When you’re running a business, it’s frustrating when you can’t find the one thing you’re looking for. Organization is important for a business to be able to grow. In order to grow, you need to continually make improvements. In order to focus on improvements, you can’t waste time trying to find things.
It’s important to find an organization style that works for you. Take these tips and make changes as needed to create the right system to keep your business on track.
Clean Your Work Area
If you need to clear a space every time you sit at your desk, or move things around to check out a customer, you need to organize your workspace. Finding a place for everything is the first step, but it doesn’t have to be permanent. If things aren’t working in a certain place, move them around until you find what works. If you have a desk with three drawers, give them a specific purpose, one for personal items, one for supplies, and one for branded items (anything with your logo on it).
Be aware of your habits and which ones are causing more clutter. If you throw your mail on a pile and ignore it until it becomes overwhelming, that’s a habit that isn’t helping your business. Come up with a routine to go through the mail when it’s delivered. That way you can throw out the junk mail, open everything else, and sort it to be filed or addressed later. Setting a routine can help you stay organized without feeling overwhelmed.
Organize Your Computer
Putting all your files on your desktop is not a file-organization strategy. There are three main strategies for organizing your computer files that can be used separately or in a combination that works for you. The most important part of electronic file organization is having a simple system that’s easy to use and understand.
- Project or Client – This is the easiest and most common method to use. Each project or client (whichever makes sense for your business) gets its own folder. You can keep any files related to that project/client in the proper folder. From there you can break things down further into individual project subfolders.
- Date – When you have similar tasks or files that you work with on a regular basis, it can be helpful to have a folder for each year with subfolders for each month. This system works best for weekly reports, like financial or marketing reports.
- File Type – Grouping files by file type can be helpful, especially inside one of the other file structures. Inside a client folder, you can have subfolders for different file types, like Marketing, Presentations, Financial, and so on.
Our file organization uses all three of these methods, starting with a main folder where we have a folder for each client. Inside each client’s folder, we organize by projects and file types. Depending on how many projects we work with a client on, we’ll also sort files by date. For example, social media images are sorted into folders by month. We also use Google Drive to make sure our crew can have instant access to the files we need to work on, and allows our customers to get to their completed files, even if we’re not in the office.
Use visual goals to stay on track. Something that you can regularly see will keep you aware of your tasks. Try a calendar, whiteboard, post-it notes, to-do app, or whatever works for you.
Are you carrying two phones around so you can have your personal number and business number separate? Try Google Voice or similar services to make and receive calls on a personal line and a business line all on the same mobile phone.
Get into a routine and take small steps towards organizing your life and your business. Even small changes can make things run better and smoother for your business. For more tips to help your business, check out our blog, or contact us for a free consultation!