7 Small Business Organization Tips
It’s a New Year with new goals for yourself and your small business! Does your list of resolutions include becoming more organized? Organization is the key to solid bookkeeping practices that can save you time and make your records more accurate. And most importantly, keep you covered in case of an audit. Here are seven tips to get you started.
1.) Organize your receipts
That means every receipt and do so monthly. Keep them in a temporary folder until you have time to file them away. When you sit down to organize, spread them all out on a large surface and organize by oldest to newest. Each month put the receipts in an envelope or folder labeled with the month and year. After the receipts are organized input them into your bookkeeping software. There’s also an app called Expensify that can streamline this process if envelopes aren’t your style. You can link your card to Expensify to automatically send charges to an expense report, or you can take a picture of the receipt and the app will record the necessary information. More information on apps later!
2.) Save supporting tax documents
The IRS recommends you save your supporting tax documents for seven years. This amount of paperwork can take up some serious space! If you have a scanner, scan all your supporting documents and save them on a USB drive or in the Cloud. Another cheap and easy way to save these documents is to attach them to a password protected email and save them in a folder labeled “tax support documents” and categorize them by month and year.
3.) Organize your inbox
Speaking of email, make folders for commonly used email topics. As you reply to emails, save the original in the folder for easy access. Some examples of email folders would be the following: business set up, tax support documents, professional organizations, and website/blog information.
4.) De-clutter your office
Shred documents and paperwork that are no longer needed. Hide cords and rarely used equipment. Use jars for pens and pencils, cabinets and folders for paperwork, and other small jars for paperclips and other miscellaneous items. Keep folders and notebooks neatly stored while not in use.
5.) Use a weekly planner
It is so important to keep track of what needs to be done on specific days. Besides the obvious of not forgetting appointments, a weekly planner will help show your gaps that need to be filled. For example, take some time on Friday to look at your next week. Are there days or times with some down time? Be sure to ‘schedule’ things like errands for office supplies or taking time to update your social media. That way your free time will become more productive!
6.) Organize with Apps
Have you been recording things on pen and paper? Most likely…there’s an app for that! You could keep a notebook in your car to record mileage or you could pay $5 a month for an app like Mile IQ that records it automatically. You just verify what’s a business trip and what’s personal, and then the app emails you the total at the end of the month. Do you waist time on Facebook and have trouble staying on track? My Minutes is a time management app where you set goals and the app will tell you when time is up.
There are millions of apps out there ranging from communication, time management, organization, to payment processing. Take time to identify what could be improved in your business and then look through the app store.
7.) Set goals
This one may not strike you as an ‘organization’ tip but it’s the most important! Without goals your business will never reach it’s full potential. Think beyond simply making money, getting through to the next month, or increasing revenue. Set measurable, well thought out, attainable goals. Be sure to write them down and review them with employees. Mark goals as short-term or long-term goals and assess how well you achieved them. Or if you didn’t achieve those goals, understand why and what can be improved.
Happy New Year from Ilderton Bookkeeping, LLC!