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How to Organize An Efficient Office
and folders are virtual dinosaurs in this age of the
paperless office. All businesses can benefit from the
proper management and organization of office records.
Throwing things away seems almost a sin for some small
business owners which is precisely why many find themselves
buried under a mountain of disorganized paperwork.
When faced with the dilemma of what to toss out and what to
keep, business owners panic and keep it all. Years pass,
until one day the storage room has overflowed. Documents
are now lost in the massive piles around the office.
Management has the dilemma of organizing paperwork to
prevent low productivity and direct failure of the business.
Barbara Hemphill, an expert on office efficiency,
says that "most small businesses don't deal with
their papers until it's too late." If there is one
important piece of paper you need to find amongst
hundreds if not thousands of other papers it could
take you days to locate its whereabouts.
Management needs to take steps now to prevent this
type of situation from happening.
Beginning to Organize
Start by declaring an office cleanup day. All
employees should pitch in and help organize any
and all paperwork in the office. If at all possible
schedule this on a day that you're normally closed
to avoid any distractions. Paying your staff
overtime for one day will be well worth it once you
see the results.
Organizing your office space and paperwork is more difficult
if you work alone, but not impossible. Even entrepreneur
diehards can squeeze in a day for cleanup.
The paperwork atop your desk needs to be first priority.
Organize by subject and then date. After sorting is out of
the way, it is time to put everything in its proper place.
If file folders do not exist for some of the paperwork,
then create some so there is a place for them.
Next, locate income statements, expense receipts, and sort
them accordingly. Your accounting should be a priority.
Record transactions into an accounting system or ledger
until you're current. If you're like me, you could spend
the majority of your day just entering transactions.
Instead, end at a time that you can easily pickup from.
Once you've organized paperwork into file folders, you'll
need to assemble boxes or purchase crates to keep documents
in. Your filing system will depend on the type of business
you operate. Some businesses organize their files by the
client's name, while others use job numbers. No matter what
type of business you operate, you will always file your
accounts receivable and accounts payable the same. All that
matters is that you have a system to your filing.
Organizing your Computer Documents
You need a contingency plan for all your paperwork
and electronic files. If there was ever a flood or fire
and your documents were destroyed you need to
have a backup plan. For your important paperwork
consider getting a scanner and filing backups
It is simple to file and access information stored on a cd,
floppy, or even an external hard drive for the true
techies. Whatever you choose to utilize, make sure to keep
the storage devices in a fireproof safe or even off site if
that is a viable option.
You must be able to access information in a timely fashion
in order to get through the list of tasks that must be
accomplished on a daily basis. Do not procrastinate and
put off organizing your office space because management
strategies are essential to the success of your business.
About the author:
Nyall Bakk is the chief writer at <a
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