The New Year is almost here- a perfect time to set goals to improve my business. For parents like me working at home and confined to a small work space, being organized is vital. While I have gone through my desk and decluttered over the last few months, the next step is to figure out how I can improve my business workflow and in turn improve my productivity.
1. Tame the receipts: Folders on my desktop are great for day to day review of expenses, but scanning and storing receipts either on my computer or in the cloud is a more efficient long-term solution.
2. Automate the tax Process: Using an tax accountant is helpful for quarterly and annual filings. As my business grows, so does the volume of data for tax time. Automating my business accounting saves time at the desk, improves day to day workflow, and frees up more time for clients. Next up: figure out what accounting software or apps I should use.
3. Create and stick to a business budget: I posted last month about my adventures in budgeting using the American Express Prepaid Card. Next year, my goal is to set and stick to budgets for my projects and conferences by loading up the budget in advance to my American Express Prepaid Card. When I use my regular business charge card for projects or conferences, I don't always manage to budget. It’s time to curb ad-hoc shopping while on business trips and stick to business. One resolution for 2012 is to create a more thorough suitcase packing list that adapts to different climates. How many of us arrive at a conference without a sweater to keep warm in overly cold air conditioned conference rooms?
4. Update my website: I hired a fabulous team of developers to redesign my website - and now it’s time to update the information. Techmamas.com serves 2 important roles: 1) A platform for my voice, and 2) An effecitve visual resume. I have an “about” page, but need to add information on recent press appearances, consulting services and speaking engagements. Word of mouth is effective, but a personal website that clearly communicates press information and services provided is MORE effective.
5. Use more business Apps: The first apps loaded onto my new smartphone were the standard apps including Twitter, Facebook and other social apps. Next year, I want to identify and install mobile time saving and productivity enhancing applications that can do things like increase document travel expenses, hail taxis, figure out tips and easily share videos apps on the road.
Disclosure: This post is in partnership with American Express Prepaid Card.