Let’s Get Real…
This is the perfect “Stepford Wife” work space…I.E. “Too Good to be True”. No matter how much I dream of organization and structure in my workspace it still resembles organized chaos.
Having to accept that the “ideal” set up for a home based business- or, that the working from home area often is a messy dining room table strewn with papers- has been difficult. Perfectionism is one of my many major personality traits. Accepting less than “the perfect expectation” has been a hard lesson to learn but, one that has proven very valuable.
We all work differently and each have a style all our own. Especially if you are just starting out on a new endeavor -or, if you have had to work from home because of the pandemic- your process and learning curve will be unique to you.
This became very evident, very quickly to me when I started selling items on line as a way to supplement the monthly income. The whole process of tax reporting, receipt keeping, inventory, etc… initially never crossed my mind. To me it was just like having a rummage sale every day and those seldom if ever require reporting anything.
I turned what limited information I had in to my Accountant at tax prep time and figured it was all good. Shortly, it was brought to my attention that I would need much more detailed information to get this done properly. She sent me a worksheet to complete that wanted numbers on everything, and the kitchen sink.
Thankfully in this age of clouds and e- statements, a rough compilation of facts and figures emerged. How much easier all this would have been if I had kept that information altogether in one place and up to date.
After hours going through every statement and purchase for 2020 to find work related purchases and supplies- I ultimately had enough screen shots to back up the numbers I sent off.
While my desk will never look like the one above… there are a few very simple changes that I am using this year to avoid any end of year IRS prep angst.
First of all, use one credit or debit card for all business related purchases. If possible, devote a whole card just to that. Make all purchases , subscriptions, and any other business costs on that card. (Try your best to keep the outstanding balance low so you have enough purchasing power for when you need it.) This one step alone would have saved me hours of pouring through multiple statements on multiple cards that were used for things business and personal. Migraine anyone???
Keep all your expenses and expenditures in one place. I don’t care if it is a dedicated drawer in the kitchen or a hanging file folder in your roll top desk- keep it in one place. You will thank me for this sage nugget of advice.
Second, make notes. It can be a spiral tablet, an Excel Spreadsheet, or a note in your phone- just keep it together and stick to one method.
~When do your memberships, or subscriptions renew?
~How much are they?
~Have they been useful or should you cut them loose and find a better solution?
Make a “note to self” on these things- it will help you trim down excess spending on tools that aren’t working for you. Conversely, if you hit on a great App, article, or program- make a “note to self” in the same fashion. Post It notes are popular and fine in a pinch but, if you go that route- collect them in a binder for quick reference and not a panicked garbage search for the phone number, or other info, you need. You know what I mean – we have all been there.
These things will not ensure a workspace that looks like the one at the beginning of this post. But, it will help your year end and make your tax fact and figure gathering much more efficient. This should help with finding things that you knew you had….somewhere.
Hopefully these tips will help you be less stressed in the coming year. I’m just glad I learned them in March- not 9 months later – I don’t need that stress scramble again!
No matter what or where your work area is- we can all at least help ourselves to be perfectly imperfect in our work style.
Until Next Time…
The Biz Blog