Tried and True Ways to get your Small Business Organized

By Randall Orser | Freelancing

Summer vacation is over, kids are back at school, isn’t this a good time to reorganize your office?  Reorganizing your office doesn’t just mean tidying up your clutter and dusting your filing cabinets, it involves creating new systems and procedures for your small business which can make you more productive and profitable.

Taking Control of Papers and Documents

Is that pile of paperwork getting out of hand? Then it is time to set up a filing system and/or a digital archiving system. Start by going through the papers that you have laying around.  Make a keep pile and a discard pile.  Shred or recycle all the items in the discard pile.  Here is a guide from Susan Ward to help you create and organize your paperwork process.      

Thinking about going paperless? Here are some of the pros and cons. 

You can scan all your receipts and documents into your computer, use on-line invoicing and payment services and use the cloud for data backup and archiving.  

Using the Right Productivity Tools

We all use apps and tools, but some are more useful than others.  It’s a good idea to at least once a year decide if these apps and tools are still meeting your needs.  Productivity tools can be useful to your small business.  Productivity is a personal process so you should take time to decide what your needs actually are before incorporating a new tool into your process.   Here are the main areas where you might consider using productivity tools.   

  • Contact Management – keeping track of customers and remembering useful contacts is crucial to your business.  There are various customer relationship management (CRM) systems available, or just make sure your existing Contacts list is up to date.
  • Accounting and Bookkeeping - Organize and streamline the way you invoice, take payments and manage your cash flow with tools like Quickbooks Online.
  • Travel and expense tracking – use apps like Expedia and TripAdvisor to make your travel plans easier and while travelling an app like Expensify to track your expenses and do reporting when you return.
  • Email management – if you use Gmail or Outlook you have access to a number of extensions to organize your inbox.
  • Project Management – A good project management app will help you track tasks, share files and collaborate with your team all in one place and can be one of the best tools that you can have to organize your work.

Getting Your Computer Organized

If you do the bulk of your work on your computer you will know that it does not take long for your desktop to become cluttered with icons, your downloads folder to be full of files that you do not recognize and you have a hard time finding anything.  This is both bad for your productivity but also will slow down the performance of your computer.  So, what can you do to clean things up?

  • Clean up your desktop, get rid of the icons that you no longer use.
  • Set up a digital filing system – create a system that makes sense to you and where you can find your documents when you need them.
  • Makes sure your computer is set up to automatically install updates, or if you have to do it manually make sure do it at least twice a month, as updates can include security patches.
  • Review your current versions of the software that you are using to see if you need to update.
  • Scan your computer for viruses and performance issues to keep it running smoothly.
  • Verify the integrity of your data back-up, if you are not backing up you should be.  You can use a cloud-based back up service or use an external hard drive but either way you should set it to conduct continuous automatic backups so that you don’t have to worry about doing anything manually.
  • Getting on top of your email – although it is an efficient communication tool, your inbox can quickly get out of control causing you stress if you don’t take steps to streamline it.   Here is an article that will help you to do that.                                   
  •  From an article by Alyssa Gregory  


About the Author

President/CEO Number Crunchers® Accounting Inc. Learn how to just say stuff it to this bookkeeping thing with our 'Just Say: "Stuff It" To Bookkeeping program.