“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all messed up.”
– A.A. Milne
Being organized in your business can make a difference as to whether you and your business are reactive or proactive as opportunities and risks arise. A business that is organized is more productive, effective and runs more economically. Being organized will allow you to present a professional, positive image to your customers or clients. It puts you in a position to earn trust from your customers and secure their business. Some easy steps can be taken and some best practices can be implemented to start your business on its way to being organized.
- Get a calendar and use it. A calendar will allow you to manage your time more effectively. You can mark appointments and meetings, set reminders, track annual, weekly and daily activities. There are many electronic calendar solutions out there but depending on your preference you may prefer a paper calendar or diary that you can keep with you. Find what works best for you.
- Create your “To Do List” and prioritize your tasks. Identify both your long term and short term task lists. Make sure the lists are specific. For example on your long term to dos you should not use something vague such as “increase/grow business” but rather “secure three new clients this month/quarter”. Your short term list should consist of the tasks you can complete quickly and is more of a daily list for prioritizing what you need to get done.
- Implement a filing system to track your important documents – business licenses, articles of incorporation, tax returns, insurance policies etc. Keep folders for your clients or projects and separate by active and inactive. Remember to be specific – don’t use catch all files eg. “Miscellaneous” that become a dumping ground for everything. Online Cloud based filing systems offer an excellent way to organize your office documents and can be accessed securely by anyone with permission from any computer system.
- Create a space in the office where you can stash all the stuff that you don’t have time to put away right in the moment. An “unprocessed paper box” where you can deposit bills, receipts etc. Once you are ready to organize these items they will all be in one spot and you don’t have to turn the office upside down looking for that missing receipt. Remember to schedule regular time to address your stash box. You don’t want it to turn into a mountain of paperwork!
- Find a system for tracking the performance of your business. Whether you track using manual spreadsheets or accounting software it is important to track trends in your business to determine profitability and to identify areas of concern. This allows you to identify what works for your business and what doesn’t.
- Accept that not everything will be perfectly organized. Reserve your best effort for the most important items; perhaps client related items and tracking business performance, but do enough to just get the job done on less important items such as organizing an internal, informal lunch.
- Clear your desk – keep a space away from the computer free of paper and clutter to actually work in when you need to be focused and think clearly on a project.
- Remember to ask for help when you need it! Rua can help with giving you freedom from chaos. We provide home and office support and organizational services ranging from office set –up, mail sorting, supply ordering, calendar organization, filing, and bill paying.