An organized business is a productive business and yet, for most small business owners, organization is often disregarded and undervalued. Don’t believe it? Try out these seven things on your business and see immense difference in efficiency and productivity!
- Declutter. Start with the basic – getting rid of things that are just taking up space but are of no use to you any longer. Best place to start? Both your desk AND your computer desktop. Get rid of all the papers piling up on your desks. File the important ones, and dump/shred the trash. Start clearing and organizing your desktop, create folders for your files and transfer them to your documents, and only leave the ones you need access to the most in your desktop. A clear workplace makes for a clearer head to do work.
- Get rid of backlog. Set a half day where you (or you and your employees) can completely go through stuff that has been put off one too many times and complete it. This is the perfect chance to clear the load and make space for incoming work. Oftentimes, one’s productivity in the present is affected by the nagging voice in their head that goes “I still have x amount of things to do, I’ve been putting them off for y amount of months now, and I feel like I won’t have time to get them done, period.” Get rid of this thought by setting time to get rid of the backlogged work.
- Define a system. Revisit your business organizational system and see if what worked then still works now. No system is a one size fits all and so as the business grows and changes, so should it. Analyze the pros and cons of the system you have now, and from there develop a new one that is more fitting for where the business is currently. Sticking to something that is outdated just because it is familiar is what hinders progress for most small businesses.
- Use checklists and calendars. While this may seem like such a meaningless task, especially when you’re a busy small business owner with a million and one things running through your head, spending a couple of minutes on this can actually go a long way. Think about it, how many work-related moments of stress have you had because you forgot to do this or that? Take time out of the beginning of your day to create a checklist of things you need to finish. This shouldn’t be exclusive to just the big things, make sure to include all the mini tasks you have to do as well. Make use of calendars that are connected to your e-mail, such as Google Calendar or Outlook, to increase efficiency.
- Plan the next tax year. Tax season is often one of the most stressful parts of a small business owner’s year, and it’s usually because of having to get everything needed ready in a small amount of time. If you’ve been cramming this for the past few years, it’s time to put more effort into planning ahead for tax season. Organize all your tax documents, keep careful records of deductible items throughout the year, talk to your accountant early, and deciding how you’re going to file taxes are some of the things you can do to avoid the stress.
- Manage your finances. Set aside time to review your numbers every week. While this may seem like a tedious task and not something you need to do as often as this, it will help you make financial management a part of your routine. You want to avoid any surprise cash flow problems, and the best way to do this is to constantly being updated on it. If you haven’t yet, enhance efficiency by taking advantage of modern technology and start using an app or a software to help you organize your finances. Check out our list of the best budgeting apps for small businesses here.