Small Business Organization: Five Tips To Get Organized Now

by | May 26, 2017 | 0 comments

Let’s face it – of all of the things we have to do in a day, organization does not sound like a very fun prospect.  However, we do know how important it is to get, and stay, organized with regard to our businesses.  Sometimes you just need a little inspiration to get started.  So here are five tips that will help you get organized and help your workday flow more smoothly:

End of Quarter Assessment?

Since so many things typically happen at the end of quarter, it is a very good time to take care of a few organizational items.  This is a great time to assess what can be decluttered or eliminated in your office setting, whether it be some paperwork that needs shredding or some equipment you would like to donate.  This is also a great time to delete old or unnecessary voicemail and emails.  Clearing out your inbox and setting some basic email rules, will make your email much easier to handle everyday.  Set a reminder for this routine on your calendar and you’re sure to be happy with the results.

Keep or Toss?

Choosing what paperwork to keep and what to dispose of can be a tricky decision when it comes to your business.  It is safe to say that you should keep legal, property and bank records indefinitely.  Tax returns should be kept indefinitely as well.  When it comes to paper receipts and records that can be used to verify your tax documents, you will want to keep those until the possibility of audit has passed, typically six years according to the Internal Revenue Service.  Other paper documents and day to day materials can usually be discarded after a year, especially when you have electronic copies, i.e. deposit slips, invoices, purchase orders, etc.

To File or not to File?

Most businesses create their filing system in a way that works best for their needs.  Most choose a traditional system of alphabetized or color coded files in which they store current information they may need frequent access to.  However knowing what exactly to file can be difficult for some, so below are a list of a few ideas to get you started:

*Bank Documents

*Employee Records & Payroll Information

*Corporate Contracts, Property Records, Licenses and Permits

*Forms (original/paper copies)

*AR/AP records

*Customer Files

*Marketing/Promotional Materials

Can tech help?

One solution to having an abundance of paper records and filing is to use some tech options in your record keeping.  Scanning documents in order to create an electronic file is one way to help avoid large filing systems and perhaps even go paperless.  There are several apps on smartphones that allow you to record mileage/travel data, or store photos of receipts and other business expenses.  When you create digital files, they can be secured with a password which helps to ensure their security in addition to eliminating the amount of physical records you have to maintain.

You’ve Got Mail?

One of the largest sources of clutter and headaches can be your daily mail delivery.  Businesses get a notoriously high volume of correspondence in the form of financial offers, catalogs, industry promotions, etc.  Establishing a routine for dealing with the daily influx can do wonders for keeping your desk, and your office, organized.  Creating bins or other similar systems in order to sort mail into various categories can instantly help eliminate clutter.  We suggest starting with the following bins and adjusting to your individual business needs:

*Recycle – Magazines, catalogs and other marketing or promotional materials

*Shred – Credit card offers, statements or other materials with personal information

*Action – Any mail that requires your further attention or action

*Digital – Any mail that you would like to turn into a scanned or digital record

No business will likely ever be completely paperless, but knowing how and what you need to keep will help to create an organized and efficient workplace for your business to continue to grow and flourish.


References

Emerson, M. (2017, April 19). Work Your Biz Wednesday: Tips for Getting Yourself Organized in Your Small Business. Retrieved from https://www.nextiva.com/blog/work-your-biz-wednesday-tips-for-getting-yourself-organized-in-your-small-business.html

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