Every business owner has big dreams for their business, that’s a given, and yet half of all startups fail within the first couple of years. You have to wonder why that is? The statistics show that a big part of early failure for businesses is linked to money or a lack of it. Usually, the reason that money has such a huge impact is because of a lack of organization – that’s the main issue for many startups, there is no organization, which means that money management is not taken seriously, leading to failure.
With that in mind, it’s clear that for businesses of all shapes and sizes that organization is the key to success in the long term. The issue is that a lot of entrepreneurs don’t know how to organize themselves and their businesses. The silver lining is that once you understand what strategies there are for organization, staying organized becomes much easier.
Bearing that in mind, below are some of the organization strategies that many of the world’s top entrepreneurs swear by.
Having structure is vital
A mistake that can prove fatal when it comes to running a business is failing to structure your time. Don’t start each day without knowing what you plan on doing with your time, instead spend the first five minutes of your day (or even your commute to work) planning out each minute of your day to ensure that you use your time wisely. As part of your structure for the day, it pays to start with your emails – go through your inbox, replying to each email in ascending order, until you have worked your way back to the top of your inbox. It’s vital that emails are replied to quickly, especially if they are from people within your team, as your lack of response could hold up their day and impact their productivity. With a structure in place for each day, you will feel better about the tasks that need completing. Using a planner can help to make structuring your day that little bit easier.
Put a time limit on meetings
Meetings are a vital part of running a business; there is no getting away from that fact. However, a lot of time tends to be wasted during meetings, so it pays to put a time limit on them, to ensure that they don’t go on and on. Say meetings usually last for 45 minutes, put a limit on all meetings and ensure that they end at 30 minutes. This won’t impact the amount that gets done, but it will prevent mindless chat and time wasting, as everyone will know that there is a time limit. Meetings can take up a lot of time each week, which is why reducing them down and ensuring that they are actually valuable is so important. Think of it this way, say your meetings usually average 45 minutes, and you hold 3 meetings a week, by cutting them down to half an hour each, you are saving 36 hours of time each year, which equates to four work days – that is a lot of time to waste, isn’t it?
Utilize remote working
A vital part of being an organized business owner is thinking outside of the box. Each year, more and more business owners opt to offer their team members the option of remote working, because this form of working can make life easier for employees as they don’t always have to travel to work. What if your business also operated this policy – aka allowing team members (and managers) to work from home when coming into the office is not necessary? It’s a different way of working, but when it makes no sense to come into the office because you can work as well from at home, it’s important that you (and your team) have the option of doing so. After all, travel time is wasted time, isn’t it?
Converse don’t email
Wherever possible avoid using email to communicate, especially when you are discussing a project. Waiting on an email response can mean that you are not utilizing your time effectively, which isn’t good when it comes to your levels of productivity. That’s why it’s important to converse with your team about things, wherever possible, and encourage them to do the same. If a face to face conversation isn’t an option, then give them a call or message via instant messenger. When you need an instant response, emailing doesn’t make sense. Be smart and converse instead of sending emails – you will find that things get done a lot more quickly. Don’t cultivate a lazy team, teach your team to get up and speak face to face with others, as that way you will have a more productive team.
Don’t be afraid to outsource
Believe it or not, a lot of business owners are not keen to outsource. However, this is a mistake that you do not want to make, as outsourcing can make the process of being organized and running your business more efficiently, much easier. Take your document management, for instance, a vital task that aids organization, and makes running your business easier. While you could take the time to deal with this task yourself, it makes sense to outsource it and use a specialist service like Oasis Group document management. The fact is that outsourcing can save you (and your team) a lot of time, which can make achieving targets and remaining productive, much easier.
For staying organized, checklists are key. The fact is that staying on top of everything that needs doing is not always an easy task, especially when you have multiple jobs that need completing. By using a checklist to write down every task that needs completing and ensuring that you work through the list in order, ticking things off as you go, you can make staying organized and keeping on top of things, much easier. As well as using checklists yourself, it also makes sense to encourage your team members to do the same. Remember, an efficient team is an effective team. Not keen to write to do lists down on paper because you always misplace them? Well, how about using an app instead? There are various apps that offer checklists that can be used to manage your daily tasks effectively.
Invest in apps
Talking about apps, it’s wise to invest in them. If you are not already using apps to aid your organization, now could be the time to start utilizing them. The fact is that there are many apps that can make the process of staying organized at work much easier, which is why it pays to take advantage of them. Whether you love the way that Evernote works, find My Lists useful, or like to use Google Documents, Sheets, or Pages on your phone to stay organized, apps can be highly useful. It can be hard to stay organized when you have so much to think about, but the use of apps made to reduce the strain that your mind is under can help.
There you have it, a guide to the secrets of organization that all of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs swear by. You may not agree with all of them, or find them useful for that matter, but these are the strategies that many of the business industry’s most intelligent minds use on a daily basis, so it is worth giving them a try to see if they can work for you and your business.