Organization is an essential part of running a business. We all know of at least one business leader that seems to have it all figured out – they are always punctual, always know exactly where to find what they need when they need it, always finish projects with time to spare, and so on. However, well-organized people are not born this way; rather, they use a variety of methods and tools to accomplish their goals and stay focused on their priorities. They develop good habits that make them more efficient and productive. If your goal this year is to be more organized, adopt these daily organization habits of successful business leaders.
How to Become a More Organized Business Owner
Organized people don’t expect to do everything on their own. From mobile apps with notification reminders to software that streamlines business processes, there are many different tools available to business owners. Here are some of the best tools for small businesses:
- Expensify is an expense tracking tool that allows you to track business expenses from a computer or mobile device. It codes expenses to the proper category, saves receipts digitally, offers easy reporting, manages travel plans and mileage, logs time, and more.
- Wunderlist is a task and project management system that makes it easy to manage all of your team’s projects with centralized communication and unlimited collaboration features. It offers reminder notifications, project delegation and file sharing, among other features, to allow a team of any size to seamlessly keep track of all tasks.
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools allow you and your sales team to keep track of leads, opportunities and customers with sales tracking, communication and collaboration tools. There are many free or low-cost CRM tools for small businesses, so research a few different ones to find the platform that works best for your team.
- Mailchimpis a useful email marketing tool that helps you manage your mailing lists and create newsletters to send to your subscribers. It is also a good tool for sending your customers surveys and tracking results.
- Online calendars can be very effective when used properly. Choose a calendar that integrates with your mobile device and email provider. For example, Android users will probably want to use Google calendar, as it syncs effortlessly with their Gmail account. However, most online calendars can be added to any mobile device’s native calendar application with a little effort. Here are the instructions for integrating Google Calendar or Outlook Calendar to your phone.
There is an abundance of online productivity tools that can suit any business. Find what works best for your team and stay on track all year long.
Start with a clean slate. Go through your workplace and clear out old computers, paperwork and other clutter. Next, go through your computer files and sort everything into folders and make a backup of all your files. Once your workspace is clean, keep it that way. Take a little time every single day to clean up before you go home. Put things away as soon as you are done with them, rather than at the end of the day. File paperwork in the correct location as soon as it hits your desk. Respond to all emails by the end of the day and file them in their relative folder so that they don’t get lost in your crowded inbox. Making a habit to do these small chores every day will save you a lot of time in the long run.
Establish the Priorities
Organized people know what their goals are and where they fall in the list of priorities. Start every day with a plan for meeting that day’s goals. Whether that means taking the first hour at the office every day to sort through your email and write out a to-do list, or just visualizing the plan of action for the day ahead, simply taking each day at a time and establishing a strategy each morning can make all the difference.
Ask for Help
You simply cannot do it all. Part of being organized is knowing in advance how much time you have to get everything done and asking for help ahead of time before you find yourself with an overflowing to-do list. Delegate tasks to other team members from the start to make sure you (and everyone else) can focus on one project at a time. When everyone is rowing in the same direction, the company moves forward faster and more efficiently.
Close to Open
There is a saying in the retail and restaurant industry that the evening shift should “close to open.” This means that at the end of the day, employees should prepare the store to be ready for business the next morning. Work spaces are cleaned and stocked, items used during the day are put away in the proper place, and tables/displays are set for customers. The opening team only needs to unlock the doors and they are ready for business.
The same theory holds true for other businesses as well. Even if customers never enter your office, closing to open each day gives you a head start in the morning and inspires you to be productive right out of the box. It requires discipline to spend an extra 15 minutes at the end of a long day preparing for the next. Most people are procrastinators by nature. However, once you develop the close to open habit, you will never go back. Having a fresh start to your morning rather than having to clean up from the day before gets your momentum going and keeps it going all day.
Organization is a skill that anyone can master with the right habits. What kind of habits will you adopt in the coming year to improve your business? Let us know in the comments.
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