Last night we (and if you haven’t noticed by now, I tend to use “we” in the collective sense when referring to my projects but really just mean me since I’m the sole owner of Gather, Rock & Shop, etc.) hosted our first class at Gather, and it was filled to capacity! That really warmed my heart. The class was called Organization For Your Business and taught by local arts advocate and manager, Heather Allen. I knew Heather would be a great teacher and have a lot to offer and that’s why I invited her to be a part of the class series at Gather. After her class, I left with some really great takeaways. Here are some of them:
1. To be creative and spontaneous with my art but not my business structure – streamline and develop repeatable formulas for everything else.
2. To utilize CRM tools whenever possible. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Manager and is just a streamlined place to keep data related to certain activities. I already use WordPress, Hootsuite, Basecamp, Quickbooks and Evernote and find them to be a real benefit to organizing my business. Summaries of each and a few more of her suggestions (and attendees) below:
- WordPress – A great tool for managing and creating web content. As a former web designer I recommend this program for anyone who wants to setup a professional website without coding knowledge or a lot of involvement from professionals. There are a ton of themes you can get for free or pay just a little for and it is hands-down worth it.
- Hootsuite – A site and app that allows you to schedule your social media content and see them all in one dashboard.
- Basecamp – A project management tool that is invaluable in planning The Rock & Shop Market, with to do lists, file uploading and lots more easily seen & updated by groups of people.
- Quickbooks – The gold standard for bookkeeping, invoicing and financial reporting.
- Evernote – This app & program is amazing. I am able to keep all my notes, my images, and general brain dump in here and access on all my devices. Highly, highly recommend.
- Zoho – A place to store all your contacts and record notes about each one
- Linked In – A social networking tool for engaging with business contacts
- Card Munch – Take a photo of a business card, and this program inputs all the data for you.
- Freshbooks – Online Invoicing
3. The idea of COPE (creating content once, and publishing it everywhere). This generally means for instance that if I write this blog post, I could then take the same content and make an e-book about it, or publish it in print and so on, thereby creating multiple streams of revenue from one body of work. Smart.
4. Set one exclusive day for meetings. This is an idea I was already coming around to, as being and introvert, daily meetings for me are unproductive and overtaxing.
5. 50% of your time should be dedicated to prospecting opportunities.
6. Create a list of top revenue generating to-dos and pin this in a place where you’ll see it daily as a reminder of what projects should take priority.
Here are a few more of my business tips and resources:
* How to Build a Better Brand: Packaging
* Tips for Beating the January Blues: Staying Motivated and Increasing Productivity
* How to Display Your Wares at a Craft Show
* A Biz Lady Profile with me on design*sponge
* Managing Business Related Stress
* Balancing Motherhood and Business
* Lessons Learned from a Failed Business Venture