Joanie Ogg, CTC, MCC
If you own and operate your own business, I would venture to guess that your work is one of your passions. We are CEO’s of our own destiny and the excitement of talking to your clients about planning that special trip for them is far more fun then paperwork or detail work that must be done. However, paperwork and or digital organization left undone will eventually bog us down and slowly begin to erode our creative and selling side. A system of organization can simplify those tasks that might not be as fun, but ultimately are so necessary to productive and successful business owners.
Some say that being disorganized or working in a cluttered space is a sign of creativity. How does one even define clutter? However, there is a difference between disorganized paperwork and general clutter. Whereas objects lying around in a hap-hazard fashion may encourage creativity in some or inspire “outside the lines” thinking, not managing paperwork efficiently will have a financial and emotional consequence long term.
Uncontrolled paperwork or digital clutter such as, unpaid bills, unsent invoices, un-deposited checks, missed client messages, payment deadline notices and many more possible examples can end costing a business owner hard earned money. They really are financial costs in the long term.
Financial cost is one thing, but there is another cost involved in being disorganized and that is the emotional cost. That perception that we really are not clearly seeing what is coming next because we cannot see beyond the clutter is daunting. A stack of paperwork on my desk that has not been dealt with starts to make me want to turn and run. Spending time searching for a piece of paper in a pile of papers is not only frustrating but also time consuming. Maybe we finally find that note we were looking for, and 20 minutes later we are back looking through that stack again for something else. This costs us time and money. It keeps us from our time better spent reaching out for new and existing business. If it were all put away, just imagine the time we would save and the frustration we could alleviate?
As a small business owner, if organizational skills have somehow missed you, you may wonder if being organized is even possible. Without the resources and administrative staff of a larger company, there is a tendency to feel solely responsible for all aspects of your business. After all, it is your business and you “should” do it all.
Fortunately, wisdom and time in business show us when it’s in our best interest to delegate duties. If you feel you can tame the paperwork yourself, take some time now to envision an organizational system that also engages your creative side. This will keep you on track. However, if the mere idea of incorporating organization yourself leaves you feeling overwhelmed, then consider hiring a professional to help you stay organized. The result will far outweigh the cost. Whichever road you take, the result is sure to “set yo