6 Steps To A More Organized Business
I don’t know about you, but I like being organized. And whenever I find a new tool or trick that helps me be organized, I shout it from the rooftops! Now is the perfect time to organize your business so that you start the new year with a clean and organized slate (or office, as it were).
#1. Make Your Files Sharable and Accessible
Long ago, I realized that files housed on my computer were a waste of time. I’d send a client a word processing document, and they’d send back the same with changes. But then it got hard to keep up with which revision was the newest one. Can you relate?
Now we’ve got tools like Dropbox and Google Drive that let you house your files in the cloud and share them with anyone. When I have a document I need client feedback on, they can make changes or comments directly into the online document. I can see past revisions and I’m not wasting time sorting through files on my desktop.
#2. Clean Up Your Files
Speaking of those files I have to sift through: I recently went through all my desktop folders and deleted and organized what I had. I often clip screenshots for posts I’m writing, and then I don’t need them anymore. Yet I forget to delete them and they take up space on my hard drive.
Spend just 30 minutes organizing and deleting old files on your computer. Use a built-in utility like Disk Cleanup to remove temporary files that are just taking up space. After your hard drive is clean, move to your desk and file cabinet. Scan documents that you don’t need the originals of and you’ll make lots of room!
#3. Stop Walking to Your Employees’ Offices
How much time do you waste getting up and walking to an employee’s office to ask a question? If it’s more than 30 seconds, consider setting up inter-office instant messaging like HipChat. It’s like Twitter…but for your team. You can set up group chat or just do one-on-one. Either way, you waste less time and get your questions answered quickly.
#4. Clean Up Your Social Media Profiles
I have a thing about clearing the queue. (You should see my Netflix queue. Practically empty). But sometimes there’s purpose in clearing out the dead weight, especially when it comes to your social media followers. Sure, high numbers of followers looks good, but if you’re not targeting active accounts with your updates, what’s the point?
Tools like JustUnfollow let you see which of your followers are inactive, as well as who isn’t following you back. Unfollow any accounts that aren’t active anymore. Then look at the people you’re following and cull the list for any social profiles that don’t fit with your target demographic.
#5. Organize Your Client Information
If you’ve been putting off gathering all your customer info into one place, 2014 is the year to do it! Using customer relationship management software like Insightly small business CRM helps make customer relationships easier and more manageable. You can easily see all your notes from client calls, as well as emails and other communication. You can even set up and track sales opportunities, as well as assign tasks to employees.
#6. Find Apps to Work Smarter, not Harder
There are tons more tools out there that can help you stay organized. My company started using Paymo to track the time we spend on client projects. There are also tools that make it easier to blog, share social status updates, send invoices…the list goes on and on.
If there’s a business function you don’t enjoy doing, chances are there’s an app for that!
Images: ”The words Time to Organize on a white clock to communicate now is the moment to get things in order, coordinate a mess, create a process or system to keep things tidy, clean and neat / Shutterstock.com“
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