When your business is tiny, it’s fairly easy to stay on top of everything. But as your small business experiences growth, the sprawl of accounts, data, and finances have to be carefully managed.
A failure to do so could compromise the health and longevity of your business.
4 Ways to Stay Organized
Organization and systematization aren’t the sexiest business topics. They aren’t the kind of topics that attract you to flashy YouTube videos or podcasts to learn more about.
But if you zoom out and look at the impact they have on your organization’s overall health and efficiency, it becomes clear that organization and systematization are vital components of a thriving business.
Keeping this in mind, here are some simple ways you can stay organized:
1. Use an ERP
If your business is disorganized, chances are the back office is a mess. And the easiest way to clean up your back-office processes like accounting, financial reporting, billing, HR, invoicing, and inventory is by implementing an enterprise resource planning (ERP) tool.
As FinancialForce explains, “An ERP system will unify and share data across the various departments (accounting, sales, services, manufacturing, etc.) that generate the data. ERP ultimately facilitates information flow between all business functions so that its users gain meaningful insight to perform their jobs smarter and faster.”
Today’s business world is evolving at a relentless pace. Static business models no longer work. If you want your business to stay competitive (and organized) in today’s marketplace, you need a dynamic approach. An ERP system gives you a flexible and scalable platform to fall back on.
2. Have Communication Standards
Miscommunication is often found at the heart of disorganization. Your team might have the best intentions of staying organized, but if communication isn’t clear, then you don’t stand a chance.
If your business is running virtually/remotely, as many are these days, it’s even more important that you address communication. More specifically, we recommend developing a set of communication standards.
Communication standards are simply a set of rules related to how, when, what, and where you communicate. It’s an internal resource that addresses specific terms and phraseology, which platforms to use (e.g. when to use Slack vs. email vs. phone), who to reach out to with certain questions, etc.
Whenever you make a new hire, be sure to familiarize them with the communication standards as part of the onboarding process. This allows them to be productive from the very start. (Likewise, anyone who fails to follow proper communication standards should be called out immediately.
The goal isn’t to embarrass them but rather to support the integrity of the rules.
3. Incorporate Daily Huddles
Productive businesses are smart about scheduling meetings. They understand that most meetings are a waste of time and hurt efficiency and output. However, if you’re trying to keep your business organized, meetings can prove to be an effective tool. So the question becomes, how do you utilize meetings in a way that maximizes both productivity and organization?
The best answer is to use daily huddles. A daily huddle is essentially a 10-20-minute morning meeting where everyone on the team gathers to quickly discuss three items:
- What tasks have you just completed?
- What tasks are you working on today?
- What are the major obstacles in your way of accomplishing today’s tasks?
There’s no time for small talk or superfluous details in these meetings. Each person quickly stands up and gives a 30-60-second rundown of these three items. If there’s an item that needs to be discussed further, the appropriate parties may follow up afterward.
4. Go Paperless
If you haven’t yet gone paperless, doing so could give you a significant boost in the organization and systematization department. By going paperless (and switching to the cloud), you can keep all of your files in a single, secure location where you’re able to access and share any document at any time and with any device. Not only that, but you untether your business from a physical location and create an opportunity to go 100 percent virtual.
Put Your Business Back on Track
Want to reclaim control over your business and ensure it continues to grow in an efficient and scalable manner? It starts with getting organized. Begin with the tips outlined above, but don’t stop there. Constant and never-ending improvement is the goal. Keep learning and keep growing!