Organizing your life can be a huge endeavor, especially when you’re trying to run and manage a business. For starters, true organization is more than simply making your paperwork neater and removing the clutter from your work space.
What better time to resolve to get your business more organized than as we embark on a new year (and a new decade)!
To see the best results, you should plan to integrate an organizational system that will not only keep you organized for years to come, but will also set you up to succeed in 2020.
Here are some practical tips for business owners:
Utilizing binders for organization
If your business relies (at least partially) on paper records, then a great way to start your organizational journey is to utilize three-ring binders.
Let’s face it:
If you have to keep paper records, then you understand that they can be a major hassle — especially if you don’t already have a filing system in place.
To start, take stock of the papers lying around your office. Sort them into meaningful stacks. At this stage, you aren’t really organizing as much as deciding what documents are important to your business.
Try sorting your papers into the following stacks:
- Papers you need to keep, but that aren’t sensitive
- Important, confidential documents that include account numbers or other sensitive information
- Documents you can discard and recycle (This can include magazines, notes and cards you’ve held onto as well.)
- Confidential papers you can discard and shred
After you’ve purged what you don’t need, it’s time to organize what you are keeping. Again, it’s important to sort through your keep pile and sort them into meaningful categories.
Next, you’ll want to consider a means for document storage. A good option is three-ring binders. Not only will three-ring binders keep your documents organized in one place, but they are easy and cost effective to set up.
Start with as many three-ring binders as you think you will need based on your stacks.
Pro tip: To add a more professional look to your organizational system, consider custom binders that have your business logo and brand colors.
When purchasing a binder, consider what capacity you’ll need for your documents and what ring size and shape will best fit your needs. You might need to opt for a D-ring binder as they allow pages to lay flatter inside your binder.
To keep your categories organized, index tabs are a useful tool. They are also great for helping you find information quickly.
Other binder uses
In addition, three-ring binders can be helpful tools around your office in the following ways:
- A place to store your ideas and brainstorming notes
- A place to store all of your advertising material (This can be both for how you advertise your own business to the market and who is advertising with your company.)
- Inventory information
- Your company’s goals (A binder is a great place to keep weekly, monthly and annual goals. You can also store projected goals and any charts or tables to track your progress.)
- Project lists
- Social media materials (This includes storing the information for your marketing campaigns, networking contacts, where you want your social media to take you and blogs to post.)
- Budget information