Organizing the Small Business Office

Your business is growing constantly and the growth or expansion can put you on edge if you are not organized.  In starting a business or if you are feeing just a little unorganized, we are here to teach you all about organizing your office, and organizing your life so you can get through each day with less stress and you will be better prepared for anything that will come your way.  The first step in getting organized is going to be stepping back, looking at what you have, and then setting goals for yourself.

Setting goals is going to be the first step in getting organized.  What means the most to you right now?  Is it the ability to reach into the file drawer and find just what you need, or is it the overall mess that is on your desk? Do you want to be able to find any phone number right now, with the flip of the page, or perhaps you want to be able to find the prices on your products without having to put anyone on hold?  You can do all this and more, you just need to set a few goals for yourself.

First, you are going to list a piece of paper what you need to do.  This is going to include some of the biggest portions of your unorganized business, such as the files that are on the top of the cabinet, the accounting that is not up not up to date, or perhaps you need a method of tracking all the phone messages that come in during the day.  Think about what happens every day in your business and then create a listing of what bothers you the most, and do not forget to include all those small things as well.  This is going to be your goal list.  Now you can assign your goal list to yourself or to another person in your office that has the time to implement and do all these things.

Here is our to do list:

  • create a filing system

  • create a message system

  • create a box for filing

  • create a goal list for continued better organizing the clients

The basics of a filing system are going to be folders that will include all the letters of the alphabet. Between all the letters of the alphabet, you are going to include the vendors that you use the most.  If you have a bank, you will include the name of the bank, in the proper order of where it ‘goes' in that filing system.  If you have more than one business, in one location, you need to use more than one drawer, creating the alphabet and the vendors you use for that business all over again.  Every New Year you are going to clean out this drawer, put them aside or in a box, and start another new filing system for the New Year.

Another portion of the organized office is going to include the use of a system that will track all your sales.  Another drawer, another alphabet or you can use a date order system.  You can have all the orders that are placed with your company files by last name or by date. Every order will have another folder.  Every New Year you are going to clean out this drawer, put them aside or in a box, and start another new filing system for the new year.

Create a system for messages to be taken and tracked in your office. If there is more than just you in the office you need to create a system that will track calls coming in so that every bill gets paid, and so that every customer gets a return call as soon as possible.  An easy and inexpensive method of doing this to have a carbon copy book put by the phone.  If you answer the phone, you write it down.  If there is no message, you don't have to write anything down. If you know the caller or the name of that caller you will write it down for the person who it belongs to, so they can return the call.  Try to get phone numbers for every caller, or you can get caller identification for a business and you will know who is calling before the phone is even answered.  This also gives another person the chance to go back and look through who called in case there are any messages that are not written down.

Create goals for your office, what you know is not organized and put your efforts into changing just one thing per week in your office and you will find the overall process is going to be easier to follow and easier to accomplish.  At the end of just six weeks, when you change six things in your office you will feel much better about finding things in your office, about orders coming in, and about how your bills are being paid on time.  Overall, the organizing of your business is going to help your business perform much better.

Information is for educational and informational purposes only and is not be interpreted as financial or legal advice. This does not represent a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any security. Please consult your financial advisor.