Category Archives: Get organised

Time (or lack thereof) and priorities

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about time. And priorities.

I swapped from working freelance to going back to full time work. At first it was a struggle but soon I had a system worked out and I managed to fit in most of what I wanted to. But then my work moved. So I’ve gone from a quick twenty minute bike ride to work to over an hour and half sometimes 2 hours each way every day.

It’s the time equivalent of losing a day a week.

It has totally thrown out all my time and I’m struggling big time. My house looks like a small tornado has gone through it, the centre for disease control may soon be coming to confiscate my kitchen, the washing is piling up and that’s nothing compared to the mountain of work for my own business that is currently being neglected.

Just in case all this wasn’t enough of a disaster, yesterday I signed up for a 10km run in May. It’s an event I did last year and I found it so crazy inspiring that it is often the only thing that keeps me going when I’m out trying to run.

So how am I going to fit all this in?

Honestly I’m not sure, but one thing I do know is that none of it will happen if I don’t get some structure and organisation into my routine.

So tonight that pile of washing is getting sorted and into the machine, the kitchen will be tackled and this weekend I will re stock the freezer filled with healthy soups and meals to make the night time meal easier.

Then I’ll move onto the paperwork and needs of the business and fingers crossed with some hard work by next week I’ll be more organised and be able to fit in having a functioning house, a workable business, the day job and the all important training for the run!

Getting started

The beginning of 2013 is flying by already. Many people are already bemoaning their lack of will power to follow through on their New Years resolutions and are letting all good intentions fall by the wayside as they think its too late.

You know what?

It’s never too late.

All you have to do is start. That’s all. Pick a goal and step by step little by little make it happen.

I’ve got a few big goals for this year for my business and a few other ideas I’m working on.

So I wrote out everything that I wanted. Then I picked one thing, broke it down into the steps I need to do to ensure it will work effectively. Once that was done it was like a little road map. I follow the steps, improve when I come up with better ideas but all going well my first big business goal of the year will be achieved by the end of January.

All it took was a little bit of planning and getting started.

So over this long weekend, grab yourself a notebook and start writing down your business goals. Make a plan and get started. Big or small it doesn’t matter what does matter is the getting started bit.

Counting down

I’m in serious count down mode, and not it’s not for Christmas. I’m counting down till 5pm Friday when my day job finishes and I get a wonderful 5 days off!

Now these 5 days are going to be filled with cycling, running, cooking and of course Christmas but a large portion of them is going to be dedicated to 2013.

Why?

Well because I am determined to make 2013 the best year yet for my business and to do that I need some serious planning, some learning of new skills and some action plans put into place so that I can hit the ground running.

While everyone else is still in the post Christmas, New Year hangover I intend to be organised and making my business work smarter.

So during your holiday period why not set aside some time and dedicate it to your business? Make some plans, write some lists and get started on those New Years resolutions early!

Happy Holidays!

Christmas is coming are you prepared to sell?

This month may be past the mid point of the year but if you want to be prepared and make the most of this Christmas and the shopping that comes with that, then you need to start planning now.
No matter if you are selling wholesale, retail, at the markets or online Christmas is a great opportunity to bring in those much needed sales. Remember in order to have a successful business you must sell.
Do you have a Christmas sales plan? Did you have one in previous years and have some great tips to share? Add them in the comments would love to hear from you.

Next post I’ll be back with more on how you can make the most out of Christmas.

How to cut down on the “noise” of communication

Sometimes I wonder if we make it too easy to get hold of us during our work hours? People can get in touch with me via blog, twitter, facebook, email, phone and some of those I have multiples of! All in all it leads to a whole lot of “noise” during the day.

Recently I wrote about how I deal with emails and now I want to talk phonecalls.

I tend not to answer my phone during the day. It’s not that I don’t think your call is important it’s just that I am trying to get work done. It also helps me avoid unnecessary calls.

One of my freelance clients will email me 4 or 5 emails at a time, then send me a tweet to tell me to check my emails and then phone and leave a voice mail to say check your tweets and email. If I don’t get back to them within half an hour the whole process is repeated.
Not only is this really hard to deal with from a customer point of view most of the time the whole emails, tweets, voicemail is unecessary because by the time I’ve called them back they changed their mind anyway.
So when you are contacting suppliers, freelance workers, makers etc make sure your communication is minimal and to the point. No one has time to deal with all the “noise” that is created from unnecessary calls, tweets and emails.
So before you hit send or pick up the phone think to yourself is it really necessary?

Workflow design

I’ve been thinking about good design and how it makes everything better. I’m not talking about the kind of design we’re doing for our actual labels be it t-shirts, dresses, lingerie or shoes I’m talking about about the design of our workflow and spaces and what we use to actually “do” the design.

Everyone knows the frustration of a computer that keeps freezing or crashing or a chair that makes your back ache because you can’t quite reach the desk properly. These small things add up and overtime adversely affect the way our businesses run. Lots of small annoyances can mean that when you think of working you get that sinking feeling in your stomach. You may think it’s because you are still in the building stages of your brand or working on a new range. But what if the sinking feeling is linked to these small annoyances?

So some things that might be causing these small annoyances

– space

– light (or lack thereof)

– equipment

First up Space

Do you have a dedicated workspace or are you flitting between couch and kitchen bench? No matter how small get yourself a workspace. Somewhere you can sit and work, leave and come back and your things are still where you left them. Not only does it make the work easier it makes you more efficient as you don’t have to first find and prepare a spot everytime you want to work. It will make your work feel real and you will treat it with more respect.

Lighting

Good lighting is essential to any designer. You need a nice strong light for colour matching and good lighting makes you feel more alert and productive. Low level lighting is bad for colour matching makes you feel drowsy and dull and can lead to squinting eyes and headaches. So when you have a dedicated workspace then get a good natural light lamp or light to illuminate your area with.

Equipment

Are your stationary supplies stolen from your kids crayons? When you sew do you need to spend twenty minutes finding matching colour thread. Organisation is key when it comes to equipment. Buy good scissors, some nice pens, paper and some dedicated storage.

When I first started my business I bought way too much stationary. Now days I buy the bare minimum because not only does it save money it means I don’t have to find somewhere to store it either.

Old jars make great holders for pens and scissors. An old photo frame can be re used as a corkboard by getting some heavy card and covering it with fabric and popping it into the frame.

Good design of your workspace doesn’t need to cost a fortune, it really only takes some organisation and dedication. Give your workspace a good design make over this week and see if it helps you stay more focused on the big picture and not on the small annoyances.

Faster emails and a better website in one easy step

Last week I shared my 15 minute organisational tips for email. Here is something else you may want to consider that will improve your website and cut down on your emails.

When you are getting emails are you being asked

  • how much is postage?
  • do you post outside of Australia?
  • how do I figure out what size I am?
  • if I pay more for postage will it come express post?

Basic questions like this should not be taking up your time every day.

Write out all the ones you frequently get and answer them. Then add that information to the FAQ or frequently asked questions page on your website. Now you will hopefully get less emails asking the same questions and if you do keep getting the questions you can just add a link to the FAQ page on your site and not spend all day writing out the same answers.

Simple easy solution that will take barely anytime and make your life easier and help increase sales as your customers will have the information available to them at the point of purchase.

To make your life easier you can now find all our information with a new simple web address of startyourlabel.com.au so now it’s a nice easy address for you to remember and type in.