Leave a paper trail!

How many times have you had to reference something and not been able to find what you’re looking for? How about the phone number of a prospect you met yesterday in the coffee shop? Exactly what did you tell your client on the phone two weeks ago?

There is nothing more frustrating than not being able to find what you need… right now. Your consulting business will operate far more smoothly if you record and save vital information.

  • Filing system: This is the most obvious and the most important. Filing makes work so much easier, so make it a point to keep your files organized and up-to-date.
  • Telephone calls: Jot down the name and date of every client and potential client that you speak to. Also note the purpose of the call. File them accordingly.
  • Notes: Use a good old-fashioned notepad or use your smart-phone (note-taking apps are available). Take notes either during client interviews/discussions or soon afterwards while the information is still fresh in your mind.
  • Email: You can use your email to create a paper trail. Create folders to save important messages, including messages that you have sent. Keep your inbox clean so you’re not scrolling through 100 messages to find the one you need.
  • Computer: Again, create folders and sub-folders to save important documents. And remember: back-up your files regularly.

Leaving a paper trail will save you much time and hassle in the future. Clients aside, staying organized will also make tax time (or audit time) a less stressful experience. And while keeping accurate records is important, you should also get rid of unimportant clutter. Eliminating unnecessary documents and files will also save you time and effort when it comes to finding needed information.

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