Why Organization and Lists are important for any business

In this episode I talk about how I organize my file structure to make collaborating on projects easier. Also I give an example on what a marketing list looks like for a startup, so that you can set goals for your company.

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Here’s the transcript from this podcast episode, please excuse any typos!

In today’s episode I’m going to talk about why organization and lists are very important for your business, your idea or your startup. When it comes to organization. What I’m talking about is your folder structure. This might sound boring or not that important. Believe it or not, I’ve worked with a ton of entrepreneurs in the past that just had one folder with all their documents in it. And it was so disorganized, when I asked for a particular document. They couldn’t get it for me. Where it took them forever to find it. And time is of the essence. You know the one thing you don’t want to do when you run a business is waste time. So when it comes to folder structure. Before I begin a project or an idea or anything related to a business. I always start by creating a bunch of folders that are going to be, you know, related to the different departments of the business, whether it’s just you or 10 people, doesn’t matter.

You need a business development folder or biz dev development folder for programming. You need a graphics folder for all of your graphics needs a legal and a marketing folder, and within these folders, you can put sub folders so for example with business development, you’re going to have a copy or content folder where you put all your content partnerships, press and media. A q&a folder, and these are all different folders for different things, all within the business development department for programming or development you’ll have something for architecture, a folder for back end, and front end. And once the wireframes. Then again, you can add more folders. It doesn’t have to be just for folders or five folders in graphics, you might want to have some stuff for branding, so put that into one folder. Same with your logos or social media content, all into separate folders, legal, you’ll have some investors, finances, NDA, or non disclosure agreements, um, some signed documentation, keep these all separate so you can find them really quick. And this all seems like common sense but once again marketing campaigns funnels onboarding press releases, keep it all separate.

This is all the type of stuff that I keep in my folders, when I create a new business and that way. When someone asks for something, I can just send some with one click, or if I add someone to a Dropbox or a Google Drive folder, and this is the structure, once they see the structure and they get to know what it is, guess what, they can start adding their stuff to those folders and I can find it easily. That’s another problem I’ve had collaborating with entrepreneurs is, they have a different file structure than I have. Or they organize things differently or not at all. And it’s very frustrating to try to find that file that we talked about two months ago. So by giving somebody my file structure, when we begin a project, and they’re forced to use it, guess what, we’re both putting files into the right folders and now I can find them a lot easier. So this is huge, I think, in my opinion, even though such a small thing is to do that. The next step is to use lists lists are important as well I mean, I’m sure you have a to do list or a grocery list and you’ve done that before. This is no different. This is a list for example, If you’re going to start a new business, and you want to come up with a list for your marketing stuff.

The list can have like 20 different bullet points and the reason why you want to consistently write down this stuff and put it onto a bullet list is number one so you don’t forget anything. Number two for goals so you know what kind of goals you want to reach in this business. And number three, it’s so that your, your collaborators, your employees, your founders, anyone who you work with can also help with these things so if they see your list of 20 things and they can do five of them. Well guess what that takes five things off your list you cross them off. And for example, let’s do this list for marketing purposes. So for marketing purposes. The list might say company logo, your mobile app icons. Your slogans, your campaign ideas.

You need an online survey. You’re going to need a MailChimp account and integrations for MailChimp for your emails. You’ll need a landing page with an email signup. Of course you’ll need a company website. You’ll need a blog setup and a way to distribute that content through social media. You’ll need a repository full of graphics, which is basically just a folder, full of those graphics I talked about in the separate folders. You should have a company video or at least an app demo video. You should have a spreadsheet with the keywords specific to your industry. So go on Instagram go on Twitter, go everywhere online and look up the keywords that fit your industry or your market, and put them into a spreadsheet so that everybody can see them and not have to look for them later.

You should have a target market demographic document so it shows, or even just like a note, somewhere in your notes that just talks about your age range the genders, the types of income levels, your demographics the basic demographics of the people that are going to be targeted in your marketing campaigns, social media accounts, social media management, so your account names your passwords how you know which site to use that kind of thing. You should have email templates, this is basically documents that just show what the emails should say, maybe some newsletter designs, press release templates. And then you’re going to need a bunch of stuff for the people that are going to join your company.

So documentation for your ambassador program, a brochure or flyer, a college intern manual. Your onboarding process documents so when you join the company, what are the things that you need to do first before you can actually do any work that’s called onboarding. And then there’s contests giveaways and promotional material. So, these are the types of things that should go on your list and you want to tackle them one by one. And as you cross them off one by one and you’re finally done you realize okay I did everything. That’s great. That’s what the list was for to keep you on a path to keep you motivated to keep you constantly doing something so that you’re not just filling your thumbs and wondering what you should do next. I noticed that a lot of entrepreneurs, or a lot of business owners actually that’s what happens.

They end up not doing any work because they don’t, they said they don’t know what they were supposed to do. Well, by providing a list. Same goes for your programmers. Same goes for your business owners and financial and legal, you should have a list for every aspect of your business especially your programmers they need to have a workflow document. They need to have on project management lists so that every single day you have a scrum daily standup that talks about the tasks, you’re gonna be working on every single day in programming things get a lot more detailed marketing and business it’s not so much it’s more so higher level so the list is more broad, but you can also drill those down to, for example, social media, might be one bullet point, but that might be, you know, Instagram stories, videos, graphics, campaigns partnerships with influencers, who might be trending hashtags.

Yep, you can really drill that down and each bullet point really should be drilled down, and as you make a list you can also make sub lists under those bullet points. But in the end, you should always make your organization and your lists, the number one priority when you’re starting a business or a company or product. And this way, you have a bird’s eye view to the entire concept, right in front of you. The entire business is laid out and funny, so that nothing slips through the cracks. Because you always want to stay one step ahead of everything. I hope now you’re going to be a super organizer and list maker.



Jason Sherman