How do you create office organization out of chaos?
I will never forget one of my first and favorite clients of all time. A successful internet celebrity, he was adept at all aspects of selling himself and his unique style of online collaboration. His office organization, however, left some room for improvement.
The first time I walked in, he was sitting at a lovely desk with a high tech computer before a beautiful picture window. I will never forget his first words: “I am great at what I do, but awful at this” – gesturing towards the rest of the room, where a swamp of papers covered the floor from every angle the eye could see. It was an organizational challenge of the highest order, and a logistical nightmare for any small business owner.
What did we do? We tackled the problem head on. I left that challenge forever grateful for the experience, learned so much and paid it forward to next level goals.
Careful curation is the key
The next several months were spent carefully curating these papers, one client, subject, vendor and category at a time. We researched and purchased a new, appropriate filing cabinet, and slowly transported the important goods into an organized and easily navigable system. From there, a lot of info went digital.
Needed documents were now skillfully assembled and at the ready.
From that point forward my work consisted of weekly visits, sorting through new information, paying bills, and creating new files as needed. It was all tucked away neatly so when he had to find something, it was there for the taking, at his fingertips.
Thereafter I was only needed on an a la carte basis, exactly the goal we were both striving for.
Goodbye paper swamp…
The so-called paper swamp never reared its ugly head again. Ultimately, we were both very happy: myself to have met my business goals and mission, and he to now be spending the majority of his time executing his core competency. After all, that was the root of his success, not sifting through a sea of paperwork.
We had a years long collaboration, and it was a stepping stone to greater successes for us both.
There are three simple steps to breaking it down
1. Sort according to broad categories – Collate several stacks as they relate to your day to day business and industry niche:
- clients and vendors
- marketing and advertising
- accounting and financials
- invoices and receipts
2. Further break it down – Curate each individual stack, create files and labels for each, while sorting in both chronological and alphabetical order:
- parse out Invoices to specific vendors;
- break out financials to date (and annual) order;
- curate marketing/advertising, etc. to publication or outlet;
- alphabetize clients; and
- continue in kind with further industry specific categories.
3. To the final resting place – And as you do, remember this important detail:
Create a data sheet with an outline and notes for every important file. Include contacts, passwords, highlights, important points to remember, anything memorable that you would want at your fingertips when dealing with this file. Now, when you reach for it, these important notes will be in front of you. Do this across the board while creating labels for each one and file accordingly.
Now that you are organized: From here you can scan individual files to a flash drive or other digital format, furthering goals for security and organizational optimization.
Thus, organization is truly the key to success
There is nothing that speaks to efficiency and production more for a small business owner than organization. Knowing where your most important resources are at any given time, and having them in order when needed is critical to optimizing day to day functioning.
Taking the steps above is certain to make your life easier. It also happens to be one of our core competencies at Bergen Concierge Service. If you need would like a strategic ally to help you get organized, we are just a phone call or email away.
Laura Milo DeAngelis | Owner and Founder | Bergen Concierge Service LLC
www.bergen-concierge.com • 201-303-7301 • firstname.lastname@example.org