Time Management of Mail

Piles of Mail

Do not underestimate how quickly your mail can pile up. 

As a new business owner you will get lots of solicitations. You will get "special deals" from credit card companies, mortgage companies, car dealers, and every type of insurance company under the sun.

Most of the solicitations you receive will be harmless trash to add to the "To Shred" pile, but every once in a while you will find clever advertisements disguised to look like a bill. 

One in particular to watch out for is a solicitation to be listed in a knock-off of the Yellow Pages. It looks like you are paying your regular Yellow Pages bill (with the "walking fingers" logo and all), but if you look closely in very fine print in some obscure location it says, This is not a bill. This is a solicitation.

If you are in a hurry or not keeping close track, it is easy to pay the fake bill and end up with a subscription you do not want or need.

At the same time you will be receiving important notices and bills to renew your acupuncture license, pay your malpractice insurance, and update your business information for the health department. 

You must find a system to deal efficiently and effectively with all the mail you receive.

How do other successful business owners handle the deluge of mail? I like the approach of Jack Canfield, author of The Success Principles. He states that successful business owners handle their mail one time and one time only by doing one of three things upon receiving their mail. 

Tip #1: Discard It.
Or better yet, shred it. Do not allow junk mail to accumulate, including magazines and brochures that you plan to "read later". Have recycle bin handy and "file" anything in there that you think you will "read later". If it is still untouched on trash day than out is goes with the recycling.

Tip #2: Do It.
That means if it is a bill, pay it now. If it requires a call or an email, take care of it right then and there. Once you have taken the required action, discard or file the mail. One note about filing: only file the necessary paperwork. Discard or recycle the envelope it came in and any other miscellaneous ads or notices.

Tip #3: Delegate It.
Your time is precious. Use it to do only those things that require your specific attention. If you are fortunate to have a staff then allow them to follow up on any solicitations or inquires and get back to you with the pertinent information.

Your goal should be to handle each piece of mail one time only. It is a good habit to get into and one used by some of the most successful business owners. 

Time Management of Deliveries 
Time Management Basics