Bringing a little organisation to your small busin...

Bringing a little organisation to your small business

When you own a small business, it becomes extremely easy for you to focus all of your attention on just one area of its development. For the majority of us, this area is likely to be product development, market research, or other areas of general business expansion. At the end of the day, this makes complete sense – you want to establish your brand, generate sales, and make a name for yourself in the marketplace. However, it’s extremely important that you remember to keep the bigger picture in mind at the same time. After all, if you focus all of your efforts in one area, you’re going to be falling short somewhere else. A part of effective business management that is unfortunately often overlooked is organisation within your company itself. The subject is often overlooked or falls by the wayside until the mayhem is unmissable. The main problem with this is that when your businesses are unorganised, you and any staff that you employ will have a lower quality work environment, your customers will have an experience with your brand that falls below par, and safety can be compromised (both in terms of physical safety and less tangible forms of safety, such as data protection). So, what can you do in order to bring a little organisation into your professional regime? Here are a few things to consider to set you off on the right foot!

Filing Important Documents Effectively

Every business tends to have a whole lot of paperwork to deal with. You want to be able to pull up any of these documents quickly and effectively should you need to refer to them or provide others with evidence of them. So, make use of specialist document management software, one example is the one offered by Symfact. Software could prove vital to your company’s success when it comes to various areas of the business including finances, legal matters, and project management. These will help you maintain control over life cycles, and resource planning too!

Storing Customer Data Securely

By the time your business is up and running, chances are that you’ve heard the term “data” thrown about a fair few times. Data is a collection of “facts”, which in simplified terms means that data is any information that your company comes into contact with. It can take the form of numbers, words, measurements, observations, or design details – all of which you are likely to accumulate over time. For the time being, let’s focus on customer data, as this should be a priority. After all, if you fail to manage customer data properly, you could find yourself breaching data protection law, which could result in costly legal action and fines. Any data that you have gained from customers, employees, or other members of the public needs to be effectively managed to ensure that it isn’t leaked. When someone purchases something from you or someone works for you, you gain their full name, their address, their email address, their contact number, and (perhaps most importantly) their bank details. If you don’t manage this effectively, these details could fall into the wrong hands and the individual could become a victim of identity theft or fraud. So, make sure that any data you collect is used fairly and lawfully, used for limited and stated purposes, kept for no longer than is necessary, and kept safe and secure. There are various different computer programs out there that will file and store customer data on your behalf.

Hire a PA

A “PA” is a personal assistant.  While you may be able to keep on top of all of your responsibilities and appointments when you first start out in the realm of business management, chances are that things will quickly start to get on top of you when your business starts to expand. So, rather than bearing the weight of the world on your own shoulders, you should bring in a professional assistant. As the old saying goes, many hands make light work and they will be able to help out when it comes to managing your professional schedule. This means you can say goodbye to clashing appointments, which will make you appear unreliable to customers, clients and partners due to cancellations. You can also wave goodbye to working extra hours in order to make up for bad time management.

These are just a few different things that you can do in order to organise your small business effectively. Remember that you want to make the process look as simple as possible for a professional look. Following the above advice can help you to achieve this!

Christine Buske is a former academic who left science at the bench, and now considers herself a woman in tech. She is a frequently invited speaker, and enjoys talking about career transformation (particularly leaving academia for the business world), tech, issues around women in tech, product management, agile, and outreach. She is a proud Canadian resident, and qualifies as a "serial expat".

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