Set Your Home Office Up Properly

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Set Your Home Office Up Properly

Files and folders are virtual dinosaurs in this age of the paperless office. All businesses can benefit from the proper management and organization of office records. Throwing things away seems almost a sin for some small business owners which is precisely why many find themselves buried under a mountain of disorganized paperwork.

Business owners will tend to keep everything in an effort to avoid having to decide what to keep and what to pitch. In time, the storage room door cannot be opened and hope is all but lost for finding any documents that may be needed. It is the responsibility of management to make sure things remain organized to prevent lowered productivity or a complete shutdown of business operations.

Barbara Hemphill, an expert on office efficiency, says that "most small businesses don't deal with their papers until it's too late." If there is one important piece of paper you need to find amongst hundreds if not thousands of other papers it could take you days to locate its whereabouts. Management needs to take steps now to prevent this type of situation from happening.

Step One Towards Office Organization

You are going to need an entire day (if not more) to organize the office. You do not want to find yourself interrupted and distracted by customers, so choose a day when you are not normally open to tackle this mammoth project. Make sure all office staff get in on the fun because it is certain that they helped to create the mess.

It is possible to organize the office by yourself and even some true blue entrepreneurs have been known to set aside a day for the task.

The easiest way to start is with current paperwork that's taking up space on your desk. Sorting by subject and then by date is a great way to organize your papers and will make finding what you need much easier. You should also get a system of file folders that you can place your paperwork in to make it easier to retrieve.

You should also have a separate system for your accounting and bookkeeping. Expense reports and receipts should be carefully filed for later reference. A good idea is to record your business transactions into a ledger. You can either use a ledger book or one of the many software programs available.

Once you've organized paperwork into file folders, you'll need to assemble boxes or purchase crates to keep documents in. Your filing system will depend on the type of business you operate. Some businesses organize their files by the client's name, while others use job numbers. No matter what type of business you operate, you will always file your accounts receivable and accounts payable the same. All that matters is that you have a system to your filing.

Organizing your Computer Documents

Fire or water can wreak havoc on a business if either of these two hazards reach critical documents. Businesses have coped with these dangers by investing in scanners so that they can digitize their physical documents.

Computer documents are easily accessible and easier to file on a CD or 3.5" floppy. Of course, if you want to be really high-tech, you can use an external hard drive to store your documents. CD's, floppies, and external hard drives should be stored in a fire resistant safe, or off the premises.

You may want to consider an automated backup service for your financial files and records. For a reasonable fee you can have all your important documents stored on an off site server. This will keep your files safe give you peace of mind.

Hemphill says that "Your ability to accomplish daily tasks is directly related to your ability to find the right information at the right time." If your office isn't currently organized make it your number one priority. It will save you time and money in the future.

About the author: Nyall Bakk is the chief writer at Advertising WorldWide the best place on the internet when you're after fresh up to date advice and reviews to do with Business.

Disclaimer: The information presented and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of and/or its partners.
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