Let’s get organized, organized. While that is getting stuck in your head, it’s time to think about organizing that business of yours. Maybe you’ve gone through a massive growth spurt recently, or you are planning one. Either way, it’s good to take stock so you can grow your business in peace.
If you’re thinking ‘but everything is working fine at the end of the day, think again. We’re not here to settle for just fine. Here are some good reasons to organize your business, once and for all (and stick to it).
- It improves communication: you will be able to communicate faster, because information can be found easily. On top of that, you’ll always have accurate information at hand which eliminates unnecessary frustrations, for friendlier and to-the-point conversations.
- It speeds up your work and boosts productivity: your organization could be what’s holding you back. If your workflows are longer than necessary or if your chain of command is actually a circle, you will get less done than is possible. You might be losing time on finding the right documents or explaining things over and over. Clear things up and watch your productivity boost.
- It’s great for company culture: nobody wants to come to an unorganized place of work. It’s frustrating and certainly does not improve the atmosphere in the office.
- It helps you to get the most out of the talent you hired: if people are able to focus on their job and don’t have to waste time on finding the right tools and info, you can watch them do what they do best – all the time.
Sounds good? Here’s the guide on how to get it together.
1. Automate As Much As You Can
Take a good hard look at the daily processes in your business and ask yourself if it’s really necessary to do some things manually. With a quick Google search, you’ll probably find plenty of SaaS solutions that could help you automate the busywork.
This goes for administrative work, but also for marketing and reporting. Take away the repetitive tasks and watch your employees flourish.
2. Get A CRM In Place – Stat
A CRM system is like heaven on a computer for your sales, marketing, and finance team. Instead of them having to request information on customers on an ad hoc basis, everyone just has access to a complete profile on the customer, whenever they need it.
Not only will it get you organized and save some unnecessary emails and trips to Hannah in accounting, it will also allow you to follow up with customers quicker and more effectively.
3. Organize Your Content Marketing And Social Media
Is updating your social media and blog something you only do whenever you have time for it? It’s a problem for many businesses. You don’t directly see the results of strong content management and social media marketing, so you keep postponing it. We’re not here to judge, we’re here to help.
If you really want to reap the benefits of social media and SEO, start thinking ahead. Take a moment to create content in bulk. Not only will you get in a good flow, you’ll also stop having that nagging thought about social updates in the back of your mind during client meetings. We’re going for full focus here!
You can use tools like Later to plan ahead for all your posts of the month, across all your channels. You take just one day to get it all set up, and for the rest of the month, you can worry about direct sales and customer acquisition.
4. Restructure Your Organization
Who’s in charge of what? Who needs to ask permission, and who can give it? Over time, lines can become blurry in your organizational structure. Your company grows and when new people enter, you just go with it. But after a while, things can get frustrating and time-consuming.
Speak to your team members and ask them about bottlenecks in their work when it comes to the structure of the organization. Find out what’s unclear and together restructure the hierarchy in your organization. Doing it together will ensure that your idea of a structure also works on the work floor, and they know exactly whom to turn to at all times.
5. Communicate Responsibilities Clearly
When you start a new job over time it can also become unclear what is actually your job, what is someone else’s, and what has never been properly assigned. Time to rewrite that list of responsibilities that you always see in job ads. This time though, you’ll do it for the people who are already working for you.
This part of the organization process is also best done together. That will allow you to get a complete view of what tasks need to be distributed and lets you find the most efficient way to assign tasks.
Make it clear who is responsible for what, and make that information readily available for everyone to read.
6. Think About The Way You Manage Projects
It’s likely that in the beginning, you just took on any project as a team and got to work. But as projects come in more and more, it can be easy to lose track of who needs to do what and when – and has anyone emailed that client back?
A solid project management tool or a talented project manager will help you keep an eye on everything that is going on and helps you meet deadlines. You should also start using project charters. They help everyone get on the same page about the scope of the project.
7. Create Workflows And Templates
Everyone does things their way, which can be great, but also a disaster. Why does it take one employee one hour to get those papers sorted, and another one takes a week?
Show people the right way by creating workflows. We don’t mean that you should abolish creativity and kill suggestions for improvement – on the contrary. But, together with your team, you could establish set workflows that everyone can follow. That way, people can work in the most efficient way and take up minimal brain battery for repetitive tasks.
For instance, create a usability testing guide for your design team. That will ensure that every new product and page has gone through the same qualification criteria and always meets your standards.
Give your sales reps a copy of the CDPA guide, so they know exactly how to handle personal information from their new clients.
Another great thing to create more unity in the way you operate, is by creating templates for documents you often use.
8. Reorganize Your Documents
When was the last time you organized your online documents? Do you simply keep everything in your Downloads folder, and do your WeTransfers constantly expire?
Then it’s time to look at your document management tools. First and foremost, if you want already, switch to the cloud. This will make everything available to everyone at all times, so no more emailing documents back and forth.
Then, invest the time in creating a clear structure in your system. Use clear names for folders and delete files that you definitely no longer need. Some easy-to-use favorites are Dropbox and Google Drive.
9. Streamline Those Calendars
Having a shared calendar can be a real blessing for some businesses. If it is used correctly, that is.
If you don’t have a calendar like that, people will pop in or send a Slack to ask if ‘now is a good time?’, which will inevitably get people out of their flow, and then they might as well say yes.
Create a rule that before you interrupt someone’s workday, you should check their schedule and their status on Slack to see if they are available.
Also encourage your employees to set themselves to “away” when they need to focus and make it clear that those people should not be disturbed.
10. Manage Your Time Wisely
More importantly, teach your employees how to do the same.
The better you become at time management, the more time you will save for important things. Or free time, of course.
Educate your employees on techniques like the Pomodoro technique, where you work in chunks of 25-minutes and then take a 5-minute break. Or let them do deep work blocks, with minimal distractions. How you manage your time will determine how energized and effective you are, so it’s something worth investing in.
What Part of Your Business Needs Organization?
Of course, it’s unlikely that you should tackle all of the things we just listed at the same time. Set priorities and determine what is the easiest to change right now, and what will make the biggest impact on your business.
About the Author:
Vicky Frissen is a freelance copywriter based in Barcelona. She helps brands and businesses stand out from the crowd by putting some personality in each piece of copy she writes—whether it’s a 1,000-word blog post or a short and snappy Instagram caption.