Practical and Systematic Organization

Running a business demands skill, study, and aptitude

Learning to wrap is learning a trade that can change your life. It is satisfying to transform a vehicle’s blank canvas into a work of art. Wrapping requires skill and focused attention to detail. But there’s so much more to it than installing film. Running a business also demands skill, study, and aptitude. To be a wrapper entrepreneur requires organization as well as the ability to adapt, learn, and grow on many levels.

Organization is a crucial element of a business. If you are a solopreneur or a growing corporation, the office is the heart of information that allows you to evaluate where you have been and where you are going.

Start with an organizational chart of your business to formalize the organization of responsibilities. Departments can include accounting, taxes and insurance, sales and marketing, inventory and tools, human resources and subcontractors, and information technology. Write the name of the individual who manages each department. This will help to visualize the structure of your operation. One-person shops will have departments utilizing outside help, such as a CPA or IT person.

Accounting department organization is the key to measure your financial success. Invoicing can be processed through an app and you can take payment the same way using your phone as your mode of operation. Having a formal computer program to keep up with clients, invoicing, and recording daily financial transactions helps tremendously for tax season and reports. This is also beneficial when you want to apply for a loan or a line of credit.

Records can be kept in a plastic file box, a fireproof metal file cabinet, or all digitally on the cloud or local server. Organize files monthly by bank account with copies of receipts/expenses and accounts receivable alphabetically by customer name. Any tax-related documents should be kept in a separate file for the CPA. These include 1099s, charitable contributions, federal or state taxes paid or refunded, and any IRS communications. Make insurance folders such as general liability, garage liability, commercial automobile insurance, or umbrella policy and include copies of the policies along with logins, passwords, and policy renewal dates for each.

file organization

Sales folders would include pending leads or potential client lists along with daily key performance goals to be completed. Add spreadsheets to track objectives tried, completed, canceled, or converted to a sale. Marketing files will be any website information for your company, social media accounts, professional organizations, or non-profits with which you are involved. Company swag and advertisement opportunities are also included in this department.

Inventory and tools are straightforward. There are many inventory systems to track materials and tools. These take some initial time to learn and set up but can be vital to tracking costs of goods sold. As your business grows, the time taken in the beginning to create this portion of the company’s organization will be invaluable. Waiting could result in a truly daunting task.

Human resources folders should include the company handbook, onboarding process, and employment applications for each individual employee or subcontractor. A copy of a driver’s license, social security card, and federal and state withholding forms are necessary elements of an employee’s folder. Include any health, group life, vision, dental insurance policies, workers compensation liability policies and documents for filing, or retirement plan documents.

Information technology is the backbone of any organization. Backup copies of records are imperative. Perform manual external hard drive backups on a regular interval and invest in a cloud-based system that also systematically performs that service. No one can ever have enough protection in this area should there be a computer issue.

Create a maintenance binder with all the tasks that should be performed for the overall corporation on an annual, monthly, weekly, or daily basis. Be sure to include how and where to archive information and how long to save and purge certain items. Provide any account information, log-in names, or passwords as needed on any task that is required. List all professional advisors such as banking, insurance, retirement, attorneys, etc. who guide or protect the business and a description of their roles. An ‘In Case of Emergency’ list for the landlord, air conditioner repair person, plumber, etc. is also recommended.

The organization of your time is the number one determinant of success. Time is the one thing you cannot recover. Once it is spent, it is gone forever. Having a plan for your time and executing it effectively is crucial. Purchase a calendar annually during the fourth quarter. Create a plan for the following year. Give each year a name, for example, “2021 – The Year of Expansion.” Go through and mark off specific dates for events and activities that have been predetermined. These could be a graduation, trade show, training class, or birthday. If possible, book anything you can in advance so you are committed to that specific time.

Finding balance is key for an owner. To help find this balance, divide a paper into four quadrants: significant achievements, professional goals, work/business goals, personal goals. Under each quadrant name your individual goals. Now write a tactical/task-oriented plan to attack them including any deadlines. Research opportunities or paths to reach your goals.

For example, personal goals/game night with friends and family once a month or every third Friday night. Then put it on the calendar and alert the friends and family. Done. Check. Move on. Once it is there, you can work around it to move it to Sunday one weekend due to an unexpected occurrence, but you have executed a plan and are working toward a goal of more friend and family time.

Once your calendar is in working order, break it into quarters. Look at the three months ahead of you. Review the blocks of time you have open to add qualitative value to your life/business. Look back at your goals and set these ideas to committed dates. Set aside time at the beginning of the third month of the quarter to examine the quarter you are in, the progress made, and the upcoming quarter. Continue making commitments to place dates for opportunities to move you toward reaching the goals you stated in all four quadrants. Finish the year feeling accomplished and insightful toward the next.

By organizing your day-to-day activities and routines you will be able to handle unexpected circumstances or spend time doing something else you genuinely enjoy. If you spend 10 minutes snoozing in bed, then 10 minutes figuring out what to wear, and 10 minutes deciding what to eat for breakfast, you have already wasted 30 minutes. You could have already made your bed, coffee, your predetermined breakfast, and let the dog out while you got the mail or completed a 20-minute workout and consumed 16 ounces of water. Time lost cannot be regained. It is everyone’s most precious resource.

Organize every day! Apply this vital skill to your morning routine, work area, work relationships, professional, and personal time. Search yourself and define your goals, find your talent, find your how and why. True entrepreneurs set their eyes on a vision in the future of where they want to be and do not stop — ever. Planning for your life in line with your values is fulfilling. It makes you happy to see others touched by the craft/skill that you have developed.

Wrapping every day is absolutely an amazing life. I love this industry; I love our wrap family and together we can make big changes. Daily we change the color of a vehicle, a fleet of focused market advertising, the look of a room, the vibe of a venue where people gather, a brand of a company, or even sometimes the entire city. What are you going to change today?

Starla Miller of Miller Decals

Starla Miller

Starla Miller is the co-chief visionary at Miller Decals LLC, the largest exclusive vinyl installation company in Atlanta. She has a bachelor's degree of Science in Business Administration from Mississippi College.

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