Supersize the way you organize

Three tips for better scheduling and management

By Leslie T. Snadowsky

Entrepreneurs have great ideas. Organizational skills? Not so much.

But every business owner eventually learns their success relies on the organization of their daily chaos.

Franklin Buchanan, founder of Post Up Careers, which offers personalized resume writing and career-building services, says organization is crucial even if you’re the only one in the office.

“Being a small business owner is a lot of fun, but when you’re a business of one, that fun can become spoiled when you become surrounded by disorder,” Buchanan said. “These are a few tools that have helped me stay organized, but a word of caution. You can’t just do these things and expect overnight results. You have to put time into the technology and customize it to your needs.”

Date and time

Some historians believe the first calendar was created in the Bronze Age back in 3100 BC. Fast forward a couple of millennia, and executives today are still ruled by the confines of their calendars.

“My business isn’t run on my desk,” Buchanan said. “It’s run on my computer. I use several tools and techniques to keep me organized and my business running as smoothly as possible, and my first is my calendar.”

Buchanan uses Google Suite and Microsoft Office 365 to effectively time block, a technique he teaches to his job-searching clients. He trained recruiters and salespeople how to use it when he worked in staffing. The goal is to block off 45-minute chunks of time on your calendar for vital activities. Buchanan says it focuses you to complete activities in an allotted time.

“You have to use discipline in calendar blocking,” Buchanan said. “Losing time is probably the biggest downfall in business, so be diligent about yours.”

Streamline your scheduling

If you’re spending more time scheduling an appointment than the actual length of the appointment, find a technology tool that cuts to the chase, he said.

“I do a lot of scheduling in my business,” he said. “And whether I’m scheduling interviews, draft reviews or coaching sessions with existing clients or scheduling introductory calls with new clients, I’ve learned how inefficient it can be going back and forth trying to find a time to connect.”

Buchanan uses the Calendly app for scheduling, and it enables him to send a link to the person with whom he wants to meet. They click that link, go straight to Buchanan’s calendar and pick the time that works best for them. 

“You can set meeting parameters, unavailable times and even add pricing to your links so you can get paid for your time without having to waste back-office time on invoicing,” he says.

CRM to manage your pipelines

Instead of investing in a customer relationship management team, Buchanan turned to an online CRM service that promises to move conversations forward, manage pipelines and win more customers.

“Organization is something that I’m constantly working on, and the last vital tool for me is a CRM tool,” he said. “I use Zoho Bigin. The best part about Zoho Bigin is that it doesn’t just serve as a sales tool, but it also has workflows I’ve set up, so it acts as a project management tool as well.”

Buchanan says he can see where every prospect is in the sales process, the number of deals outstanding, what he’s sold and where each current client is in their respective coaching program.



Franklin Buchanan – Working across a wide range of industries including energy, finance, IT, marketing and sales, manufacturing, education, nonprofit and government, Franklin Buchanan has made thousands of successful placements for the top staffing and recruitment companies globally and has helped countless individuals realize their career aspirations. Learn more at postupcareers.com. 

 

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