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The Four Basic
Divisions of Business
Manage your business with
a plan. Color code your workload!
by Lisa M. Roberts
Finance, administration, production and
sales form the basis of every business, and a home business owner
is just as aware of these four basic divisions as any other business
owner. As you develop yourself as a sole proprietor, you'll come
to learn that the tasks you perform to manage your business boil
down to the following basic "departments":
- bookkeeping, payroll, collection.
- typing, filing, phones, office supplies, mail.
- performing the core services or buying the merchandise.
- Sales - along
The difference between a big
business, small business and home business is in the volume.
There are only so many products a one-person operation can sell,
or only so many services a one-person operation can perform.
Therefore the tasks involved in supporting that core business
(product or service) are scaled down in proportion. The financial,
administrative and sales end of a home business are manageable
for one person -- because the volume of work expands or contracts
in direct relation to the capabilities and limitations of the
home business owner.
Still, how does a sole proprietor
keep track of the four basic divisions of business ownership?
The answer may be in color coding. Let's color finances green, administration
yellow and sales red.
tasks involving money are colored green. These may include:
depositing and recording checks.
equipment, supplies, advertising and outside help.
books and evaluating financial outlook.
tax forms or meeting with accountant.
- All tasks involving administration are
colored blue. These would include:
- Reading and
and maintaining mailing lists.
- Filing and
answering phone calls.
Yellow Production - All tsks involving production are colored
with clients or meeting with vendors.
the service or preparing the product.
the end result.
tasks involving sales are colored red. These include:
designing, producing and distributing promotional materials.
advertising and publicity opportunities.
to clients or customers.
Now that the colors are grouped
together, they are easier to move around. Some home business
owners color their weeks like so: Mondays red,
yellow, Wednesdays green, Thursdays blue, Fridays Rainbow. While
every day is likely to be a mixture of activities, the emphasis
will be on the color of the day. Other home-based entrepreneurs
color their days: mornings green,
red, evenings blue, nights yellow.
With this method, you may have:
- Most evenings off -- finances
for a home business rarely need attention every day.
- Light days -- administration
and sales can be broken up into bite-size assignments throughout
- Intensive nights -- a good time
for focused, uninterrupted work.
Once you find your work pattern,
the myriad tasks that are needed to manage a business may all
settle naturally into place. So don't worry too much right now
about the colors until you have a firm work schedule that fits
your personal clock and family needs. But if you do run
into trouble...remember the colors. They can be neatly arranged
and can assist you in snapping the Big Picture into place.
- © 1997 Lisa M. Roberts, all rights reserved. The above article
is an excerpt from How
to Raise A Family & A Career Under One Roof: A Parent's Guide
to Home Business, a title highly recommended by La Leche
League, Home Office Computing and the Family Christian
your own copy today!