“Thinking too long about doing something i often the reason it doesn’t get done”
An organised business is a profitable one. When you first set up your business there’s so much to do, that it’s easy to suddenly find everything has got a little out of hand. While you may not know where to start with getting your business organised again, we have a few tips which may be helpful. Once you have your business running like clockwork, it’ll be easy to keep it all organised and running smoothly.
Tips to organise your business
Organise your work space
There’s not much point trying to organise anything if your workspace is messy. If you have a well ordered desk, it will help you to find everything you need. It also makes you look and feel more professional. Any paperwork you have should be kept in files or in a neat pile, and stationery should be tidied away in drawers.
There are many online apps you can use to help you go paper free, and these not only mean less clutter, but come with different features, such as reminders or the option to link notes to various clients or campaigns. With less clutter around you, you will feel more relaxed too.
Keep a diary
One of the big reason people are disorganised is their lack of a diary. If you have appointments or deadlines, always schedule them so you can’t forget. Your choice of diary is up to you. There’s nothing wrong with a proper desk diary, as you can easily flip the pages to look ahead, but you must keep it up to date. Online diaries work just as well and these can also be used by other people in your company so you can check their diaries if you need to schedule them in to anything as well. Online diaries can also be set to remind you of important meetings in advance. We find using Gmail and the calendars it provides link up well and can be shared within the organisation
If you get in to the habit of always writing things in your diary, you won’t double book client appointments and you will keep your customers happy by keeping to deadlines.
Keep a to-do-list
As well as a diary, get into the habit of using a daily to-do-list. As with a diary, there are online choices such as Microsoft To Do or Wrike for bigger projects, or you can simply keep a notepad. Don’t get in to the habit of using post it notes. While these can be a quick and easy way to remind yourself of something, if you have a lot to do, they will end up being stuck all over your desk, cluttering it up and you are likely to miss jobs which you should have been done.
A to-do-list helps you to keep track of everything you need to remember and not just those important appointments kept in your diary. Even the smallest job should be kept on your to-do-list and it should be checked and updated daily. If you know everything you need to do, your business will be organised and efficiently run.
Use software to help you
Many companies make full use of software and online apps to help them organise their affairs. There are many programmes available and you can use these to allocate work to staff members, communicate with them, ask for ideas and input and even track how jobs are going.
With many companies now choosing to use virtual staff, online apps are becoming more common in the workplace, and they are an excellent way for you to communicate with all staff and for them to communicate back to you.
Keep on top of your aims
Most businesses start off well, but begin to lose focus as things start to get busy. In some cases the original idea is lost as new ones are take on board and tested. Keeping on top of your original aim is a good way to keep your business on course.
One way to do this is to keep your business plan updated. Your original plan will contain your objectives and targets, and how you plan to achieve these. As you build your business you can update these which will help you remain focused on your business idea.
The easy way to keep your business running smoothly is to communicate. This doesn’t just mean you tell people what to do and when to do it. Communication means making sure that all your staff know what is going on and why. If you are getting a large contract, tell them, then they can prepare themselves for extra work.
Communication is also a two-way thing and if you keep your employees informed, they will feel more confident in communicating back to you. This gives them the opportunity to let you know if a certain working practice can be improved upon to make your business more efficient.
If everyone knows what is happening and what is expected of them, your business is more organised and more efficient. If you work with a remote team or have many offices we find that Slack is very useful (and also fun).
If customers or clients contact you it’s because they want a reply. Taking your time responding to emails and letters just clutters everything up. Try to respond to all correspondence you receive as quickly as you can. Keeping your inbox clear means you will be able to spot important emails and letters as they arrive.
Delaying your responses means your email inbox gets clogged up and it will be harder for you to find what you want.
Planning and organisation go cap in hand. If you haven’t planned, nothing will be organised. Promotions and marketing all need to be planned so that everything is in place when they are ready to be launched. There are many apps available to help you schedule social media such as CoSchedule or Sendible. These are very useful for planning campaigns, as you don’t have to remember to send your messages daily or weekly.
Similarly staff may need to be considered if you know you have a large contract to fulfil and even meetings need to be planned for.
If you have planned in advance, you will be far more able to cope with anything that happens.
It can be so tempting to step in and tell your staff what to do, but this can actually have the opposite effect to the one you want. Your staff are all employed to do a job, and they will have a method and routine. If you suddenly come in and try to change this, it is far more likely to cause chaos than help things to run smoothly.
Let them do their job, then you are free to do yours.
Keep on top of accounts
Most businesses will hire a bookkeeper to keep track of their accounts, and unless you are a one man business, this is a very good idea. Keeping track of your accounts is vital for you to see just how your business is performing, and this gives you a good indication of how well organised your business is. If you find you are not making as much profit as you’d like, you can plan a marketing campaign – but you can’t do this if you don’t know what is going on financially.
Keep a space on your desk, a folder or even an envelope, and every time you get a receipt for a business expense, put it straight in your folder. This means you will not lose them and they are on hand for your bookkeeper to add them in to your accounts system. We find that online account managment by using software such as Xero and Quickbooks is easier and your accountant can also gain access to keep you right.
It can be very easy to keep on top of things and keep your business organised and focussed. You simply need to get in to the habit of making sure that all procedures are followed and kept up to date.