Disorganization can be costly for your small business. When you’re disorganized, you have to spend too much time looking for documents, files, or tools that you’ve misplaced. A lack of organization makes you stressed, and you may become forgetful or less creative. Worse, it can lead to missed deadlines or failed business deals.
To be a successful small business owner, you need to get organized. Are you overwhelmed about the idea of getting organized? Here are some tips to make it easier.
Set Aside Time for Organization
To make organization less stressful, don’t save it until the last minute. If you wait until your desk, filing cabinet, or inbox are out of control, getting organized will be much harder. Instead, break organization into manageable chunks by setting aside some time each day for the task.
For example, at the end of every workday, take a few minutes to tidy your desk, file your documents in the right places, and sort your email inbox. Before you leave work, make sure everything is in its proper place. When you arrive for work the next morning, the space will help you be a focused small business owner.
Plan Your Workdays
As your business grows, you won’t be able to remember every task you need to accomplish, no matter how great your memory is. To avoid forgetting about important functions, you need to create a system to track them. Prioritize your tasks so the most important work gets done first.
At the beginning of each work day, make a list of the essential tasks you must complete that day. Be realistic, and don’t list more items than you can finish during your workday.
To track your many less urgent tasks, create a separate, master list. When you think of a task that needs to be completed at some point in the future, add it to your list. Review your master task list regularly, and move items to your daily task list when they need to be completed.
Leave Paper Behind
Paper can be a major source of disorganization for a small business owner. It piles up on your desk, overflows your filing cabinets, and gets lost. When you need an important document, it may take a long time to find, if you can find it at all. To become more organized, leave paper behind.
Transitioning to a paperless office means that you don’t need to store paper in filing cabinets in your office anymore, and you’ll have less clutter on your desk. You won’t need to worry about contracts, invoices, and client information getting lost in the clutter, since they’ll be easily searchable on your computer.
To go paperless, scan the documents in your filing cabinet and upload them to your computer. Going forward, send electronic invoices and proposals to your customers with billing and account management software to avoid creating new paper clutter.
Track Issues Centrally
Being disorganized doesn’t just mean that your desk is cluttered and you can’t find your paperwork; it can mean that important issues with customers, employees, or suppliers aren’t getting addressed. Resolving these issues in a timely fashion is necessary for your business’s continued success, so you need to become organized and track issues in a central location.
When issues are tracked centrally with an issue management system, you can see all of your business’s issues at a glance. You don’t need to search your email inbox or the stack of papers on your desk to find the issues that have been submitted to you. Since issues are all in one place, it’s much harder for you to lose them or forget about them, even if you’re not a naturally organized person.