The perfect time to get organised is at the beginning of the year for maximum productivity. Now is a better time than any to re-evaluate and make a fresh start, put new processes in place and set you yourself up for a leaner and more efficient new year. With UK offices losing a million hours a week as workers hunt for misplaced documents, according to a report by office product firm Fellowes, allowing yourself the time to get organised can save you money, time and a great deal of frustration too. That is why we present this guide on how to get your small business organised for a productive year ahead.
If you run a small business, this is invaluable information. Particularly if you are working from home and trying to juggle home life with your new enterprise.
Why is it Important to Get Organised?
When you run your own business, any time that you waste through disorganisation eats into your bottom line. If there is just you, or you have a small team, you cannot afford to lose time during the day, particularly if it is avoidable.
The Fellowes research found that hunting for lost documents hit the profits of businesses in the UK by a mighty £20 million per year. But, with a fifth of workers admitting they have documents dating back more than five years on their desk, you can see why.
Organisation also helps your mental state. When you know where everything should be and can rely on the fact that it will be there when you look for it, it can be extremely calming. This goes for home life as well as work life. Clutter adds to feelings of stress and anxiety.
If your diary or contacts list is disorganised, you can miss meetings and other important appointments. This can lose you vital opportunities in business and can really hack off your friends in your personal life too. All of these are major reasons why you should get organised.
How to Get Organised
The first thing to do on your quest towards organisation is to declutter. Clear your desk of mess and you will find it a more pleasant place to work. Some people use the excuse that they want everything close at hand for the clutter that takes over their workspace, but with the correct systems in place, you will be able to find them within seconds, without having them take up valuable space in your eyeline whilst you work.
For help decluttering, download our FREE office declutter guide and checklist in the Resources Portal.
Decluttering works as a great first step when organising your home too. In the words of designer William Morris:
Sort Your Filing System
Sorting your filing system may seem like a daunting task at first, but once it is up and running, it will help make your business run so much more efficiently. Use the cold, dark January days to knuckle down to this task. It’s not like you would be spending much time out and about anyway, is it?
You can look at fine-tuning both physical and digital filing systems so that everything you need is within easy reach. For digital documents, create a naming convention that is intuitive for you and the type of work you do. Whether it begins with the date, the topic, the client or anything else, really give some consideration to how you can most easily find the files you need in a hurry.
You should also look at managing your email inbox too. Create folders to group together important messages on certain subjects or projects. You can set up automations to perform this task for you and to filter out important communication that requires instant action from informal chats that can wait until you have a spare five minutes.
Automate as Much as You Can
On the theme of automation, there is so much that you can automate. There are simple but effective processes to revolutionise your invoicing, for example. These systems send automated reminders for late payers, meaning you don’t have to waste time chasing clients up. You can also automate expenses by scanning receipts on your phone, schedule blogs and social posts and so many of the processes you undertake every day and which take up time.
Use a Productivity Tool to Get Organised
It is possible to keep track of projects using email and Excel, but there are powerful productivity tools out there to help you really get organised at work and home. Apps like Asana help you manage your team and any freelancers you utilise, breaking down your projects into individual tasks that you can distribute to the relevant parties.
All of those involved can keep track of what they need to do and when they need to do it by. You can take an overview of the whole project, receiving notifications at every step. Asana also uses automation technology to assign tasks when previous jobs are complete.
There are a number of other tools such as Trello and Google Keep that you can implement into your business to collaborate with others on important tasks.
Hire a Virtual Assistant to Help you Get Organised
A virtual assistant helps you get organised at work. Supportal Business Services provides a wide range of different specialities to take on the tasks that bog you down and take up your time and concentration. We can help get your filing system up and running, manage your email inbox, run your blog, turn your social media into a selling machine, revamp your website and everything in between. This frees you up to drive your business forward.
We can also take on tasks that help your home life too. If you need birthday reminders, travel arrangements or general lifestyle support, we are more than happy to take on the responsibility.
Organisation is so important to the smooth running of your business, as well as your mental health. Putting in some effort during January to get organised will pay off multiple times over as you enjoy a more streamlined way of working and living. If this still seems like a daunting task, remember that you don’t have to go at it alone. Even if you know how to get organised you may want some help and Supportal is there to provide that assistance. Just one of the many key benefits of outsourcing to a virtual assistant.
Book in a free consultation to discuss your individual needs and to find out how we can help.