As your business continues to grow and you add new clients to your list, the word “busy” can become a regular part of your vocabulary. And when your schedule is packed, organization can take a back seat. As a result, you might not have the time to audit your systems and ensure everything is operating efficiently.
Luckily, spring is just around the corner, and this time of year is the perfect opportunity for you to overhaul your current systems. Instead of running with the same old, same old, you can set up processes that allow your organization to run like a well-oiled machine.
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Not sure where to begin? We asked a handful of industry experts for their best tips for an internal organization overhaul–here’s what they had to say.
Conduct an audit.
If you’re unsure which areas of your business need a little TLC, it’s best to dive into each of them to identify the hottest priority.
Nora Sheils, co-founder of Rock Paper Coin, says, “The best way to stay organized is to regularly take an audit. From reviewing your tech stack to checking in with employees on what’s working and what isn't to reviewing numbers on your accounting software. It is important to stay up to date on every piece of your business.”
Block out time on your calendar.
Sometimes, as business owners, we tell ourselves we’ll complete a task, only to let it fall to the bottom of our to-do list. Yes, we’re busy—but we can only step up our organizational skills if we take the time to do so.
“Blocking out time for organization is a great way to make it a priority,” confirms Megan Estrada, CEO & Event Consultant at NSWE Events. “Assuming it's just going to happen is a great way for it to fall to the wayside, especially during busy season! We like to put out a small appointment once a week in our calendar to clean up our files/emails/etc. to make sure that everything is where it needs to be.”
Break things up.
Overhauling your organizational systems can feel like a daunting task. That’s why Sheils recommends breaking it up into smaller pieces.
She notes, “A big overhaul should be done in stages. Otherwise, many times it's overwhelming, and companies quit before they've even started. Determine your goals, set deadlines, and keep them. The moment you start slipping and let something else take priority is the moment the whole project could get thrown out the window. Take small, digestible bites of the project and spread them out over time.”
Keep clients top of mind.
You’re here to deliver an exceptional client experience, and putting clients first when it comes to organization is one of the best ways to do so. All the clean backend workflows will do little if your client-facing approach is messy!
As The Restart Specialist, Meredith Ryncarz, explains, “one of the easiest things to get out of hand is the client experience. Keeping a smooth and easy client workflow will ensure your client experience stays on track.”
Acknowledge future hires.
If your business continues to grow, you’ll likely need to bring on additional team members. Keep these new hires in mind as you update your systems to ensure your onboarding process is quick and efficient.
“If you decide to hire external help, it's easier for an outside person to come in and understand your systems and workflows if everything is easily organized and labeled,” notes Jessica Feiden, CEO and wedding photographer of Jessica K. Feiden.
Utilize your team and client feedback.
If you’re lost on how to optimize your systems, start by asking your team members who have their hands in the mix most often. You’ll also want to keep client feedback in mind, as you (hopefully!) have a handful of surveys and reviews to back you up.
“At the end of each season, reflect as a team on the things that could be done differently,” recommends Amber Anderson, founder of Refine for Wedding Planners. “Taking notes throughout the season can help with this process. Review client surveys as well.”
Make it a regular habit.
Spring is the perfect time to organize your systems, but if you genuinely want to stay on top of your business, these organizational changes must become a regular habit.
“If you want to scare yourself, keep track of the hours you lose trying to find lost data, previous client info, inspiration photos – you will be shocked,” cautions Cathy O’Connell, founder of COJ Events. “You do have time to get organized, and it will be a game-changer.”
Simply put, organizing might take out a good chunk of your schedule, but it will save you time in the long run!
Reap the benefits.
Overhauling your organization is a fantastic way for you to grow your business. After all, you're much more likely to succeed when your ducks are in a row.
“Staying organized can reduce email traffic, room for error, client tensions, and general overwhelm,” Anderson adds. “It can also boost company morale and help with staff retention rates.”
Plus, organized systems allow you to increase revenue regardless of the curveballs thrown your way, as Ryncarz explains.
“As businesses get busier with clients or gain popularity, they tend to scale back to handle the demand and develop processes to accommodate,” she asserts. “This model, unfortunately, does not allow a business to operate at its maximum potential and capture business during a peak time. Staying organized internally will allow you to take on clients no matter the time or stage of your business.”
Adding “organization overhaul” to your spring cleaning checklist will help your business grow and continue to take on new clients in the future!