It’s exhausting sometimes, I know. Being a small business owner is not for the weak of heart. There are a million things to do and they all seem important. You can feel overwhelmed and not know where to start or how to get it all done. That’s understandable. Every small business owner feels that way. Often. But there are business skills that you can learn that will improve your small business and your life in so many ways.
You probably already know that organization is important for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is your peace of mind. However, did you know that organization is also important for your legal matters? It makes sense. When you’re organized, you’re better able to act proactively and prevent legal problems. When you’re disorganized, you invite all sorts of legal problems into your small business.
Disorganization ALWAYS causes fires – emergencies in your small business that require your attention and resources to resolve. Think about those times when you intend to do something – have that conversation with an employee, file that form with the government, talk to your CPA about an expense – but you forget or keep putting it off until a problem arises. Not only is this procrastination, but it’s also disorganization of your TIME. Or even worse, there are those situations where you never even thought about doing it at all – not even on your radar – because you didn’t have the TIME to think!
As a small business attorney, why do I care how you spend your time? Because I see the legal problems that arise when you don’t do what needs to be done.
Here are a few common ones:
- Forgetting to renew licenses and certifications.
- Forgetting to renew insurance policies.
- Missing the deadline to renew your lease at your current rental rates.
- Missing the deadline cancels the auto-renewal of a contract with a vendor.
- Missing the deadline to renew your trademark.
- Not keeping up with your entity governance filings and documents.
There’s always a list a mile long of tasks that need to be done – every small business is unique. When you don’t take the time to get these tasks done, it creates legal problems in your small business.
The solution is organization of your time.
When you organize your time, you organize your tasks: Employee Issues, Compliance, Finance. Blocking off periods of time for you to tackle tasks of the same subject allows you to make sure it gets done and saves you brainpower since you’re in that “mode” for all those tasks. You can block your time by the week, month, or by year – depending on the topic. Let’s start with the yearly tasks.
For those tasks that need to be done once a year, you can block a time to do all of them at once – at the same time each year. If you do it in January this year, put it on your calendar to do it again in January next year. The point is that you keep yourself organized by actually putting it on your calendar for next year. A year’s worth of knowledge and experiences will push this out of your brain and you won’t remember this time next year. By setting aside the time on your calendar now, you are organizing your time to get these tasks done later.
The same thing applies to tasks that need to be done monthly – and those that need to be done weekly. Using your calendar to help you organize your time means that you will (1) have time to tackle all the similar tasks at once, and (2) have time to think about what else needs to be done in that area – instead of being on auto-pilot and dealing with the single task on your list.
You really do need time to think things through because that’s where you’ll have the opportunity to realize something that may be missing. Time to Think and Tackle.
To help you Think and Tackle, we’ve created a checklist of some (not all) of the things you may need to each year for your small business. You can download it and take the Time to Think and then Tackle it.