Greg Hudson, World Executives Digest | The modern ways of doing business have put a lot of question marks on what used to be considered obligatory, but if there’s one thing that remains the same, it’s the importance of organization. An unorganized office is slow, inefficient, unproductive and, as a consequence, unsuccessful. For those who are lacking in organizational skills (and for those who just want to learn more), we’ve rounded up a list of tips that will help you organize your small business.
Get rid of the clutter
No matter how good your organizational skills are, you won’t be able to do virtually anything until you take care of all the clutter. Clutter appears as you pile up the stuff that you think you need, but actually use extremely rarely, if ever. Although it usually tends to happen in one’s home, it’s still easy for an office space to become cluttered, thereby limiting the employees both physically and mentally. Getting rid of everything that you don’t need is the first step towards office organization. Just keep in mind that if you try hard enough, you’ll be able to find use for almost everything, so be ruthless when decluttering.
Declutter the computers
Having a clutter-free desk and office in general is nowhere near enough – in the modern world, computers play a vital role in almost every aspect of business in every company. PC desktop clutter is very similar to the actual clutter – it is a result of “mental mislabeling” – categorizing trivial shortcuts and folders as potentially useful instead of redundant. Start by deleting the trivial items from your office computer desktop, leaving nothing, but necessary, work-related stuff. Open your browser and delete unused bookmarks. Finally, start categorizing files into folders – this is the basis of organization.
Deal with your email
Emails can interfere with your business more than you might think. For one, as a rule of thumb, most email programs and websites bold the unread messages, and if you receive a ton of spam in your inbox, everything will be bolded, making it impossible for the important stuff to stand out. Set aside an entire day for dealing with cluttered inboxes. Start unsubscribing from what you don’t need and properly categorize your mail. Inbox by Gmail, for example, has a cool option that allows you to mark your mail as ‘done’ and automatically move it to a new, ‘done’ folder. This might be the perfect solution, seeing as how you won’t have to delete your mail, but simply move it out of the way.
Tidy your social media profiles
A successful business is always in contact with its prospects, and this contact is usually realized through social media. If your social media inbox is cluttered, you won’t respond to your (potential) customers’ emails, which can easily turn them away from your business.This is exactly how irresponsible companies lose customers and, therefore, money. Set aside a time during every workday for dealing with the daily load of social media interactions.
Also, unfollow/unfriend profiles that are inactive, or aren’t following you back, unless you have something to learn from them.
Once you’ve decluttered your office, it’s time to tackle the disorganization. Misplaced stuff will always be hard to find and is a direct result of a mislabeled workspace. Quite logically, you need your work stuff in order to do your job and if you can’t find it, well, your efficiency as a professional is hindered. In order to label everything, you might need a cool tool added to your inventory. For example, the awesome Dymo LabelWriter 450 Turbo allows you to put personalized labels on your items, files and folders, binders, shipping assets, etc. Labeling is essential in dealing with disorganization.
If your legal issues are in disarray, you are on a steady road to a sea of problems – this can easily lead to financial troubles and even bankruptcy or jail! For starters, file a DBA (doing Business As). Then, you should take care of your Tax ID number, permits and licenses. After this, it’s time to record potential LLC and corporation changes with the state; this is done by filing an Articles of Amendment.
Decluttering, labeling and organizing are the pillars of a successful business. Keep in mind that your office should be clutter-free both physically and virtually, that your email and social media pages should follow suit and that you should take care of the legalities promptly.