blog) of 34 Tips

Our Goal is Your Success!

Lynn Talbott, MBA, is the Founder and President of HR Business Solutions, LLC. Lynn was previously a Corporate Trainer and HR Manager for a Fortune 500 company in Seattle, WA. She has 20+ years’ experience advising entrepreneurs of small- to mid-sized businesses in HR and Office Management. She is an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor and teaches classes at Chattanooga’s TSBDC. She is a sustaining member of CWLI.

 

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