Some people swear by their “organized chaos.” They claim it helps them think better, and they know where everything is in the mess.
But as a small business owner, your organizational strategies hold the key to your success. Clutter and a lack of processes could cause you to miss collecting unpaid invoices or forget about bills and end up with late fees.
It’s not healthy for your business, and it’s harder on your brain than you might realize. Over time, the constant clutter impacts your cognition and prevents you from focusing. Eventually, it’ll turn into cognitive overload and cause burnout.
There’s enough stress for you to deal with throughout the day. Don’t let poor organizational skills add to your problems. Use these strategies to get your small business neat and orderly in no time!
1. Simplify Your Workspace
Every good organizational strategy starts with decluttering as the first step. You don’t know what you don’t know until you dig in and clear out the junk!
As a business owner, decluttering looks different than it does when you’re cleaning out your closet or spring cleaning or undertaking space management. This type of straightening up means thoroughly tidying any place you work on your business.
How to Straighten Your Work Area
Focusing on the big stuff and moving into a final target is an excellent way to get started. Here’s an example decluttering checklist for your workspace:
- Go over any visible surface and throw (or give) away trash or anything not useful.
- Rearrange furniture and electronics so that they are more conveniently located.
- Move personal mementos to one area that you don’t frequently use for work. If space is limited, get a shelf and hang it, then display your pictures and knick knacks there.
- Clear off your desk of anything that you don’t use every day.
- Straighten up your drawers, so there are no “junk” or miscellaneous areas.
- Go through paper files and put them where they belong.
- Clear out your in and out bins and your email inbox.
- Clean out anything unnecessary on your work computer.
- Organize your email inbox into folders and sort out important files, storing them in a cloud program.
By the time you’ve finished your “get organized” checklist, you’ll already be noticing a difference in your day.
2. Invest In (or Make Use of) a CRM
Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms are an essential part of a successful business. These sophisticated programs help you streamline your daily processes.
From how your staff and clients interact with you to the way you see your bottom line, it’s all easy to implement with the right CRM.
Yes, these software programs are usually an investment you have to make. But they end up paying for themselves and then some when you use them the way they’re intended.
For instance, your CRM can help you review your accounts receivable to see where your profits and losses are. This is a way to stay on top of your cash flow so you can make informed business decisions for your future.
Set your software program up to remind you when it’s time to review your financials or touch base with a client. Synch your calendar so everyone who needs to meet with you can see when you’re available and schedule an appointment.
All of these beneficial features and more are available in most of today’s CRM platforms.
3. Go Virtual Where You Can
Even if you have a brick-and-mortar business, the more virtual you are, the less you’re tied down.
The ultimate goal for most entrepreneurs is to be able to work from anywhere on their own schedule. To do this, you have to get your business solidly in the virtual world.
A CRM accomplishes a lot of this for you, but you have to be the one to initiate the processes. All your paperwork can become paperless by creating online templates for your clients to complete. If they have to sign by hand, scan the finished page and save it to your cloud storage.
Upload receipts, tax documents, and other financial info, then shred the originals. Set up automated bill payments where you can, and offer that option for your clients, too. You can consider using virtual tools such as Hosted QuickBooks and Cloud Virtual Desktop to automate your bookkeeping tasks etc.
Slowly, as you move each part of your business into its virtual counterpart, you’ll find yourself with more time on your hands. This is the great advantage of organization!
In your home, whether you’re organized or not is a personal choice. Aside from the stress clutter does to your mind, it doesn’t impact much more than your ability to find things quickly.
For small businesses, organization is an essential part of your profits. It can make or break how successful you become, and it plays a huge role in your stress level.
These three simple strategies can boost your bottom line and reduce your workload. Put in the time up front to get organized so you can enjoy the free time you’ll have later!
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