You know how it is…

You are busy with clients, trying to keep everyone happy, and making sure you get the next proposal out on time. To speed your workflow, you just put stacks of folders, tear sheets and memos down wherever you can find a spot.

One day you realize that you are buried in clutter so deep that the thought of sorting it all out is just overwhelming.

So you avoid the subject, stacking piles of stuff on top of on top of other piles of stuff, and try to keep going. Knowing very well that this sludge is piling up and slowing you down.

Until one day you realize that it is time to hire someone to help keep your business going and growing.

Except…

How would an administrative assistant or a bookkeeper ever find a way to help you in the middle of all this clutter?

So now you have to get all the clutter organized and put away before you even think of interviewing a prospective employee. Except that you don’t have time to organize the clutter because you don’t have any help.

And you are stuck in this continuing circle of not taking any action, which not only affects your business but affects your increasing stress level.

You may be surprised to know that this is a common growing pain amongst designers who are moving their business up market. You may also be surprised at how simple the solution can be.

Tip #1 –  You don’t have to do everything yourself, especially something you have avoided for months or even years. If it is that hard to face, it is time to hire someone to do what you don’t want to do. Professional organizers LOVE to straighten out  massive clutter and you will be amazed at how few hours it takes for them to re-create order in your life.

Tip #2 – Pack up the old jobs, and open up space for new clients to come in. Big manila envelopes work well for keeping fabric memos, finish and paint chips, original drawings or any other items that are not already in your computer. Label the envelope with the client name and store in another location. You will be glad that you have those fabric samples when that client calls you four years from now and wants to revive that living room project.

Tip #3 – Set up a system that is easy to follow. All the bills that need to be paid go in one file folder,  jobs that need to be invoiced in another,  all newly signed product proposals and Letters of Agreement in another. Drop the paper work in the correct folder so that your assistant will find it, and know what to do when she arrives.

And one more thing, start looking for your perfect administrative assistant right now. By the time you find him or her, your office will be ready.

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