Organization is one of the most important aspects to running a successful business. Small businesses, which have to be self-reliant for many things that might be outsourced by larger companies, especially need to have superior organizational systems. Here are six organizational best practices for new small businesses.
Switch to Digital Files
Many companies still rely heavily on paper documents and filing procedures. There are several reasons why this is no longer the best choice for small business owners. Physical files get lost, and wear out in time. They also take up a lot of space. Digitization eliminates all of these problems. Moving to a computer system can be intimidating for people who aren’t comfortable with technology. However, it can be prudent to hire someone to teach you the basics, as services will only continue moving onto computers.
Create File Naming Protocol
Have you ever named a document or file on the computer and then forgotten what you called it? It can be really annoying, if not impossible, to find that key document later if you didn’t give it an intuitive name. This can be a nightmare when it happens in your small business. Instead of just giving your files random names, create a naming protocol from the beginning. By doing this, you will be much more likely to find what you need when you need it.
Backup Your Information
Data backup is another important element to your small business’s digital organization. Losing critical company information can be catastrophic for a small business. Luckily, there are several ways you can make sure your data stays safe. One way to back up your files is to simply move them to an external hard drive. This is a fairly affordable option. Another route is to get a cloud data backup subscription. Cloud storage automatically saves your files to a third-party online platform that can be accessed anywhere with an Internet connection. There are many services in this field, so prices are typically competitive—especially for small business-sized accounts.
Use an Invoicing Service
Many small businesses use freelancers, who don’t always receive steady payments. Often, small business owners simply can’t hire accounting personnel to help with payroll. For people in this boat, it’s smart to consider onlineinvoicing for small businesses. Websites like this take the headache out of having to pay people. Having a dedicated dashboard that shows outstanding and overdue payments lets you know exactly who to pay at what time.
Keep Your Office Clean and Orderly
Unless you’re an artist or someone in a creative field, your workspace should adhere to some degree of order. Small businesses owners need to keep this advice in mind for their stores and offices. For one thing, a dirty or disorganized store will drive away customers. As a small business owner, however, you might not be able to afford a janitor.Create a system for maintaining a clean workspace. Your commitment to cleanliness will depend on how much you have face-to-face interaction with customers. It’s also a good idea to consider the ergonomics of your office or store. A better overall layout will preemptively eliminate issues.
Don’t Fall Behind on Emails
If you’re a small business owner, it’s likely that you get a lot of emails from customers, potential employees and vendors. All your business-related emails are important, and should be responded to with a sense of timeliness. Being slow or unresponsive with email can cause you to lose potential sales, or miss valuable connections. It’s smart to set aside at least one time every day (more if you’re really getting a lot of emails) to sit down and respond to messages. This will help you make more money, while also giving people a positive impression of you and your business.
These are a few of the best steps small business owners can take to improve the organization of their company. Keeping your small business organized will allow for greater future opportunities.