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9 Tips For Organizing A Small Business Successfully

by | Feb 20, 2023 | Instructional

Organizing a small business is no simple task. However, effective business organization is a crucial element to success. Juggling all of the different aspects of your business can be difficult, so it’s important to stay on top of things and implement strategies to streamline your processes wherever possible. If you want to keep your business running smoothly, read on to learn about 9 business organization tips for optimizing your workspace, increasing productivity and ensuring your small business is organized and stays that way.

Organizing A Small Business Is Essential For Productivity

The negative impact of not being organized is significant, especially when it comes to running a small business. Some people are naturally better at getting (and staying) organized. While others in business could do with a little extra help. The truth is, implementing strategic methods to organize your workspace, in a physical and digital sense, saves time, money and effort across your workday.

Recent statistics from over a thousand small business owners are in agreement with this idea. According to this data, an organized office is an essential part of any business’s success. In fact, 74% of respondents said they could not operate their business without organizational tools, and an astonishing 75% believe a disorganized workspace reflects poorly on an employee.

So what tools are available to small business owners and entrepreneurs looking to optimize the functionality of their desk, office environment and work day?

Let’s discuss 9 top tips for organizing a small business so you can operate with efficiency, no matter what the work day brings.

1.Organize your desk and storage spaces

A photo of an organised desk for a small business

A cluttered desk and workspace can be stressful, disruptive and overwhelming. Ultimately, this will impact productivity if it’s not addressed properly. To combat a messy desk and workspace, it is essential to ensure that your physical environment is clean and orderly. When you sit down to do some work, you want everything to be visually simple and easily accessible. Ensure each item has a designated spot, even if that is simply in an organized stack of documents as well as a pen, notepad and computer.

Some of the most brilliant people in the world keep an organized desk. Neurobiologist Carla Shatz believes that ‘the order of your desk symbolizes an orderly mind. In her work, she says keeping a clutter-free desk helps her make new discoveries and allows her to think outside the box.

Furthermore, this ‘decluttering’ rule also applies to your desktop on your computer. A good rule of thumb to follow is to make sure you can see your background wallpaper. If not, clean up any old, irrelevant or unimportant documents into folders or simply delete them. By doing this, you will be able to reach peak performance at work, while remaining focused on the task at hand. Keeping a clear and clutter-free desk is a key element of organizing a small business.

2. Optimize your work environment for increased productivity

A stock photo of a green office space

Cultivating a work environment that’s productive and actually somewhere you want to work, is another important feature of a successful business. This is true whether you’re in a commercial building or if you’re looking to start an online business from home.

A simple way to achieve this is to bring some nature to the space. Ferns, rubber plants and fiddle-leaf figs are among some of the best indoor plants for offices. Incorporating some greenery into your office space doesn’t just boost the aesthetics, it also has some interesting health benefits. Research from the University of Exeter demonstrated that ‘green’ offices improve mood and promote happiness among staff members, while also boosting productivity by 15%.

Further research shows that natural light is directly linked to lowered stress levels and better overall happiness at work. The combined benefit of natural light exposure plus adding greenery to the office helps improve productivity, reduce the incidence of illness and promote a sense of well-being at work.

Other simple tips to optimize your work environment include tidying up computer and phone cables, converting your desk to a standing desk and making sure you’ve got the right office chair to suit your needs.

3. Go paperless when organizing a small business

A photo of "go paperless" written on a clear whiteboard

By now, most of your work procedures can and should be converted to paperless systems. The physical space and mental frustration attached to dealing with reams of paper in your office can greatly impact your business.

Once you minimise the paper you need to manage, and implement efficient storage systems accordingly, you’ll instantly be calmer and have a boost in productivity. Scanning in original documents and saving ‘soft copies’ on your computer or cloud-based systems will alleviate the need for extra storage space, and allows you to get on with more important tasks. From here, throw away what you don’t need. Simple.

4. Make lists (and do what’s on them)

A photo of a woman making a to do list for a small business

Among many other business organization tips, this one is known and utilized across the board. The power of list-making (and sticking to it) is a surefire way to keep your small business organized and efficient. Two parts to this process ensure that it’s a successful tool for your business. First, there’s making a list. Then, there’s following up and actually completing what’s written on them.

To stay on top of your daily tasks, here are some useful tips to help you out:

  • First, write down what needs to get done and when.
  • Next, assign each task in order of priority and decide if any of them can be delegated.
  • Wherever possible, batch similar tasks together to improve efficiency and save time.
  • Tick off accomplished tasks from your to-do list.

A great online tool to assist with list-making is Todoist, which helps manage tasks whenever you need extra help over the workday. Keeping track of tasks with a simple list can help keep your small business organized and running smoothly.

5. Master your email inbox

An image of a woman using a MacBook

When your inbox is bogged down with unread emails, it can be incredibly time-consuming and daunting. By taking control of your inbox, you’ll optimize the flow of your workday and ensure the time spent dealing with emails is purposeful and productive.

Reduce the number of essential emails and clean out your inbox on a regular basis. Delete your junk folder and only keep important emails, ideally in folders and subfolders away from your daily inbox.

Another important business organization tip is to ensure you schedule one or two times during the day to respond to emails, in a batch-task fashion. This is an important time management skill that every small business owner needs to master.

6. Hire a virtual assistant (VA)

Stock photo showing VA for small business

If you’re feeling swamped with administrative tasks that can’t be automated with other software, hiring a VA might just be the answer to support your small business. As an entrepreneur or business owner, you know these tasks need to be done to ensure things are smooth and organized. However, you may not have time to complete them due to working on building your business.

VAs are an excellent option if you’re looking for help, but aren’t ready to hire a full-time assistant. VAs can help with various business-related tasks, such as making phone calls, appointment scheduling and creating presentations right up to project management. From small to large tasks, there’s a range of freelance VAs that help thousands of small businesses, globally.

Investing in a virtual assistant will instantly free up time for your business growth. They can take the tedious, but important tasks off of your plate so that you can concentrate on what matters most, building and expanding your company.

7. Implement cloud-based software

Stock photo showing cloud software used for a small business.

Modern organizations of all sizes can implement cloud-based software to streamline and automate almost all procedures related to running a business. The beauty of cloud-based software for your small business is that you can access data, files, documents and contacts and work wherever you are in the world. Whether you use your smartphone, laptop or work computer, you can access, monitor and use any program, anywhere, anytime.

Storing important files in the cloud is a safe and secure way to improve workflow and boost productivity. It’s also an easy way to stay organized, even if you’re a solo entrepreneur or operating a bigger enterprise. Online cloud-based storage tools like Google Drive and Dropbox mean you’ll never lose a file again. Free versions of these programs are readily compatible with mobile devices as well as desktop computers, making the usability even better for small business owners.

The functionality of cloud-based systems can benefit other aspects of running a small business. Online accounting and bookkeeping tools such as Xero make quick work of account reconciliation, invoicing, general expenses and bookkeeping for your business. Plus, many cloud-based accounting software solutions have a range of useful features such as inventory management, budgeting, reporting and analytics. This is another excellent way to keep your small business organized.

8. Improve your customer management

Stock photo showing CRM use on MacBook for small business use

Handling crucial data such as customers, leads, and payments is a constant battle that can otherwise lead to lost revenues. Fortunately, there are ways to get ahead and streamline all these facets of small business operations. Customer relationship management (CRM) software options such as Insightly, Keap and Zendesk help you get organized, in a big way. You can connect your business apps and get practical support in the places that most need it. Keep track of important emails, overdue invoices and customer queries with these helpful CRM solutions.

9. Refine your time

A photo of a man with a watch and a cityscape

Mastering time management is an important part of running a small business. Good time management skills include making decisions on how to use your time to improve efficiency and keep organized. You’ll be amazed at how easily you can take back chunks of time that can be put to better use.

Here are a few practical ways you can maximize your time to promote an organized business with an efficient workflow.

  • Create a schedule
  • Establish deadlines
  • Avoid multitasking
  • Identify stressors
  • Be the early bird
  • Take frequent breaks

Tips For Successfully Organizing a Small Business: Tools for Success

Here are some of the key features of a well-organized business and office space.

Make a plan and stick to it

The first step to organization is to make a plan and stick with it. This will help you stay focused on the most important tasks and ensure that your business remains organized.

Create an inventory system

Keeping track of all of your small business’s inventory can be tricky, but it’s essential for organization. Invest in an inventory system that works for you and your small business, and make sure to update it regularly.

Take advantage of technology

Technology can be a great tool for small businesses looking to get organized. There are many different apps and software programs available that can help keep track of tasks, finances, file storage and more.

Set deadlines

Setting deadlines for yourself and your team will help keep everyone on track. Make sure to make the deadlines realistic, but also challenge yourself and your team to stay organized.

Prioritize & delegate tasks

Another great tip is to prioritize and delegate tasks. This will ensure that you are focused on the most important tasks, and can decide if your skillset or someone else’s is a better match for other tasks. This will help take some of the load off of your shoulders and make sure that everything is organized efficiently.

Streamline processes

As your small business grows, streamlining processes is an easy way to free up time and stay organized. Time consuming tasks such as social media marketing, account keeping and invoice payments can all be automated and simplified to improve productivity in your business.

Conclusion: Organizing a Small Business

Organizing a small business can be challenging, but it is also essential to your success. With the right tools, strategies, and tips in place, small businesses can create an efficient workflow that will help them stay organized while reaching their goals.

By adopting organizational techniques such as task automation, adding greenery to the office and mastering effective time management skills, your workspace will foster a happy and productive environment, which is ideal for any small business. Taking these steps towards organization will ensure your small business runs smoothly for years to come.

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