A waist-up shot of Grow with Google digital coach Dana James Mwangi.
In addition to being a Grow with Google digital coach, Dana James Mwangi is the founder and owner of branding and web consultancy Cheers Creative. — Dana James Mwangi

For entrepreneurs, balancing the responsibilities of running a company while looking toward the future can be a challenging task. It’s easy for certain processes to get lost in the shuffle or for necessary projects to be left on the back burner. While this can sustain an organization in the short term, it can be detrimental to long-term success.

That’s why Grow with Google digital coach Dana James Mwangi encourages entrepreneurs to get (and stay) organized to scale their companies.

“Organization of every part of your business — including and especially … the structure [and] flow of your services — helps you to know your process inside and out,” said James Mwangi, who is also the owner of Cheers Creative. “It also makes you a better and more confident seller ... [which] increases trust, because you sound like an expert.”

Here’s how entrepreneurs can organize their internal processes and focus on the right activities to drive lasting growth.

[Read more: Why Business Success Takes Consistent Effort]

Start with organizing and automating your client inquiry process

James Mwangi recommended entrepreneurs start the organization process with client inquiry management.

“A lot of entrepreneurs miss out on deals and money because they don’t respond [quickly] enough, or they just don’t know what to do next, or they’re so overwhelmed because they don’t have a client management system,” she explained.

“Almost any client management system out there integrates with [calendar and video conferencing tools],” James Mwangi continued. “When you [organize your process], that impresses clients … now you’re not missing appointments, [you’re] controlling your time.”

Don’t get caught up in too many choices

With countless digital tools in the marketplace, James Mwangi also cautioned business owners about spending too much time in the research process without making a choice.

“You end up doing months and months of researching tools instead of using the tools,” she stressed. “We trick ourselves into thinking that’s productivity, and it’s not.”

Instead, James Mwangi encouraged entrepreneurs to simply pick a tool and grow with it.

“You’re going to end up being a better business owner and making more money, because you’re not spending all this time trying to find the absolute perfect platform,” James Mwangi added. “Starting with a platform and using it as you grow your business will inform you on what tools you really need to be using.”

Organization of every part of your business helps you to know your process inside and out.

Dana James Mwangi, founder and owner of Cheers Creative

Develop a consistent brand

From her experiences creating assets delivered to large companies such as Wells Fargo and SunTrust, James Mwangi learned about the importance of brand recognition and consistency.

“Brand design is not just bringing brand awareness and creating brand recognition. It is literally brand protection,” she explained. “[Designing for large companies] taught me that I must approach branding in a holistic way … We’re sitting with a brand guide so that no matter who touches your brand, it’s consistent.”

When it comes to developing and maintaining your brand, especially when collaborating with others, organization is key: “I learned how to collaborate with digital tools, I learned the importance of organization and naming folders, and I carry those habits with me.”

[Read more: Building a Brand from Scratch? Start With These Tips]

Focus on income-generating activities

For entrepreneurs looking to grow their business, it’s crucial to put time and effort into income-generating activities, said James Mwangi.

She defined income-generating activities as those that allow you to “strengthen your net to capture all of the attention from viral moments, press, TV [and] appearances.” These can include calculating financials, organizing proposals and contracts and improving customer service processes.

“Posting on social media is great, but let’s say you go viral and you have no structure,” James Mwangi emphasized. “You don’t want to be caught without systems.”

Putting your efforts toward income-generating activities will not only drive financial growth, but also allow businesses to scale their operations more readily.

“Doing this helps you to be ready to hire somebody else to come in and help you,” explained James Mwangi.

Learn more about the Grow with Google Digital Coaching program here.

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Published July 28, 2021