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Organization for Small Businesses

-- 2011-10-27 12:00 am --

Organization is an aspect of running a small business that often goes neglected. Some people do not naturally keep things organized; others do not have the proper tools to stay organized. Among entrepreneurs, very few have time devoted specifically to maintaining order.

However, organization is a vital aspect of running a small business. When people speak of organization, they often picture a desk, closet or storage area. But, there are multiple aspects of organization within a small business. First, the business must physically be organized. Second, it must electronically be organized. Becoming orderly in these key areas will increase productivity, use resources more efficiently and boost profits.

Physical Organization
People often picture a desk or storage area when they think of organization, because these are the places where becoming organized begins. The physical organization of a business acts as the foundation for all other aspects of the business. Building a business upon a messy system of organization is like building an office on a pile of stones. The supporting structures must be strategically placed.

Depending upon the nature of business, the organization will vary. A doctor’s office will need quick access to patient files, whereas a warehouse distribution center will need to be able to ship large equipment. While the specific method of organization will vary, there are a couple of principles to keep in mind.

The system must be planned. The haphazard placement of items somewhere, whether they are papers or refrigerators, does not work. Rather, strategic planning is required. The most used items should be the most accessible. A few minutes spent planning will save many hours over the course of a year.

After a system is planned, it must be implemented and followed. Having an idea and not implementing it is useless, as many small business owners know. However, the more difficult aspect of organization is maintaining it. Running an orderly business is an ongoing effort. The Second Law of Thermodynamics applies to business as well as science. Essentially, it takes effort and energy to maintain order. Without work, order becomes disorganized. Whatever the organizational system is, people must put in the effort to follow it.

Electronic Organization
Electronic organization has become just as important as physical organization. The principles are the same when organizing electronic files as when putting physical objects in order. There must be a system, and it must be planned, and it must be followed.

The system for electronic storage is slightly different than for physical storage. With electronic files, there are many programs that organize the data already. The most generic of these is the file system that all operating systems have. These can hold folders and files, and they will sort them or search through them. Yet, many businesses can benefit from specially designed software. This will vary from industry to industry, but there is a program for every need.

Becoming organized is an important aspect of running a small business. This includes both physical and electronic organization.