Many people and businesses start spring cleaning in a month or two, but we think it’s wise to organize and streamline your business at least once every quarter. By keeping your offices clutter-free and organized your business will be able to run smoothly with no backlogs or missed opportunities.
Ten Tips for Quarterly Organization
Many companies have drawers filled with unfinished projects, half-thought-out ideas, and the business cards of potential leads. There are also in-boxes and folders on computers jammed with documents that could be made into blog posts, testimonials that never get shared, and ancient invoices. All of this disorder slows down computers and clutters your employee’s minds. Additionally, some of it is valuable and should be explored or followed up on.
With this in mind, we are providing ten ways you and your staff can get things in your office organized each quarter, so no leads go stale and projects get completed:
- Clean up.
Your first step is to dig through everything and throw away unnecessary/unused items. This includes recycling old electronics, deleting unused programs, filing old documents, deleting old voice messages, etc.
- Scan paper documents that you need to store.
Many businesses need to keep documents that only come in paper form like receipts, handwritten purchase orders, sketched out ideas from the marketing team, and other similar items. Have the appropriate departments scan, save, and file these documents.
- Abolish the “misc” folder.
Many offices have something labeled “miscellaneous.” This is where any random ideas, leads, documents, and inspiration seems to gather. The contents of a misc folder should be emptied out, examined, and then used or filed appropriately. In many cases, most miscellaneous folders can be archived or thrown away completely.
- Backup your data.
One of the reasons people hold on to so much clutter is they are afraid to lose it. You can resolve this fear by using a backup system that keeps your information in secure, off-site storage. Having the ability to backup information can also help you get rid of all those bulky hard drives, unlabeled USBs, old CDs, and even ancient floppy disks you may still have around the office.
- Enter any and all leads into a searchable system.
Lost leads are the bane of any salesperson’s existence. Unfortunately, it is extremely common to find old business cards jammed in the back of a drawer or filed in the “misc” folder in a desk. Therefore it’s essential to a) have a searchable leads system and b) have policies in place that require leads be entered and categorized as soon as the salesperson is back in the office.
Leads are completely useless if no one follows up on them. So, creating an effective automation system that takes over once the leads are entered is also important.
- Review your company social media profiles.
Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media sites are constantly changing their rules. Be sure to have your marketing team look at your social sites regularly to make sure the branding is consistent across the board and that your pages are up-to-date and professional.
- Update your training.
Whether your company uses equipment or tools that have been around for a while or you have purchased new tools, it’s vital that your employees get and remain trained. It’s important to make sure your staff is trained on the essential tools for their job – including getting educated on the version of that tool you use in your company. Long-term employees may not have taken the time to get updated on new functionality in the software you are using while newer employees may not understand all of the intricacies of an older piece of equipment.
Training is not exclusive to the front lines of production. Sales and marketing tools and techniques develop and grow over time. Make sure every one of your employees is attending classes, webinars, and conferences that keep them on the cutting edge.
- Implement a production tracking system.
Projects and ideas occasionally fall through the cracks, leaving half-dones sitting on company computers or in files. The business owner cannot keep track of every project going on at once. So, be sure to set up a production tracking system. The first step of any such system needs to be assigning the job of project supervisor to a particular employee before production begins.
- Streamline the office.
Create an office floor plan that makes sense with how your product is produced or your service is provided.
For example, if you have a brick and mortar store, you will want a sales associate to greet customers, products on display, and a place where customers can buy the products. If you don’t typically get customers coming into the office, you still need a place for your employees to check in, desks that allow for team collaboration as needed, and the ability for management to be in contact with employees.
Just as a factory floor has a streamlined flow, so must your business.
- Streamline your technology.
Technology is the backbone of just about every company these days. That’s why it is so vital to have streamlined technology that works quickly and on which employees can be trained. There are also pieces of technology that can automate some employee work, saving you money and often providing accurate, trackable results.
A simple way to streamline your technology is to get your IT team to take time out every quarter to:
- Make sure all tech in your company is up-to-date.
- Inform staff of any updates made and how those updates will affect them.
- Research new technology that can save your business time and money.
- Keep your existing systems working quickly and efficiently over time so your investment can be realized.
Taking time out every quarter to organize, update, and streamline will save both time and money in the long run. Additionally, staff that frequently check in to make sure their area is organized often catch leads before they get cold, get the training they need to keep things streamlined and get their work done rapidly.
Find out more about how we can help your business get organized. Take advantage of our efficiency evaluation today!