It’s not a coincidence that nearly every successful business is well-organized. Well-organized people simply accomplish more in a day than unorganized people. There are plenty of reasons why businesses will benefit from being more organized, and the best part is, you can see some of those benefits for free! Let’s talk about organizing a business, why it’s important, and how you can get started today!
The Benefits Of An Organized Business
There are so many benefits of having an organized business, including just the peace of mind. You know what they say, a clean space is a happy space. Well, you probably spend a lot of time in the office, probably almost as much as you spend at home. Here are just a few of the benefits to look forward to in an organized company.
Not only will employees be more productive in a structured and organized business, but they will also be happier. One of the most common complaints companies get from employees in exit interviews is disorganization.
When a company is highly organized, employees know where to look for everything. Taking the time to create a structured and organized business environment will save you a fortune in productivity losses. Believe it or not, you are likely losing around 6 working hours per employee every week due to a lack of organizational structure.
Clutter is simply overwhelming and it does not belong in a business environment. Even if your business is just you, or you and an assistant, it creates a toxic work environment.
People simply feel more stressed when they feel constricted in any way. It’s human nature. Nothing feels more constricting than being in a small office space for 40 hours a week that’s made even smaller by excessive materials.
More Professional Appearance
Do you welcome guests, including customers or business associates, into your physical location? Would you want to do business with someone if you walked into their establishment and saw a cluttered mess?
Establish your professionalism by being able to show off your workspace to anyone. Remember that 95% of customers agree that cleanliness can turn a good business into a great one. A general rule of thumb is that if you wouldn’t want your customers to see it, then you shouldn’t let your employees see it.
Easier Tax Time
When you get everything organized, you will find that managing your finances and preparing for tax time will become a lot easier. How prepared do you think your business would be for an IRS audit right now?
Well, if you get your company organized down to the bare bones, you’ll be amazed at how much stress will be taken off your back come tax time or in the event of an audit.
What Needs To Be Organized?
Every business is different. If you’re running a car dealership, you may need to organize spare parts that made their way into your offices. If you’re running a B2B business, it might just be excess paperwork that’s clogging up your office.
Regardless of your specific obstacles, there are things that almost every business could stand to organize more. Here are some common examples.
This is listed first for a reason. Your business can’t stay afloat for long without a balanced budget. If you feel that your finances could use some more organization, this should be your top priority above all else.
No business owner wants to make it to tax time and find out they are totally unprepared. Filing one extension will likely delay your next tax payment, setting up a vicious cycle every year of being behind on your taxes. Don’t be one of the 10 million people who file for an extension every year.
Not only that, if you don’t have proper financial management, then how are you supposed to make informed decisions about your business’s number one asset, its finances?
As a business owner, your number one responsibility is to make sound decisions with your money. Ask yourself if that’s possible to do without a detailed accounting of where your money is going and how it’s coming in?
Everything from your payroll solutions to your receipts needs to be organized, so don’t neglect this part at all. If one thing needs to be organized in a business, it’s the finances.
Beyond just financial records, businesses are bound to have plenty of documents that need organizing. These include employee files, contracts, lease agreements, business information, schedules, and contact lists.
If you store these documents on a computer, make sure you’re using the right organizational software, especially if you need to share the information on a somewhat regular basis. That could save you and your employees a lot of time.
If you are storing hard copies of these files, you should put them in a filing cabinet with labels to help you access them when you need them. This could take you an hour to do and save you a lot more accumulated time over the coming years.
Employee schedules are either implemented regularly or are uniform across your company, so that’s not what we’re talking about. There are plenty of other schedules that could be more organized in your business.
Your own personal schedule needs to be organized. A business owner missing a meeting won’t look good for your company. The same goes for employees and representatives from the company.
There is a lot to organize when it comes to marketing, and that will require a written plan of its own. You should work toward developing (and using) a schedule to drop content on your website, email list, and social media.
If there are any interviews, sales events, promotions, customer meetings, or events taking place within the company, schedules should be organized for these.
The Office Space
It’s difficult to work in a cluttered or messy environment. It isn’t just organization that matters either. Cleanliness, especially during a pandemic, is critical to fostering a safe and healthy work environment.
One of your primary objectives should be to open up your office space as much as possible, limiting any cramped feelings from the space. This may include getting rid of tables or other office furniture, unused appliances, or cubicles. It may also mean simply sweeping the floors and throwing away some papers that take up the desk space.
The Important Steps To Organizing A Business
Okay, we know the benefits of organizing and what needs to be organized. How do we get started? Again, every business is different, so there may be some additional nuances within your business that may change the direction of these steps. However, these are all great starting points to build from.
Have A Plan
Want some practice with organizing before you get started? Organize a plan.
You need to write down the priorities first, in order. Let’s say you think your finances need the most work, you would put that on top. However, if there’s something staring you in the face, then get that out of the way first.
For example, your finances could wait if you have an office space that you can barely walk in. If something is actively obstructing your top priority, then get it done as soon as possible.
Make sure you include everything into your plan, and most importantly, write down deadlines! Organizing a business from top to bottom may seem like a daunting task. The thing about daunting tasks is that sometimes they become overwhelming and we give up.
To avoid this, have a list of what needs to be done and when. If it’s broken up into pieces and you have realistic timeframes set, then it won’t seem as bad. Remember, organization is a marathon, not a sprint. The best part is that once it’s organized, it’s a lot easier to keep it that way.
Get All Hands On Deck
There’s another thing that can make this process less daunting, and that’s delegating tasks. Let your staff know that organizing is the priority of the week (or month) and that you need everybody involved. They will likely be on board and even appreciative!
Delegate the right tasks to the right people. If there’s an array of general organizational tasks that anybody can handle, ask who wants to do them. Your staff will definitely appreciate that freedom.
You can assign tasks to people within their own domains as part of your plan, but if everybody knows what they would feel the most efficient with, give them the opportunity to shine.
Things like organizing a bulletin board, labeling tabs in a filing cabinet, sweeping, or grabbing organizational materials from a store are all general tasks that don’t require specific skills. See who wants to do what, and make sure that everybody knows they are responsible for organizing their own spaces as well.
Break Out The Shredder
Even in the digital age, there is still an occasional need for hard copies. However, the majority of what you have is likely digital-friendly. Because of that, it’s time to start decluttering your office of paperwork that no longer has a place there.
Find what definitely has a reserved spot in your office and give it a home in a filing cabinet. Yes, you should organize the filing cabinet, too. Everything else, you should be able to scan and input onto a thumb drive and upload it to your cloud system.
Next, you want to receive some type of accounting or bookkeeping service from a professional. When you have multiple accounts being charged, it’s nearly impossible for a business owner to manage financial tracking themselves. There’s simply too much going on at once.
Having the right financial services from trusted professionals not only takes that responsibility off your plate but it ensures that the job is done correctly.
Being financially organized allows you the freedom to be prepared for tax time and unexpected expenses, offers you peace of mind that your business is functioning properly, and allows you to make informed decisions with company finances.
Before you make any decisions on hiring people to manage your finances, make sure you know what to look for in a bookkeeping service.
Part of the plan that you write up before beginning your efforts should involve a plan to keep up with your organizing efforts. The good news is that once you get the initial headache out of the way, it becomes a lot easier to stay that way.
The best way to do this is to simply incorporate a time (an hour or two) every week for your staff to focus on keeping things clean and organized.
For example, with a 9 to 5 schedule, if you want to start every week with a perfectly organized work environment, tell your staff that at 3 or 4 pm on Fridays, everybody needs to clean up and manage certain tasks, and then they are free to go home! Just make sure everybody knows who is in charge of what and that you’re maintaining the right ongoing standards for your business.
Get Organized Today!
Now that you know the important steps to organizing a business from top to bottom, there’s no time like the present to get started. Give your staff a heads up about the upcoming plans, write down your strategy, and get organized. Stay up to date with our latest business news and contact us with any questions you have!