NYC business owners have enough to worry about with making sure they get paid on time by their customers. Missing a client meeting or an important event shouldn’t be one of your concerns. Whether you have a digital or traditional paper calendar, these tips will help you manage your calendar more efficiently and stay productive.
Color coordinate your calendars
If you use google calendar, outlook or another calendar tool, use colors to coordinate your calendar. Use multiple colors to differentiate your events so it’s easy to see your day at a glance. For example, select red for urgent tasks that require your immediate attention or green for meetings related to your finances.
Color coordinating also helps you see at a glance where you are spending your time. Are you spending too much time in one area and need to prioritize your tasks? Are you neglecting some tasks?
Whatever color scheme you choose, it must make sense for you otherwise it will be difficult to manage and understand. One of our clients uses turquoise for all her daughter's events because it’s her daughter’s favorite color. Whenever she sees turquoise on her calendar it’s a visual reminder of sacred family time she doesn’t want to move for business meetings.
Work in time blocks
Schedule time blocks during the day when you only work on administrative tasks, marketing, social media, etc. Set a timer on your phone and once the allotted time is up, move on to the next task. Eventually, you’ll find that there’s enough time to finish tasks in all areas of your business and less items are neglected from your to-do list by following this method.
Write down appointments immediately
While we’d like to think we’ll remember to put an event on our calendar later, reality is that we’ll forget about it less than 10 seconds later. As soon as you have an appointment, make a habit of putting it on your calendar immediately or at least blocking time on your calendar and putting the details in later. This will help prevent missed appointments and double bookings significantly. Alternatively, hire a virtual assistant to place the meeting details on your calendar. Just forward them the logistics and have them put it on your calendar, color-coordinated and with reminders.
Set multiple reminders
How many times do you hit snooze each morning? No judgement if you said more than twice. Similarly, we recommend setting as many reminders as necessary to make sure you are on time for all appointments. Let’s face it, you’ll probably ignore the first notification so you’ll definitely need a backup. For our own calendars we set at least two reminders for all in-person meetings. One for two hours before the meeting (to allow travel time) and 10 minutes prior (to give us enough time to prep).
Recurring appointments for birthdays, anniversaries and special client ticklers
Our clients are always amazed that we remember their birthdays, anniversaries or random special events like the day they stepped out on faith and became a full-time entrepreneur. The answer is quite simple. We place these events on our calendar with reminders anywhere from one to three days prior to the event. That gives us enough time to send a card or an acknowledgement email. Ultimately, we shine in our client’s eyes for not only remembering them in a special way but also that we pay attention to details.
Schedule personal time
As much as we like to think the entrepreneur life is all work and no play, there has to be balance for your overall well-being. Make sure you place important family and friends events on your calendar so you’re not tempted to miss important events and memories outside of your business. Don’t be afraid to also schedule gym time, devotions or even reading a book to make time for important things in your personal life. Just be sure to treat it as any other appointment and keep it!
Pro tip: Schedule vacation days on your calendar just like you would in a corporate job and actually take the days! It may be tempting to work non-stop when everything depends on you, but you will need the days to disconnect and refuel for your next project. We advise our entrepreneur clients to give themselves at least 2 weeks of vacation days and use them at their discretion throughout the year.
Written by: CH from Organized Kingdom.
Organized Kingdom provides entrepreneurs with operational and project management support as well as professional organization services for individuals. Visit www.organizedkingdom.com for more information about Organized Kingdom and how we can create functional spaces in your home and business.
Start from wherever you are and with whatever you have
Have you seen the LinkNYC kiosks popping up all over the five boroughs over the last few years? You know, those big vertical stands on the sidewalks of the city that have replaced old school pay phones. On them, you can make phone calls, charge your cell phone and even stay informed about what’s happening around the city.
Well, LinkNYC teamed up with the NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications to offer NYC small businesses FREE advertising on their 55-inch computerized screens for up to one month via the LinkLocal program. With a plan to install 7,500 kiosks throughout NYC by 2020, this could mean major visibility and increased sales for your business.
Why is LinkNYC being so generous to NYC entrepreneurs and small businesses?
LinkNYC has a social mission to support local businesses and ensure that they are viable in their neighborhoods and throughout NYC. Thank You LInkNYC :)
How do I apply because my business could use some free advertising, like yesterday?
To apply to receive free advertising on the LInkNYC kiosks is pretty simple. You just need to complete their online questionnaire here. The decision makers over at LinkNYC and the LinkLocal program don’t have a strict criteria on how they choose businesses to advertise with them for free, but they largely go off of instinct according to Kate Blumm, Assistant Commissioner for Communications at the NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications.
Shoot your shot NYC entrepreneurs and businesses. Apply here.
Why is this a big deal for NYC businesses and entrepreneurs?
This is a big deal because tens of thousands of people could view your ad via the LinkNYC kiosks helping you to gain brand awareness and increase sales (fingers crossed). Because many mom and pop businesses cannot afford to advertise their businesses to their communities on the LinkNYC kiosks, it helps level the playing field some.
Brooklyn Entrepreneurs, BRIC, the organization that creates free cultural programing in Brooklyn and heavily supports artists and media makers in developing their work and reaching new audiences, offers FREE space and equipment for you to produce your podcasts, shows and other media work.
If you have an idea for a podcast, show, video or other media work, BRIC is a great local resource that can support you with not only free space, equipment and airtime on their channel, but they also offer lots of low cost creative programs and workshops on everything from podcasting, video, audio and photography to name a few.
How do I sign up to use BRIC’s space and equipment?
Check out their website and complete their application to get free access to their space and equipment here.
Who loves a good business plan competition? We do.
Our favorite website platform, Squarespace and our favorite basketball team (when they are winning), the NY Knicks are teaming up for the second year to give away $30,000 to four lucky small businesses in the NYC, tri-state area via the Make it Awards.
What else are they giving away?
Here is what the 4 winning businesses will win:
A $30,000 grant
One-on-one mentorship with one of the judges from the Make it Awards
Two tickets to one of the NY Knicks regular season home games.
On-court recognition for being a winner at one of the NY Knicks games.
Inclusion in one digital content piece recapping the winner’s “Make it Awards” experience
A one-year subscription to Squarespace services.
How will the judges decide who wins?
Like any business plan competition, you have to complete a application to enter. The Make it Awards judges will decide who wins the big prize based on their criteria. Here is what they are looking for.
Business Presentation: 75%
Originality of what you hope to get out of your business mentorship: 10%
How your business will benefit the New York (or Tri-State) community: 10%
Other unique details about your business: 5%
How do you apply?
You can learn more about the Make it Awards and apply to the grant opportunity by visiting their website here. The deadline to apply is December 14th, 2018, so get going.
As always, please share this opportunity with anyone that you think it can help.
If you are a NYC entrepreneur, startup or business owner and you are looking to raise $10,000 or less in 30 days, Kiva is your answer. Kiva is a debt crowdfunding platform that provides interest free loans up to $10,000 for entrepreneurs and business owners in NYC. You heard me right, interest FREE. You can learn more about Kiva here or you can jump straight to how to get started on Kiva below.
Visit Kiva.org and set up an account
Set up an account on Kiva using Facebook or your email.
Setup a PayPal account
Set up a Paypal account if you don’t already have one. Kiva uses PayPal to send money to borrowers/business owners after they raise their loan.
Complete Kiva’s loan application
The loan application helps Kiva to understand more about you, your business, how much money you are looking to raise and the purpose of the loan. The application includes a few questions on your personal and business background, loan request, and your personal and business financial condition (i.e. income, expenses, debt, credit score)
Create a campaign
To market and raise money from your audience and the Kiva community of lenders, you have to create a campaign, which includes your personal and business story, a detailed outline of how the money will be used, and a picture or video of you, the borrower.
Wait for Kiva’s feedback
After submitting your application and campaign, Kiva will review it and get back to you within 10-15 business days with more information and next steps. Their feedback and next steps will include things that you need to do to tighten up your application and campaign if needed. They will also outline how much money you can raise on their platform, how long you will have to pay back the loan (6-36 months), and how many lenders from your own network that you will need to have before they can open your campaign up to the larger Kiva community of over 1.5M lenders (see step 7)
Develop a marketing strategy
While waiting to hear back from Kiva, start developing and executing a marketing strategy to let your audience and the world know about your fundraising campaign. Make sure to include email. social media, and making phone calls as a part of your strategy.
Raise money from your audience first
Once your campaign is ready to go live, you will go through a private fundraising phase, where you will have 15 days to raise money from a predetermined number of people/lenders in your own network, which is determined by Kiva. The purpose of the private fundraising phase is to prove your creditworthiness. Kiva wants to ensure that your personal network trusts you by lending you as little as $25 before going on to the next phase, where lenders from around the world can lend to your campaign.
Go public and raise money from Kiva’s global community of lenders
Once you meet your private fundraising goal, Kiva will open your campaign up to their global network of more than 1.5M lenders to view and lend to your campaign, where you will have 30 days to raise any additional money to hit your funding goal.
When you reach your funding goal, Kiva will send you the money that your raised almost instantaneously on Paypal.
Pay back your loan
Depending on the agreement of your interest free loan with Kiva, you will have 6-36 months to pay back the lenders who supported your campaign. You, the borrower, pays Kiva monthly monthly and they will handle the backend to ensure that all of your lenders are paid back in full.
Ready to start raising money for your business on Kiva?
Let us help you. Sign up for a progress hour