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7 tips for keeping small businesses organised

No matter what business you’re in, you should never overlook the importance of being organized. It restricts wasted time, material and overheads, increasing both the efficiency and productivity of your business. As well as this, it goes a long way towards improving staff morale.

Effective organization is the most affordable tool available to you to help your business grow, so follow these 7 tips and see the results for yourself.

1. Plan (SCRUMs)

Business planning is an important component of good office management and should be part of your daily routine (see point three). Start your days with a daily SCRUM meeting that aims to find out what was done yesterday, what’s getting done today, and any roadblocks. Meetings like this get every team member on the same page, which eliminates many miscommunications and gets everyone organized for the day.

2. Delegate

Delegation is essential in good business management. Give individuals responsibility for specific tasks (such as purchasing for example) so that you know who is accountable when something goes wrong. This kind of organization really simplifies workflow and gets things done.

3. Establish a Routine

If you want to stay organized, you need to establish routine procedures for routine tasks. Set up routines for everything, so that your staff know what they should be doing, and how to go about doing it. From expenses to customer contact, established procedures make everything run more smoothly.

4. Financing

When you’re running a small business managing your finances effectively is crucial, and using online accounting software such as Xero can help you to do just that. Xero allows you to create and send invoices, track stock movement and file expenses, and it even integrates with your payroll system so that you can accurately report on your finances as and when you need to. When specifically handling the often frantic task of tracking down payment, make sure to refer to financing resources such as this small business invoicing guide for important information. Through a combination of software and education, you’ll have no problem keeping those books clean.

5. Filing

Good record keeping is the key to good organization, but to ensure that it’s done well I’m going to go back to a previous point: routine. Make updating records a part of your office’s routine. For example, when you get a new client it takes two minutes to add them to a database, whereas a pile of fifty left for later will take someone a considerable amount of time to complete.

6. Managing Contacts

You know how frustrating it is to explain any technical problem you might have to one person, only to have to call back the next day and explain it all over again to someone new? Your clients should never have to do that. Managing your contacts and maintaining customer contact records is vital for efficiency in any business and there are plenty of apps available to help do this. Buzzstream tracks customer contact and eliminates wasted time spent ‘getting up to speed’ so you can build effective relationships with your customers.

7. Track Time (and keep people on task)

When you run a small business, it’s important to keep track of what people are doing. Getting your staff to use a time tracking tool such as Toggl is a simple and effective way of ensuring that work that should be getting done, is getting done. It’s great for keeping track of team projects and allows you to see exactly how much manpower goes into them.

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4 Responses to 7 tips for keeping small businesses organised

  1. Justin October 21, 2012 at 12:33 am #

    This is good advice, but even solo entrepreneurs need organization. There are several apps to help with that. I recently wrote about 5 of theme that I use on my blog.

    It helps to organize your computer with file folders. That has made such a difference for me.

  2. Change Management Consultants October 22, 2012 at 9:07 am #

    Well organizing is the main key to
    improve any type of business and get profit of that. Here are very valuable
    tips that you have shared with us.

  3. Mat February 7, 2014 at 6:18 am #

    I agree organizing systematically (ie, creating a process in place) is the most essential step. However, its easier said than done. Thats one area where its wise for small business to invest money on professional project management certifications like
    agile scrum certification courses.

  4. TimeSheet Reporter March 7, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

    Awesome list. Staying organized is definitely paramount. For tracking time, I would also recommend TimeSheet Reporter (, which makes it possible to track time via your Microsoft Outlook calendar.


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