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Welcome to the world’s first SMALL BIZ Alphabet Series of blog posts!



It was going to be “O” for “Operations” but a few years back the world’s surgeons decided that “Procedures” would be a gentler, less-threatening sounding  word to use in describing what happens when they take a scalpel to your body.  And as businesses became more specialized, “Operations” began to dissolve from usage in the business community too.  So with all that phasing out activity, I came back to one of the most important multi-purpose “O” words for life and small business success: ORGANIZATION.


There are 30 million of us (small business owners and entrepreneurs) kicking around out there, somewhere between Hawaii, Florida, Maine, and Alaska (Whew! A lot of kicking!), and —artistic, creative types not withstanding– those among us with the strongest sense of organization will generally prevail in the success arena.

“Organization” is both the dynamics of the people you’re involved with — what’s the business “chemistry”?– AND how effective are your planning and doing (action) skills? “Team chemistry” wins in sports (Just re-live World Series Game 6 a few days ago), but it also –like people and task organizing skills– wins in business.

There are of course, entire books, courses, and training programs devoted to OD (Organizational Development), so don’t expect a 700-word crash course here, but you can expect to have your cage rattled. After all, who else is going to risk being in your face and telling you to get your act together better than you have been? Right. Read on.

Now, most of what I do is write, design, create, sell, email, meet, and talk on the phone, so I’m not exactly the world’s most organized guy, but –thanks to Kathy– most all of the organizational chores associated with running a business are taken care of by her capable hands and organized brain. She actually excels at it. (Thank heaven!)

So one important rule of thumb is that if organization skills escape you, or you don’t want to justify the time it takes to sort out, prioritize, plan, and execute tasks, find someone you can trust and rely on (almost always, by the way, a spouse, because no one else really shares your values) to do the scheduling, paperwork, computer tasks, etc.

And since you probably have two thumbs, another important rule is to give up one hour every Monday to meet with your organization person or team to review progress and problems, and get the ducks in a row. (Monday, because issues can be dealt with during the week; issues raised on Thursday or Friday never get done). 

I read somewhere that a famous sales guru I’ve always admired, made a dumb statement. He said It’s not time you need to manage; it’s your attitude. I understand the intent, but in reality, all entrepreneurs, by definition, have a positive attitude. Managing time is the challenge because we have only a limited amount of it available.

Not to belabor the point, but there are just so many seconds in a minute, so many minutes in an hour, so many hours in a day, so many days in a week, so many weeks in a month, so many months in a year . . . and just so many years in a lifetime, assuming you’re not from outer space just because you might act it! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) 

There are at least 3 zillion magic formulas for managing your emails. If you limit phone call message returns from 11:30am until noon, and from 4:30pm until 5pm, you will be more productive. People do not want to talk too much when they’re thinking about lunch or heading home.

When you make to-do lists, date them and chunk them up into small parts of big tasks. Prioritize item urgency. Cross the done deeds off with a highlighter so you can look back to see what was accomplished. If you really must use other than pen and pad because you are laptop or handheld-addicted, it’s not great, but better than nothing.

In short, experiment, but do whatever works best for you. Whatever you do– don’t ignore or avoid focusing on the getting-ready-to-act parts of your business before you charge headlong into them. Not being organized is a common entrepreneurial ailment that can crush a venture before it ever gets off the ground. Ready? Set? Go!


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Hal@Businessworks.US  302.933.0116

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

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