It is that time of year when we begin to reflect over everything and see what we need to do to meet any goals or targets we set ourselves at the beginning, and while 2020 has certainly not been the year that any of us planned for, there is still time to work on hitting them.
If nine months ago, before COVID-19, social distancing and quarantine became part of our everyday language, that 2020 was going to be the year where you really get organized in your business and maximize productivity, you may have started to implement some of these tips. If you haven’t, then there is still time to put them into practice!
Make use of a workflow management tool
Even if you have a small team, you need to be capable of communicating directly, simply, and efficiently with each of them. This is particularly important if they are working remotely, as many people are during the coronavirus pandemic, or are traveling for business purposes. A good workflow management tool should be able to help you delegate tasks, allow you to send messages to colleagues or team members, and vice versa, allow conversations between project staff to access/upload key information or documents. There are different ones available, with different features, so do your research and find one that works best for you and your employees.
Organize your staffing hours
These days, clock in cards are rapidly becoming a thing of the past, and let’s face it, if your team is working from home, it would be pretty useless anyway! Sling’s employee time clock calculator helps you to keep track of who is working what hours so when it comes to processing payroll, it is much easier.
More and more firms are going paperless now, in an attempt to cut costs and do their bit for the environment. If you usually give your clients or customers a paper invoice for goods or services, ask if you can send it via email instead. Email payslips out instead of handing out physical copies. When documents come into the office, scan them in if you need to keep them and store them digitally – a decent cloud storage system is essential for all small businesses now. It can take a while to get used to, but once you go paperless, you will find that you are naturally more organized.
Sort your space out
Not only does an untidy, cluttered workspace with piles of paper and files look unprofessional to anyone visiting your premises, but it also makes it incredibly difficult to work productively. How can you, when you are spending more time looking for something than working on it?
Going paperless, as we talked about above, will significantly help with this. Make sure that as and when you get rid of physical copies of any documents containing sensitive or confidential information that you do so securely. After all, you could breach data protection regulations. If you do business in the UK, this can land you with a fine of up to £10,000 per breach.
Operate a one-touch policy with anything that comes into your office, whether that is a hard copy or a digital copy. Read it, deal with it, and file it away in the right place. Labeled boxes and drawers, as well as labeled folders on your computer, can help you to keep everything where it should. When you come to need to grab a file quickly, you will know exactly where to look.
Organize your passwords
When it comes to digital passwords, most of us have one of two systems for managing them. The one system involves using the same password for every website or app that you use. The other involves forgetting it every single time and having to reset it every single time – and that is not exactly the best use of your time! While you should never write down your passwords, there is a range of safe and secure third-party apps that can help you to manage your passwords so that you can log in the first time, every time – but do it safely, too.
If you are hoping to use the rest of this year to organize your business, maximize productivity and get ready for the growth that you hope to see next year, start to put some of these tips into practice now.