Running the Office side of things can be a real challenge for some of us contractors.

I know when I started my life as a Lawn Mowing and Gardening Contractor, the paper-work (office) routines were pretty disorganised. I guess I had not really worked for many companies – so my experience with Office routines was limited. Consequently, my early days as a contractor were not very profitable.

So, from time to time I will write about things related to the office, hence the title name of “How to Run Your Office Smoothly”.

Today I want to share with you a really simple, effective and very low stress way of dealing with your daily mail and how to organise your schedule for paying your bills on time, and at the latest allowed date.

Every day you will receive different items in the mail box. These items will include junk mail, advertising flyers, cheque payments for work completed, and last but not least, the bills. These bills will be things for electricity, gas, services rendered by other contractors, etc, etc.

To start with, you need to develop a system for organising the handfuls of letters and stuff that lands in your mail box. This is how we handle all the different items:

  • Junk mail – straight into the waste paper cardboard box (marked “Waste-Paper”
  • Advertising brochures – left on kitchen bench for my wife to peruse. When my wife is finished with these items she discards them to the Waste Paper box
  • Payments to Lawn Green – separate the Cheques / Money Orders from the Remittance slips. The cheques are piled with the Bank Deposit Book, and the Remittance slips collated for later processing. Generally, we make to the trip to the Bank a couple of times per week.
  • Bills (or creditor Invoices) – all these invoices from other suppliers are put in a pile, and entered into my diary (the old fashioned One-Day-To-A-Page diary, that is, the A4 size ones). With each invoice, I enter (in RED biro) on the Monday just prior to the Payment Date the following – “Pay Hornsby Shire Council $256.34 (by Payment Date Due”. This way, every Monday I know that some time is required, as part of my Monday office routine, to pay all the bills that are due that week.
  • All the envelopes and unwanted paper goes to “Waste-Paper”

So, the “How To Run Your Office Smoothly” series starts with You doing the following:

  1. Make Monday your office day – this sets everything up nicely for the week, and You will feel really in control of your business then!
  2. Process Your daily mail ONCE only
  3. For me the A4 diary size works really well. Some people swear by other methods – share these ideas with me (Leave a Comment)

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