Anyone who owns or operates a small business knows that success doesn’t come easy. While there are many tangibles that contribute to success, it is equally important to consider some of the intangible factors that may play a role in the longevity of a business. If tangibles include things such as a marketing plan, quality product or a good computer, then intangibles include things such as motivation, passion and….organization.
Organization is a skill that does not come naturally to everyone. Some people have a natural propensity for filing, labeling and maintaining an orderly work space, but others have to make an intentional effort to learn these skills. It can be as unnatural for an introvert to learn how to speak in front of a crowd as it is for some to learn organizational skills. While it can be a long and arduous process, learning to organize is worth the effort. Business owners, entrepreneurs and even the neighborhood soccer mom find that this is not just a new skill, but a discipline that affects every area of life.
Why is it important to learn this discipline? Simply put, it can make or break your business. Some business owners may assume that since they do not have a storefront, a customer will never know that their desk is piled high with messages and papers. While that may be true, it should be noted that a sharply organized owner/operator will be better prepared to answer, help and sell. If you go to bed feeling overwhelmed by your business or rarely have the expectation of finishing your work by the end of the day, it may be time to evaluate how organized you may be in some of the following areas:
- Schedule: Even if you work exclusively from home, it is important that you have a designated start and stop time each day. Organize and plan every minute of your work, down to the 15 minutes you need to simply get settled at your desk before you open your email. A tightly organized schedule will increase productivity out of necessity and eventually, self-motivation.
- Workspace: Do you have a desk or an office? Piles of papers, a full trash bin and other messes are distracting and demotivating. Even for a work-from-home entrepreneur, an organized workspace can give the impression of a “real office,” which in turn can be inspiring and refreshing for a person who does not have to leave the house to go to work.
- Self: The small business owner should be organized at work and at home. It is virtually impossible to have a messy and disorganized home-life and step seamlessly into an orderly work environment. From managing time on social media to cleaning out the car, carefully evaluate the areas of your personal life that may be dragging you down in your professional role.
Thankfully, organization is a teachable skill. With time, patience and the desire to increase productivity, it can prove to be one of the most valuable, and perhaps underrated, intangibles you need to succeed–at work and at home.