First published on the ABN Her Business Blog
If you dig deep into your multitude of email Inbox folders you will find a wealth of information that shouldn’t be hidden but should be shared with your team or clients. As a solo-preneur it’s quite easy to rely on your Inbox as the holy grail of much needed information. But as your business grows you often need to be able to share information with others in a more manageable way.
So, how could you change the way you access, use and store all this information?
Think of your email client as a tool, a gatekeeper that lets information in and sends it out. Now imagine that you cannot store any sent or received emails as they will self-destruct in 6 seconds. Does that have your attention? Makes you think twice doesn’t it? If your email Inbox would not hold that precious information where exactly could you store it?
Perhaps an email relates to a project? This could be an actual project such as building a new website or could refer to ongoing work with a client. This kind of information should be stored in a project management system.
What about an email communicating with a new prospect? This type of communication should be generated from and stored in your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
How about an email to a team member instructing them on a particular task or process? That type of information belongs in your business intranet and/or tasks management system of the business.
Does every email belong in another system? Not always, as some email truly is private and confidential. But you’ll find that proper storage and sharing of the majority of your email will not only benefit your team and other interested parties, but also create structure around information flowing in and out of your business.
How would you start such a process? I certainly wouldn’t try and tackle your entire email Inbox; you may never actually get started. But what you can do is setup your project management, customer relationship management and intranet systems and utilise these systems for all new communication (ie. Email). Once you get a feel for how these systems work for your business you will then know which “folders” in your email Inbox to tackle next; they will be the folders that hold the “gold” information that once shared could make your business run much more efficiently.
What about you? What wealth of information are you hoarding in your email Inbox that if shared could have tremendous impact on the efficiencies of your business?