Do you have a new business or hope to start one soon? Have you thought about organizing a business and what that entails? Whatever it might look like now, if you’re going to start a business, you also should know how to organize a business.
Helping you do that is the goal of this article. Here, we’ll share several helpful organizing tips to get your space, processes, and frame-of-mind all headed in a forward-facing direction.
After reading this, you shouldn’t even think about dragging your feet or questioning your plan’s ambitiousness. You’ll be on your way to some outstanding accomplishments!
1. Organizing a Business’s Physical and Virtual Spaces
No matter what anyone says, you can’t work effectively in a dirty or cluttered environment. That means your office (and home if you work there) and your computer. A good business organization is about having a place for everything.
Dirt and clutter will distract and even depress you, and it will show in the quality of your work. There’s something about a neatly arranged desktop (physical and virtual) and organized space around you that will energize and motivate you.
Then, there’s your computer, which we’ll discuss again below. Here, we’ll mention briefly that your computer’s desktop is also a source of clutter that can overwhelm you and sap your energy.
Try to have the fewest desktop icons possible—leaving only those for easy access to programs you use regularly and maybe also any current project files you want to have at the ready.
2. Plan Ahead and Use To-Do Lists
Today, there are many different types of to-do lists. There are lots of to-do list apps, for example. But there are also the old-fashioned handwritten lists.
We prefer the latter. Why? Because pen and paper inspire our creativity while we get things done.
One product we love when making our to-do lists is shaped post it notes. You can press these clever stickies onto your lists to remind you of upcoming deadlines, meetings, or other “can’t miss” goings-on.
3. Work/Break at Intervals
You might have heard of the Pomodoro Technique® for staying disciplined at work. This innovative way of scheduling work divides your day into work intervals with periodic breaks. The idea is to keep your thoughts fresh and flowing.
Francesco Cirillo, the mind behind Pomodoro, suggests 25-minute work period periods, followed by five-minute breaks, with one or two longer breaks for lunch, exercise, and so on. But feel free to divide the time in a way that best suits you.
4. Discover and Use the Best Productivity Tools
If there’s a routine task you dread, one or more people have likely developed software or apps to make it easier—even fun. Putting events on a calendar is one example of today’s many digitally-innovated tasks.
If you choose the right calendar app for your specific needs, make sure you can access it from your phone, tablet, computer, or any other devices you might use. It wouldn’t be helpful if you weren’t able to access it from anywhere.
5. Keep Your Tax Records Well Organized
OK, show us the person who doesn’t stress about tax season (besides a tax accountant, that is). You don’t need to worry about taxes, though, provided you plan and organize business records, such as invoices and payment receipts.
Try to scan all of these documents, including your tax forms, and store them digitally on your computer with a secure cloud backup. If you don’t want to throw away paper documents, keep them someplace out of the way.
6. Use Online Accounting Software
For optimum business organization, you should also invest in proper accounting software. Popular choices are FreshBooks and Intuit QuickBooks. There is other excellent-quality accounting software for small businesses to consider, though.
Professional accounting software will allow you to create clear, formatted financial documents and file them electronically for your records.
7. Treat Your Computer Well and Rely on It
Many people either are borderline computer-illiterate or take their computers and the accompanying maintenance for granted. We suspect it might be a combination of the two. Don’t let this be you, small business owner!
Don’t let a cyber-attack happen to your business, either. You could be the world’s best-organized business owner and still fall victim to hackers, phishing schemes, and other threats. Here’s some of what they might take from you:
- Access to your lists of clients
- Credit card information for your customers
- Your company’s banking information
- Your pricing structure
- Any product designs you might have
- Any plans for expansion
- Your manufacturing processes, if applicable
And there’s sure to be more cybercrime on the horizon.
8. Keep Track of Contacts and Passwords
Related to computer security and what it could do to your business is the frustrating chore of keeping track of your contacts and passwords. Many of us make the mistake of keeping this information floating around on torn-off paper scraps.
Then they float off into who knows where, taking all that confidential information with them. If you have a system for storing these records once they’re generated, you would have a lot less to take your mind off other things.
Did you know that the law requires you to keep sensitive data secure? This includes contact information for colleagues and clients and passwords that could give anyone access to your confidential and hopefully well-organized business records.
9. Don’t Let Email Run You Into the Ground
Finally, a word about the love-hate relationship most of us have with our business email. When we open our inboxes every morning, and throughout the day, we feel so besieged that we don’t know where to begin. So we don’t.
Fortunately, most email programs offer business organization tools—like labels for inbox files and auto-generated reply messages (some actually sound authentic). But whatever you do, don’t let your essential email go unanswered, even for a day.
Call It a Day Already
As a final thought, we want to mention that organizing a business is self-care and knowing when to stop working and relax. For example, the time when you would plan to end your workday is the last time you should start reading the day’s email.
A well-organized business isn’t hard to achieve. It does take some effort, though—not to mention persistence. Since you’ve read through this whole article, we know you have it in you. So good luck with your new business!
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our business organizing tips and want to come back to this site for similar content.