Can you believe the first month of 2016 is already coming to a close? A new year signifies rebirth, renewal, revitalization…and reorganization! Spring-cleaning gets all the reorganizing glory, but the start of a new year is an excellent time to regroup. As you’re re-evaluating and resetting goals and resolutions, spending a little time reorganizing (or in some cases getting organized) your business allows you to focus your attention on pampering your customers. Regardless of your businesses goals, these tips can help get you ready for an influx of new customers and hostesses this year.
Keeping track of your customers’ wish lists and past orders is an important part of growing your business, as well as a means to providing superior customer service. One way to keep customers organized is by creating a rotating “tickler file” for when to contact customers. There are a few different ways you could do this, and you’ll find a system that works for you. One low-tech method is to keep an index card for each customer with basic contact information and frequency of contact. For example, the two of you may have decided you’ll touch base every other month for re-ordering. If they’re a new customer, we suggest calling within two days of the party to tell her how much you appreciate the order and again in two weeks (or after you get the shipping notification in your backoffice) to make sure she has received her products. If you’d rather go high-tech, utilize your phone’s calendar/reminder function to notify you when it’s time to make your customer calls. As you get to know your customers and their ordering needs, you’ll find a contact frequency that works for them. A few reasons outside of reorders your customers might want to hear from you are holidays, personal events, like anniversaries and birthdays, flash sales and specials on their favorite products.
I can’t give you tax advice, but I can give you a few tips to making tax-time a little easier. Jennifer Dusza, our Consultant Relations Manager, recommends the “envelope system” to keep everything organized. At the beginning of each month start a business expense envelope, and when the month’s over, close it up, file it and start an envelop for the next. At the end of the year, ideally, you would have twelve large envelopes with all of your business expenses. Your tax professional can advise you on exactly what you should save and track for your business, but here a few ideas: