The best way to achieve time freedom with your business is to become better organized.
This is YOUR business and you’ve got to treat it like a business if you want to reap the rewards of a business. Like any business, you’re going to have to maintain some records so you can track your progress and complete the required tax forms when the time comes. Plus you’ll want to have important reference material easily available to you when you need it. Spending a few minutes now in organizing your business will save your hours in the future.
Following are some items that you will need at a minimum.
You’ll want to get a Daily Planner and/or Appointment book if you don’t have one already. Make sure it has at least 1 page for each day. Write down all of your appointments in it, along with each days Conference Calls and Training calls. It’s a proven fact that our brain works on the basis of what we write down, NOT on what we just think about.
Better yet, I suggest a daily diary like those from Franklin Covey or DayTimer that gives you a place to record all those expenses that used to be personal and non-deductible, but are now legitimate tax deductions because you’re a business owner.
I’ve been using FranklinCovey PlanPlus for Windows for keeping track of my daily appointments, and more importantly my to-do list. It’s the first thing I launch on my computer in the morning and helps keep me focused on what I need to do each day. There should be similar products available to use on your smart phone, or you can use the Google Calendar for keeping track of appointments.
You also want to write down or record on your computer your marketing schedule to remind you when it is time to send your next solo advertisement. You don’t want to be wasting a bunch of your time logging in to a list builder only to find out you need to wait another 24 hours before sending your next ad. Alternatively, you might want to use a system such as Viral Mail Profits for organizing your advertisements. I would be absolutely lost without this product as I have grown my advertising resources to a couple dozen services.
8 1/2 x 11 inch binders
I recommend you print out for easy reference pages from your website and lessons from the 30-Day Training. Having these and other documents available in printed form will make it much easier for you to refer to them when you need to. There will be other documents (support emails, planning worksheets, time schedules, phone scripts, call sheets, etc.) you’ll also want to file in these binders.
You’ll also want to get a good 3-hole paper punch because that paper coming out of your printer doesn’t have holes in them for easy insertion into your binder.
Notepaper and pens
These seem rather obvious, but let me ask you… how many times have you been talking with someone on the phone and when you give them your phone number or website address, they have to fumble around to find something to write on?
“Smart” businesspeople are prepared and always have a notepad and pen available to them next to their phones to take notes or write down important information while on the phone.
Open Separate Business eMail Accounts
One of the first things you want to do when starting a new business is to separate your business email from your personal email. Generally, it is a bad idea anyway to be using an ISP based email account because they are often blocked by spam filters and do not look professional.
If you have your own domain (and you should), you can create email accounts personalized however you like. With the GVO hosted accounts, I can easily create multiple email accounts. One of the best online email services is Google GMail. It is free to use and you can create as many email accounts as you may need.
Open Separate Business Checking Account
You will want to keep separate your personal and business expenses – and a separate checking account will help you do this plus make it easier for you to prove your business tax deductions.
I suggest you fund this account with the savings you “harvest” from your paycheck after submitting a new W-4 form and deposit all the commissions you earn into this account.
This is a business and you’ll need to track your income and expenses. Remember, one of the benefits of having your own home-based business is you will be able to deduct on your taxes many of your expenses incurred. If you don’t know how to use your accounting program or system, you’ll need to learn (unless you have someone else keeping your books for you).
I personally use Quicken on my computer, but you can use another program or even keep your records manually.