Clutter leads to chaos, and chaos leads to business disaster! Keeping your small business organized is just as important as mastering marketing, improving brand awareness, and ensuring you have the right people on your team.
However, many small business owners and startups put off organization and business management until later. If you aren’t careful, you could let this happen to you and see major catastrophes in the future!
Save yourself the headaches and check out these 7 tips to keep your small business organized.
The Importance of Keeping Your Business Organized
But why does it matter so much to keep your small business organized? Think of your enterprise as a complex machine. If the gears of the machine get cluttered, disorganized, or put in the wrong places, the machine will sputter or, even worse, not work at all.
The same principle applies to your business. But if you keep it organized, all of the pieces run smoothly and do what they are supposed to do. You won’t have to worry about the machinery of your enterprise slowing down or stalling, especially when you need to be producing for your customers.
Business organization is important, so you:
Don’t forget to file your quarterly taxes
Don’t lose track of income
Can better understand the financial state of your business
Have a comfortable, enjoyable workplace for your employees (and yourself)
Can save money and time on repetitive tasks, allowing you and your employees to focus on what really matters
7 Ways To Organize Your Small Business
Now that you know why you should keep your small business organized, let’s look at how you can do that.
Have an Accountant
By far, the best way you can financially organize your enterprise is to hire an accountant. If you can’t hire one, be your own accountant!
Whichever way you go, accounting is a vital part of business health. Accounting involves:
Calculating your business expenditures
Predicting business profits and revenue streams (i.e.,cash flow)
Ensuring that invoices are sent and received promptly, etc.
Without proper bookkeeping, your business finances will quickly fall into disarray, and you won’t know how much money you make, let alone how much you can spend over the next quarter. In some cases, failing to have an accountant on your team could cause you to face severe fines and penalties, such as if you forget to file your federal taxes on time.
Bottom line: be sure to practice accounting yourself or hire an accountant for your small business ASAP. The sooner you do this, the sooner you’ll be able to make every dollar you earn work harder for your company, and the less likely you’ll need to take out loans or find investors.
Use To-Do Lists
To-do lists are useful on a personal level but can also help your business stay organized. These lists are useful since you can:
Write out what you want to accomplish over the day, week, or month
Cross out objectives you complete and feel accomplished
Keep track of goals, even if you have to juggle dozens of them at once
Even the most mentally well organized among us can forget things. With to-do lists, you won’t forget critical business objectives, errands you have to run, and much more. There are lots of apps you can use to make and maintain to-do lists over time. Or you can draw up your to-do list with a notepad and pen.
Use a Separate Business Bank Account
Make sure to use a separate business bank account as early in your business journey as possible. In fact, you should do this before forming your small business, especially since it’s easy to get a free business checking account these days.
Why? Firstly, a business bank account may give you advantages depending on which banking institution you sign on with. More importantly, a separate business bank account helps you:
Avoid accidentally spending business money on personal expenses
Keep track of how much money you bring in and take out of your business
Save money for taxes, equipment expenditures, employee salaries, etc.
Think of keeping a separate business bank account as keeping your professional and personal lives separate. This is an important philosophy for all business owners, especially entrepreneurs who run small businesses with a few friends or family members.
Keep the money for your business separate from your personal money, and you’ll never fall prey to a financial mistake that could bankrupt you.
Keep the Workplace Tidy
An organized workplace reflects an organized business. To that end, desks, common areas, and shelves should be regularly organized, maintained, and cleaned.
This is about much more than aesthetics. For example, say that you have to find a critical financial document before filing your taxes. But your business desk is a cluttered mess. This can waste time you could otherwise use for your business operations.
On another note, a tidy workplace makes your workplace more comfortable and enjoyable to work at. That, in turn, contributes to employee morale and positive office culture.
Leverage Cloud Technology Where Possible
Cloud technology is the name of the game for many businesses, and for a good reason. Cloud technology allows you to use the software or digital tools you need via cloud servers without purchasing and maintaining your own servers on-premises.
Cloud technology is great for other reasons as well, including:
Cloud service providers take care of security for you
They update programs and software tools you use regularly
Cloud services are very easy to scale, so you can always get new resources or programs when you need them
Try Time Tracking Software
You might consider leveraging time tracking software to organize your business even more effectively. Time tracking software can be used for you and your employees. It tells you how you spend your time and can help you stay focused during periods where you need to be really productive.
It’s also great for monitoring the performance of new employees or those workers you want to keep an eye on due to their history of cyberslacking.
Or there's plenty of project and resource management software with time tracking features if you'd rather integrate with other tools.
Lastly, try to automate any busywork or repetitive tasks you might have to tackle, such as updating schedules, approving workflows, and more. Fortunately, you can take advantage of many business automation tools these days, including tools for customer service tickets, such as AI chatbots, ensuring PCI compliance, and more.
The more you automate busywork in your organization, the more time you will free up for other tasks and the more organized your company will become (since you won’t forget/let those repetitive tasks pile up and become managerial clutter).
Following the above seven tips will go a long way toward helping your business become and stay organized. You won’t have to worry about losing critical customer information, your workplace being uncomfortable for employees, or forgetting to file quarterly taxes. An organized business is a successful business! Also, consider using an enterprise password manager to ensure that all information is protected. It stores your credentials encrypted and only you can access your data. Less worry for everyone.