Every month in the beginning I take 3 empty page, write something on it and stick them in my room where I can see them everyday. What are these three pages?
Page 1: Pending Money
I don't have the luxury to hire an accountant or someone who can simply take care of collecting money for all the work that we guys do at sparxsys. At any given time we usually do 5-6 projects, sometimes more, sometimes less but we do have lots of projects which are in maintenance. Every month we need to ask our dear clients to pay us pending dues, that is important activity for us so that we can pay our salaries and cover our expenses. Every month I prepare a list of all such pending payments. The active projects priorities are also defined by how much cash flow is coming and from which client.
For instance there are two client. One is paying x amount for 2 month project and other is paying x amount for 1 month project, so obviouly we give more attention to the later. We make it very clear to the client that amount of money is directly proportional to the service and quality of work. Of course we never work below a certain limit.
Page 2: Open Leads
We always have projects in pipeline and many people contact us regularly, either for Drupal services or JIRA Training. Getting new projects and making new clients is also important. It also ensures that we have plenty of work that will pay for our expenses. Now sometimes we do get lazy on this aspect but as a business owner who need to make sure that business is coming otherwise the company will eventually fail.
Page 3: Daily Time Table
I follow a well defined time table everyday, expect when I need to meet someone. I divide my day into various slots and each slot is dedicated to my work based on their priorities and more importantly the value they bring to the company and every month I spend some time thinking about what activity need to be done at what time, so I can utilize my time wisely and have a productive day in the end. I keep improvising my daily schedule a bit but I always keep some uninterrupted time only for myself that is usually 3AM to 6AM in the morning when no one calls me. I don't check emails or browse the net. I disconnect internet sometimes during this time too. Rest of the day can never be planned ahead. A new client could ask you to meet or people will call us.
Running a company is not easy. In the end the cash flow matters, especially in service industry where we work under pressure. We just work 4.5 days a week and this has only been possible because we plan ahead with great precision.