Strong organization is one aspect that all successful small businesses share. Organization ensures that a business functions efficiently, leading to opportunities to reduce costs and increase profitability. A highly organized small business will also be more adaptable to change, and may be able to scale more effectively to take advantage of increased sales or a growing market.
If you want your small business to succeed in 2018, then you can gain a lot from learning and implementing the most important organizational strategies and tips.
Clean Up Your Office Space and Keep It Simple and Functional
Something as simple as streamlining your office space can make your business more organized and efficient. If you’re working in clutter with unorganized systems, then you’ll be wasting time every day just looking for documents, tools, and information that you need. A clean and streamlined workspace is not just more efficient, but it also allows for a more comfortable environment where you’ll feel more positive and productive.
- Go through your paper files, discard unnecessary documents, and store or digitize the ones that you need to keep.
- Remove desk clutter from your workspace, keeping only what you need to perform your work.
- Remove old gadgets and electronics that are no longer working or that no longer function. Old electronics don’t need to be discarded, and can instead be donated to schools or local charities.
- Look at everything in your workspace and ask yourself whether you’ve had a need for it in the past year. Anything that hasn’t been used can be removed.
Sifting through piles of junk is time consuming and unproductive. You’ll notice a significant improvement in productivity and comfort, just by cleaning up your office space. If you have employees, then you can lead by example before initiating a push to unclutter the workspaces throughout your office.
Discover More Affordable and Effective Software Solutions
You’ll lose efficiency if you’re using a mixture of software and paper solutions to get your work done. If you are storing files locally then you are opening your business up to the risk of crippling data loss.
Any small business in 2018 will gain from moving to cloud based software solutions and storage.
G Suite is a feature packed offering from Google that combines email, document creation, and a powerful business application suite that can take the place of many of your outdated software programs. You’ll also be able to use cloud storage so that your data is stored securely with no chance of local data loss. G Suite can be used by you and your employees on computers, phones, and tablets, so you will be able to work from anywhere that you have an internet connection
There are many competing solutions, and small startups could even get by with free solutions in the earliest days of business. Office 365 is another option and provides access to industry standard Microsoft software products.
Paperwork can consume a significant amount of time as you try to organize and store records like invoices, contracts, and customer details. Going paperless will allow you to save time in organizing all of your data, and you’ll even save physical space because you won’t need to store every single document that relates to your business transactions.
Smart invoicing is a fairly new and effective way to reduce your paperwork. Companies like QuickBooks offer mobile invoicing and CRM services that are convenient and affordable for small businesses. There are plenty of paperless systems on the market that offer similar features, so you’ll want to spend some time researching a paperless system that meets the needs of your unique business model.
Develop a Business Plan
A business plan is essentially a rough blueprint for the future of your business. What are the goals of your business, and what processes and tools do you have in place to achieve those goals? Business plans aren’t just for your personal use. You can develop targeted plans to help guide employees, or you may even use a business plan for investor proposals or when seeking credit from lenders.
Your business plan should include the concept of your business (what you offer, your market, your business structure. Your market will be described in detail, and you will need to create target customer profiles, as well as profiles of your key competitors. Your business plan will also include your company structure and financial details.
A business plan can be hugely motivating and it also allows you to look at your company from a high level viewpoint, allowing you to quickly discover areas of inefficiency.
Use a Personal Schedule
A schedule can help you to remain organized by clearly tracking business tasks and other responsibilities. Keeping a regular schedule makes you accountable for your time, and can help with setting and achieving your business goals. A schedule also has a positive influence by removing opportunities to procrastinate or otherwise waste the time that you have available.
A personal and business schedule doesn’t have to be completely rigid, but it does need to allocate time to all of your key tasks and deliverables. Make sure the schedule begins from the start of your day, and that it includes personal activities such as your morning routine (gym, family etc.) as well as business meetings and tasks. It’s also beneficial to set daily time aside for personal learning and development. If you can spare 30 minutes or an hour to read business advice, watch prerecorded seminars, or perform research, then you’ll continually develop your skills as a business leader.
Being organized is an ongoing effort, but it will become second nature once you adopt the most basic strategies. An organized business allows you to focus on developing your products and services, growing your customer base, and ultimately finding success as an entrepreneur and business leader.