Managing the Basics of Your Company

By Christina Suter on Oct 10, 2015 at 11:49 AM in Business Issues
Managing the Basics of Your Company

People start companies and they figure out what structuring the company needs. Do I need a secretary, should I use QuickBooks, do I need to keep track of employee hours, what POS system should I use, etc? People want to legitimize their company with these overhead costs but I suggest that you want to avoid that and figure out how to streamline and minimize your company.

My suggestions:

  • Don’t get an office.
  • Don’t buy a POS.
  • Don’t buy inventory control.
  • Do buy QuickBooks.

Unless you’re doing a retail service, you don’t need a storefront. But even then, you can develop a digital storefront where people order from your website. Amazon, Wix, or your website ecommerce site is significantly less expensive than a storefront business.

If you have a service-based business, the main thing is to track hours and you can do that on an Excel spreadsheet. You don’t need a point of sales system or Salesforce; you can use inexpensive alternatives such as gmail or Microsoft mail that have contact-based systems. Control your costs.

Your Budget

What does it mean if you put all those things into your budget? It means upwards of $400 just to maintain the structure of your business.
Quickbooks allows you to log your hours with every client and you can auto-populate the hours and auto-invoice. You can use your calendar, Excel spreadsheets, or even a notebook where you track the client by name and the number of billable hours.
In gmail or Microsoft you can use their contact system and categorize your clients. You want to send a newsletter, and do so consistently. You can also use Mailchimp to manage the contacts you want to have your newsletter sent to. You can use alternatives such as Zoho or constant contact (which I have not heard great things about).

Billing Hours

Create an invoice with your logo and branding and make a template that has the client name and billable hours description. You can do that in Microsoft Word or you can use QuickBooks to handle your accounting. You can set up a budget on the left side of Excel like I have my clients do.
Potential Customers

When I network I go to a meeting, and I write on the business card of a person I met what it is that I want to talk to them about. I add them to my task list in gmail under a ‘waiting for’ in my contacts so I know to look out for an email from them. If you don’t hear back from them, shoot them a quick follow-up email to keep track of them.

Inventory Management

I create a chart, print it out, put the name of the inventory item and how many I have. When I sell one I put a -1 and at the end of the month I count how many I’ve sold and start fresh next month with how many I have left.


You can buy software that will manage the process of your client, but you can do it yourself. In a Word document create a table, number the steps and name them and tape it into the clients folder and give them a copy. Check off every time they complete a step and you’re able to track their progress to confirm the quality of your systemic system.

I’m not saying, “don’t do” with any of these. My point is just that you should do all of these things in a cost effective, simpler, and easier way to do it than an expensive system when you’re first starting out.

As I said, an ecommerce site is a way to develop clients and a reputation first. That way, when you do open a brick and mortar store you have a client base and word of mouth about your products spreads. If you aren’t in the retail business you can rent office space and meet with clients in person before you commit to paying rent every month for your own office space. Encourage people to meet you over the phone or drive to them and meet with them; it helps keep your overhead down.

The point of all of this is to keep more money in your pocket instead of spending it on expensive systems. The success of your company, especially in the first three years depends on how wisely you work and where you can do quality work at low cost.

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