One of the most famous quotes related to having a plan is, “he who fails to plan, plans to fail.” – Winston Churchill. I could not agree more. Especially since I’m personally working on disciplining myself in this area. I used to be the master of the “last-minute fix”. I was sharp at it, too… but there was the stress that came with it and the many times I fell short of the mark. Even after all that work, my efforts ended up not being good enough to work for me. This brings us to my next tip to organizing your home-based business space – M.A.P. It Out. I can not move forward with anything without first planning my approach to getting things done. I have to have that assurance that what I’m preparing to do has a high chance of working for me. Then, if I need to adjust some things during the process, I can do it without that overwhelming, stressful feeling of having to figure it out as I go along. There’s nothing worse than putting in all your energy, all your time into something to ultimately find out that it won’t work. So let’s apply the process of planning specifically to getting your home-based business organized.
Home-based Business Organizing Tip #2: M.A.P. It Out
Now that we’ve had that much needed talk with ourselves to determine what exactly our home-based business needs are, we can now transition that information into a plan. I refer to it as, M.A.P. It Out; it’s an acronym to make a plan. The goal here is to strategize a plan of how you can store the items that you have BUT in a way that will allow you to flow through your workday with ease. That means, “I need to (1) determine how I can arrange my workspace and my storage space according to how I work and (2) store the items that I use within my space according to where and how I use them.”
Let’s say you have an online store selling graphic t-shirts. Your space is in serious need of some TLC. So you’ve taken the time to sit and write down everything you’ve talked about (… to yourself, of course) regarding your organizing needs. Now, you have to create a plan of how you will set up your space based on how you use it. O.k., so you know you need an area for your workspace; this is the area where you’ll be most of your business day either checking emails, making phone calls, placing orders, faxing, etc. Then you’ll need a specific area for storing your t-shirt inventory. But wait!.. what if you print your own tees? You’ll need an area for your supplies, an area to package and prep your tees, an area for photo equipment so you can upload those professional quality images to your online gallery, and so on and so forth. Although it sounds like quite a bit, it’s the reality of what you need to run your business every day. My philosophy is if you begin to visualize things while you are IN the space, it tends to help you focus even more on what your specific needs are. Often times, you may discover something you may have overlooked had you not been in the room. So, physically, go in your space and visualize your typical workday. Take note of the tasks you have on a regular basis. This should help you determine the various areas you’ll need when defining your space. Once you’ve M.A.P’d out those areas, then you can begin determining what items you would need to accomplish the specific tasks you have in those areas. We want to get that elephant sweating before we move in for the attack.