"Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up."
--- A.A. Milne
Spring has sprung and it is time to clean out some of the junk we've accumulated during the fall and winter. Stuff gets collected over time and before you know it we are bogged down working over piles of books and papers that we have no idea where they came from or what they are for.
This is all part of the process of running a business. The good news is that this time of year grants us permission to fill up the dumpster and start afresh with a clean slate, new ideas, and a renewed hope for the future. It all begins with getting organized with ourselves first. Then we can work on the shop and others in the office.
"Successful organizing is based on the recognition that people get organized because they, too, have a vision."
--- Paul Wellstone
Let's begin by purging our office. Donate anything you haven't used in the past six months. I like this six month rule because it takes out the thought process and provides a straight-cut rule to follow. If you haven't used it in the past six months, throw it out or give it away. (Of course, don't apply this rule to the shop area where there may be some necessary tools that will be needed for the all-important job you are currently bidding on.)
Give away old cell phones, computers, file cabinets, or anything else just taking up space. No, you will not get to it one day to repair and pass on to the kids. If that was the thought process, apply the six month rule.
"A woman with organizing skills can run a construction company without ever picking up a hammer and nail."
--- Warren Farrell
Next, organize your paper files. According to the National Association of Professional Organizations, paper clutter is the No. 1 problem for most businesses. Studies show the average person wastes 4.3 hours per week searching for papers, adding stress and frustration to the workplace and reducing concentration and creative thinking. If you have notes you've held onto for a very long time and you believe to be important, scan them into your computer and create a file for them.
Consider using a cloud service for your documents. Dropbox, Google Drive and others offer free cloud service up to a limited size. After that, rates are reasonable and it saves you trying to print and file everything.
"There can be no one best way of organizing a business."
--- Joanne Woodward
Another good organizing tip is to curb your social media use. I know, a lot of business advice today calls for using social media to improve your marketing and to get the word out about your business, but how much do you really need? Could your time be more wisely used in other areas? Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, About, and many more offer good opportunities, but probably not all worth your time. In fact, a recent study revealed that a posting on Pinterest brought in an average of $0.78 in sales.
"Deadlines aren't bad. They help you organize your time. They help you set priorities. They make you get going when you might not feel like it."
--- Harvey Mackay
Some people find time to get organized when they are under pressure and forced to take action. But, being spring, perhaps we can all take the initiative to get just a wee bit more organized for the sake of our business and our sanity.
Take a little time to review the company's bookkeeping measures, the handling of taxes for your business, and the organization of your schedule. Then you can begin to work on your team's organizational skills.
The Innovation of an Art Form: A History of Screen Printing
By Guido Lengwiler
This excerpt from the book, chronicles the rapid advancements in the ancient art of stenciling that took place during the late 1800s, and how it turned into screen printing as we know it today.
Read the article...
LED Maintenance Thoughts - Opening up a new business model that will make your customer happy and keep you in the service business.
By Fritz Meyne, Jr
With the almost total acceptance of LED for channel letters and increasing use of dedicated modules for cabinet lighting, our industry has to look at the long term effects of such a liability free product.
Read the article...
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Found on a garbage truck near Orlando:
"Satisfaction guaranteed or double your trash back"
Seen on an emergency exit door in a Colorado mall:
"This door is not to be used for entering or exiting the building."
At a gas station in England:
"Please do not smoke near our petrol pumps. Your life may not be worth much, but our petrol is."
We need those funny signs you've seen in your travels, come on, we know they're out there.
Send them to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.