Saturday, 6 September 2014

Getting organised

When my order book is very busy, as it is at this time of year especially, and my energy is almost entirely focused on my portraits, I find it particularly easy to let other aspects of my business slip. It's about finding a balance and I will gladly admit that balance isn't my strong point.

First and foremost on my mind recently has been my tax return which, to be fair, isn't due until January, but I really didn't want it hanging over my head longer than it had to be and I knew once it was done, I would relax that little bit more. Also, I'm off to Venice for a few days in a couple of weeks and I was aiming to have it done before then, since my return meant that Christmas would be EVEN closer and my panic would definitely set in!

Unfortunately, it isn't a half-day job (for me anyway; I'm not sure about others!) and I spent a long time printing out invoices and expense receipts until I had a huge pile of paperwork to go through which in itself took a whole evening. It made realise that I really should make a conscious effort to be more organised with my accounts. I guess it's one of those things you learn as you go with a small business. I keep all my receipts and I have an order book but I've decided that it would make my life SO much simpler if I kept up-to-date with these things; i.e. print out invoices once they are paid and the order is complete and shipped. 

Now that my tax return is done and submitted to HMRC, I definitely feel a teensy bit more relaxed and the fact that I've started a spreadsheet listing the status of all of my outstanding orders has helped me gain a sense of control. I've placed orders for packaging materials that were running low and started making notes for my website update in the new year, so now I feel completely justified in breathing a small sigh of relief.

It's amazing how much difference it can make to take a few days out just to get things ship-shape again. I feel like a weight has been lifted. Oh and I have to mention the beauty of writing a to-do list; it really helps! It's been said before my many but there really is a sense of immense satisfaction that comes with ticking an item of the list.

Now just to tackle my long list of portraits!