One of the significant steps a small business owner can take to maximize profitability is keeping their office and the overall business organized. There's a positive correlation between office organization and business success. Unfortunately, workplace or business organization remains non-prioritized by most small businesses, especially the one-person type, and therefore, disorganization reigns supreme.
For some small businesses, the owes to their ignorance of the true impact of organization upon productivity and profitability. Yet others consider the key strategies involved in the process as too expensive and a venture not worthy of a small business owner. In most cases, this is not true. A decision as seemingly simple as making a conscious effort to organize those unarranged files of important documents lying around in your office, organizing your emails, or assigning specific time for completing each task can go a long way in boosting your workflow efficiency at little to no cost.
That said, this article will show you 10 simple ways to keep your small business organized.
10 Strategies to Keep Your Small Business Organized
While taking care of office space is an essential aspect of organizing a small business, it goes deeper than that. We've outlined some of the workable approaches you can easily try out to organize your own business below.
Optimize Your Workspace Management
We all can relate to the fact that a messy workspace makes for crankiness. If you don't want to feel overwhelmed by work projects and important documents (both attended and unattended), you need to keep your workspace tidy. That's the first step in optimizing your workspace management. Documents disorganization and poorly discarded paperwork are usually the primary sources of mess in most small businesses. To achieve a somewhat professional, organized look, you need to develop an efficient document management system. For instance, you can:
- Create an effective filing system that will enable you to organize important documents and arrange them into specific groups based on a filing template stored in filing cabinets. The filing templates can be based on alphabetical order, dates, size, group, etc.
- Adopt the paperless policy and get rid of paperwork altogether. Alternatively, you can scan your existing documents and store them on a computer or storage drive in an organized format or upload them to a cloud-based storage system.
- Respond to emails on time to avoid piling backlogs.
- Clear your computer of junk files beforehand so that you can easily accommodate new projects entries without overwhelming yourself.
Adopt Online Cloud-Based Storage
Gone are the days when "cloud storage" was a buzzword among the tech communities. Instead, it has become the standard among big corporations and small businesses because of its flexibility and security.
According to the Hosting Tribunal, 59% of small businesses using cloud services witnessed increased productivity, and 82% reported reduced costs. Aside from the security of your documents, cloud storage makes for faster file sharing and access among team members. Most vitally, it saves workspace or white space by providing you an avenue to store or organize paperwork or documents that would have otherwise been lying around your office. All these impact operational efficiency positively. Some examples of cloud-based storage you can use include Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.
Implement Effective Time Management
Time is one of your most important weapons as a business owner, and you must therefore be conscious of it. Some effective time management approaches you can adopt include.
- Adequate Planning: Planning your activities will save you time and help you stay organized.
- Avoid procrastination: Procrastination is time's most dangerous thief. Instead, do what you have to do when you have to do it.
- Avoid distractions: In these days of short attention span, staying focused can be too much of a task. Nevertheless, to achieve your business goals, you must avoid distraction. One key approach is recognizing who or what the distraction is or could be and working towards avoiding it.
- Know when to multitask: Instead of multitasking and accomplishing a tiny percentage of various goals, it's more effective when you dedicate a specific period and effort to a single project and complete it in time before taking on another one. Multitask for mundane tasks only.
Maintain Adequate Bookkeeping
Every business makes transactions. Whether you render transactional services to customers or just transactions involved in buying some supplies for your workplace, such data must be recorded. Invoicing and bookkeeping are therefore unavoidable. However, with so many transactions taking place, it can be stressful to record and make calculations.
Stress can lead to errors which are bad for accounting and the overall business. Additionally, the receipt may pile up, and there goes your paperless policy. Thanks to technology, online invoice and payment platforms can help you carry out the bookkeeping process without hassles. However, you can also automate the bookkeeping process using a more small business-friendly accounting software like Skynova. Either way, the idea is to track transactions and streamline cash flow efficiently.
Adopt an Efficient Customer Contact Management Strategy
Customers' satisfaction is integral to your business growth. Therefore, you must maintain an effective contact reach. Unlike big business organizations, small businesses have an advantage in this regard since they are closer and better positioned to relate directly to the customers. To further help with this process, you can also use smart customer management software like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.
CRM stores customers' data on a cloud server, analyzes the customers' marketing behavior and develops a corresponding marketing strategy to serve the customer best. It then provides the summary or overview of its analysis on a dashboard, which you can view on your smartphone, tablet, or laptop's screen. You can also integrate each customer's social media platform with the CRM to further gauge their behavior.
Develop and Maintain an Effective Organizational Structure
Your business needs some form of organizational structure, even if it's a one-person business. Clearly defined tasks should be assigned to each person or department. This makes for an efficient workflow and operational efficiency. Additionally, it would lead to specialization, which is good for the bottom line. Most vitally, having a clear organizational structure provides an appropriate chain of command through which decisions can be made, dispensed, and carried out. Even if the whole process occurs right in the same room and you just literally have to turn your chair sideways to pass instructions to your staff. That would still ensure orderliness, and your business plans and business goals would be achieved in no time.
Most small business owners assume their operation or workflow is too small to automate. This assumption is wrong in all ways. Even the most mundane task can be automated in our technologically advanced world at little or no cost.
The world had moved past the "it's-best-done-with-your-hands" stage decades ago. Although that might be true for some processes, you don't have to do everything manually. For instance, you can:
- Leverage Chatbots for customer support: Especially when you're short on staff and cannot afford to station one permanently at the customer care desk
- Sort your email using email organizers: This enables you to attend to the high-priority ones and leaves others for later.
- Automate your social media posts: With the aid of social media management and content marketing tools such as Sprinklr, you can automate social media posts and save your time and effort.
Regularly Interact With Customers and Get Their Feedback
You should also regularly interact with and engage your customers. Social media channels do wonders in this regard and should therefore be taken seriously. Additionally, request feedback from customers by sending simple survey questions that'll elicit direct answers and enable you to gauge their satisfaction. Interactions and feedback make your customers feel connected to your business. Try as much as possible to reply to work emails and inquiries as soon as possible. Additionally, feedback would help you adjust your business plans according to the customers' demands and needs, thereby setting you on the right path towards optimal customer satisfaction.
Manage Projects and Tasks Efficiently
Projects and tasks to be executed should be adequately managed and supervised from the time it gets assigned to when it gets completed. Usually, project efficiency is better ensured by assigning it to groups or team members rather than individually. However, that is if you have enough hands on deck. Either way, the vital thing is to ensure that employees are on the same page as per the overall business goals and project managers can perform their function. Project management apps like Asana and Trello will streamline assigning and monitoring project progress until completion. That way, project execution is made easy.
You should leverage various time tracking apps to monitor efforts and time invested into each project assigned to your various employees. This would allow you to detect the lazy bones for future reference and collect useful statistics in achieving certain results vital to the realization of your business goals. Depending on your specific needs, various time clocks have various features, e.g., Homebase, Clockify, When I Work, etc. Most time apps allow payroll integration in addition to other apps and also allow task scheduling.
Stay on Top of Your Business Finances With Skynova
Organizing your small business is a great step towards meeting your business needs and long-term goals. However, while working toward a more efficient organizational approach, there is also a need to pay proper attention to your business finances. Skynova's accounting software will enable you to stay on top of your business finances by helping you keep track of all your business finances through automated transaction records, cash flow management, invoice generation, and accurate financial records keeping.
Notice to the Reader
In this content, we have suggested several strategies that can keep a small business organized. Still, bear in mind that they may not work in your specific situation. Seek an expert opinion to know more about this topic.