I’m just starting out in my new business. Money is limited, but I still want to invest in the right things. Where to begin?
When starting a business your budget may be at the front of your mind, but that shouldn’t be the only priority. Your organizational style deserves significant attention, too. The way you manage files, documents, inventory, and more will impact your ability to deliver your product or service. Taking time up front to make wise organizational investments will support your bottom line going forward. So what investments should you make? Here are some tips to consider.
1. Choose a system for organizing and storing precious documents
Charters, tax documents, deeds, articles of incorporation, and other important documents should be protected from loss or damage. Don’t just toss these documents into a drawer to get lost or bent. Instead, consider using an archival binder with sheet protectors. Invest in binders to help you do everything from organize documents, outline plans, and track targets or to show off your work.
2. Show me the money
Build good relationships with all parties with accurate billing and timely payments. Choose a system for accounts payable and receivable that complements the way you work and the volume of work you anticipate. Good options include:
- Binder systems: Store current bills and receipts by vendor in a binder. Use accessories like spine labels and index tabs to identify your binders and their contents, or consider setting up a color-coded system. Rotating desk carousels hold multiple binders so you can reference your files without having to leave your seat. Studies show that work flow interruptions reduce concentration and productivity. Once payments have been made or received, move documents into your long-term filing system.
- File cabinets: If you anticipate higher volume, use file folders to manage the flow of billing and payments. Group types of documents in drawers so everyone knows where to look for what they need. Invest in a few high-quality steel filing cabinets at the outset, then add more as your business expands. It is easier to start with a good organizational system rather than become inundated with papers and files, and then try to corral them all later.
3. Have system, will travel
Don’t let offsite meetings disrupt your organizational style. Invest in quick file folders, briefcases, and binder caddies to keep what you need in order on the go. Easily maneuverable wheels take the hassle out of travel so getting to court, a conference, or through the airport concourse is a breeze. Use color-coded files to find what you need inside your briefcase without fumbling.
Preparedness is critical to success. Choose the organizational tools that are right for your new business, so you can focus on what matters—a successful launch and your future growth strategy. You can do business better when you choose a system that supports the way you work.