4 Steps to Prioritizing on Your To Do List

November 07, 2011

Starting a business is always tough. The main catch 22 is being able to make money and spend money. You need to make money to spend money, but in most cases you need to spend money to make money.

Having started several business including, I've always found this to be the biggest challenge. Afterall, I can't make products to sell if I don't have supplies.

Being a big fan of the Steven Covey planning system, over the years, I've adapted the steps to help me decide what I need to spend money on first when starting my business:

  1. Write down everything you feel you need to buy or do for your business. And I mean everything: marketing, supplies, taxes, logos, website building, filing your business, etc... it should all go on this list
  2. Organize your list into three columns: A = most necessary, B = would be nice to have now and C = could do without it until "tomorrow". Most necessary meaning you absolutely cannot start your business without it
  3. Look at column A and number each item starting with "1". 1 being the most essential thing in that column
  4. Repeat step 4 for columns B and C

Congrats! You've organized your list!

Now you just need price out your list for those items that require funding. From there you can make a final decision on what items are completely necessary and which can wait until "tomorrow". Based on what you can afford now, the items can be moved up in priority or from column to column and items can always be added or deleted. Keeping things on this list will help clear your mind and (hopefully) ensure you don't spend unnecessarily. Because when starting a business every penny counts.

Hope these 5 steps help you as much as they help me to get organized or at least just less overwhelmed or from forgetting what you need done. Now, what are you going to organize first?

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