Jessie J sings, “It’s not about the money, money, money.” She sings “Forget about the price tag.” Should we? What are we about? The money, the lifestyle, or the balance?
Amanda was wondering the same thing when in 2009 the GFC hit and she was made redundant amongst her thousands of other colleagues from a great multinational corporate company. A balanced job with her boss always making sure her lifestyle and work were in sync.
So what to do? Look around again for the “right” balance? Not possible. Start her own business? Yes! So the research began. Amanda came across AAPO “Australasian Association of Professional Organisers”. What is this you ask? What is a Professional Organiser? Maybe it’s someone who can put your life back in balance.
So to start a small business where do you go and whom do you ask? So Amanda saw her accountant and explained what she would like to do – make work places more efficient, more Streamlined, so the administrative processes and systems work seamlessly and without thought, so everyone is in sync and saves time every day. Impossible? Not entirely. A professionally organised approach. Can this be achieved in life too? A balance?
So Amanda said to her accountant that she would like to Professionally Organise offices. They took a tour around his office and she immediately started to realise how much they might need her organising skills. After 20 years in administrative roles these things were plain to see. The messy bookshelf made the office look cluttered, not to mention the stationery that might fall on someone’s head. Oh, an OHS nightmare!
The phone started ringing and was left unanswered because the receptionist was busy. Where was the process? There was 16 staff in the office. Amanda continued on her tour and saw 10 old filing cabinets full of client and office files. What potential there was for this office to be efficient & Streamlined. And then she saw it. The desk from hell! Well, Amanda’s professionally organised Hell! It was full of files, papers, coffee cups, books, financial magazines, spreadsheet printouts and more. How could they find anything? Amanda’s mind started working overtime and wandering up and down the aisles of her favourite stationery shop finding possibilities of how she could streamline this desk. Oh, the systems she could put in place to manage this chaos! Imagine the money this company could save if its employees were professionally organised. Would you call this a hidden profit?
The employees she walked past looked up from their work with glazed and questioning looks on their faces. Amanda’s accountant explained a little while later that he had not had time to setup that team meeting he had been meaning to get to. The employees were lacking in communication. There was low morale. The phone wasn’t always answered because they needed more administrative staff. He said there was no time. He was mopping up fires for clients who were yelling at him to help. He was overwhelmed and working ridiculous hours to try to get everything done.
The first thing to look at was the Business Owner’s own time management. He needed to plan his day/week/projects. He needed to delegate and train his staff to handle the important calls from the clients so he could manage the business and look at the strategic growth. Where was he going in the next 12 months, 5 years? What did he need to get there?
Over the coming months Amanda sat with each and every one of the staff members and taught them to manage their time and delegate effectively. She also showed them ways to organise their desks so they could find things quickly. The office was cleaned up with easy but effective tricks and a new lateral filing system was installed. The old filing cabinets were given away to charity and new cupboards built. The kitchen was updated and the reception area given a new lease of life as well.
Now when a client rings this office to get accounting advice the phone is answered in an efficient and professional way and all calls are attended to in a timely manner. Processes were put in place to ensure this happens every time. Procedures were written for every task, and policies put in place to ensure efficiency in every situation. Employee productivity was being measured and was beginning an upward trend.
In a nutshell the office is efficient, effective and streamlined, systems work seamlessly and without thought. Amanda has brought balance to the office. The business owner can now go home at night and spend time with his family because he has put systems in place so he does not have to work such long hours. Ah, balance!
What is it about? The money, the lifestyle or maybe the balance? A professionally organised approach is brought in and balance can be achieved.