Your small business is likely one of the most important things in your life. There are some easy ways to keep your small business organized and keep everything running smoothly.
One of the best ways to keep your small business organized is to be consistent in every aspect of your business. If you have repetitive types of files you use such as contracts, invoices, and schedules per project for example – create a consistent file structure so everyone that needs necessary information can find it every time. This filing system set up can be used for both hard copy or electronic files.
Teach your employees to file the same papers the same way every time to keep things easy to find.
If the mail gets opened and filed at the same time every day, it’s less likely you’ll lose a bill or important tax document. Employees can help with this and they will follow your example!
Organizational efforts can be a minimalist exercise. With all the options for saving files electronically, and the ability to back up those files, there is very little need for paper receipts or hard copy papers anymore. All that clutter needs to be destroyed properly either by shredding, burning, or other certified destruction processes instead of simply the trash or recycling. A great way to cut down on the clutter before it even starts is to request electronic billing from the start if customers or vendors offer it as an option. Make it policy to only email invoices and other paperwork if your customers specifically request hard copies – it’s more earth friendly, it’s traceable, and it’s clutter-free. Implement a Clean Desk Policy to ensure your employees clear out or file away papers at the end of every work day.
This ensures things get taken care of in real time and don’t pile up. Taking care of organization in small chunks and maintaining it makes organization much more manageable.
Utilize all the technology available to help with your organization. Chances are, if you have an organizational dilemma, there’s an app or program for that.Do you need to keep track of employees while they travel? TripIt was invented for that!Are there multiple sales leads and projects that many people need to have access to and maintain? Check out Podio. Ask other small business owners what their favorite apps or programs are for keeping their businesses organized.
The Right Database
Nearly every business needs an information database to keep track of customer and vendor information.
There are so many database options available that it may be daunting to try and pick one.
You can use everything from an Excel spreadsheet to very high tech project management software- as long as it works for you. Check with an industry consultant or a colleague if you aren’t sure where to begin.
There will almost always be down time at some point in a business’s day to day operations where small projects can get effectively done. Keep a public, running to-do list of these items that you’d like help from your employees on.A list for a group of employees can be kept near the punch clock or on a bulletin board with other announcements and information. Shared outlook calendars can also be useful, and likely is already available. This will allow employees to show initiative, to self start, and to keep themselves busy and productive all day with limited additional direction.Even if you are your only employee, a reminder of the things you’d like to get done will help keep you motivated.
If you think having a list of incomplete items in a place you always see it will leave you with more anxiety than motivation, strategically place that list somewhere you will only see it if you aren’t overwhelmed. Do you have a spot you like to sit and rest when you feel like everything is done? Keep your list easily accessible there so you can evaluate it while taking a quick break.
Keeping your small business (and your life!) organized will help keep things running smoothly.
Contact us today to see how we can help with your organizational needs!