Small Business Sunday – Get Organized

If you’re running a small business then there’s a good chance that you wear many hats. You’re the deal-maker, the CFO, and sometimes even the CTO – the point is, you have a lot on your plate. It can be easy to get disorganized and soon find yourself spending valuable time searching for things. As the CEO of a business your time is incredibly valuable, you’re the strategic thinker, the captain of the ship, if you’re spending even 5% of your time looking-around for things then you are not maximizing your time.

If this sounds like you, don’t feel bad, just know that by getting more organized you can actually get more done. Since it is 2012 and everything can (and should) be done online I’m going to talk about organizing your computer. Is your Desktop completely overloaded with icons? Have you spread important files across a zillion different folders? I’ll show you how to get organized so that you know where everything is and so that you’re keeping track of important data about your business.

Step 1: Store Your Files In The Cloud

It’s 2012, storing your files on your computer is so 1990’s. Get with the times and keep your files online. There are a lot of great reasons to do this:

  • If your laptop is stolen you don’t lose your files, photos, and movies
  • Access your files from any computer or directly from your smartphone or tablet
  • Add space instantly without having to buy any new physical hardware

Convinced? Good. I personally use and highly recommend Dropbox, this is one of the easiest ways to store files online and access them anywhere. There are other good solutions but I hate overwhelming people with options so I’d rather just recommend what I use myself and know works.

Step 2: Make New Folders In Dropbox

Now it’s time to turn your disorganized digital mess, and sort them into folders so that you actually know where everything is. You should make the following folders in your Dropbox account:

  • Sales and Marketing
  • Finance
  • Legal
  • Design & Logos
  • Consulting (if applicable)
  • Current Projects/Clients
  • Human Resources
  • IT

Step 3: Organize Your Files Into Your Dropbox Folders

Once you’ve created these folders, it’s time for the fun part. Take all those files and folders spread across your computer(s) and put them into one of these folders. In most cases this will take less than an hour to complete. Once you finish, pat yourself on the back, you now have a much better way to find things since everything is now properly categorized.

Next time you are looking for an old contract, look in the legal folder. Trying to find the original employment contract for a member of your team, the Human Resources folder is your spot. It may seem simple but in reality many Small Businesses never take the time to get organized.

For some of you reading this, you’ll reach this point and say, “That’s it?” Good, you’re already organized so really didn’t need to read a post about getting organized, right? For the rest of you, which I think is the majority of you, it’s Sunday take an hour or two to get organized and spend more of your time next week getting things done, rather than looking for the things you are trying to do.

 

{ 1 comment… add one }

  • LeadRefs April 23, 2012, 7:29 am

    How to organize all of your paperwork, files, and ideas was one of the first things I learned in my project management classes in school. It is important to label documents and folders accordingly, and you give great examples of some ways to do so. 

    One suggestion I can add, for longer lasting projects, is to label things by date as well. This could be done via file name or folder, but it can become very handy if projects go back more than a year or two. 

    Reply

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