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Are you Running a Disorganized Business?

by Sue Leipzig on July 21, 2014

Most of my work is done virtually, which is wicked wonderful since I prefer the solitude of my home office to, well, anywhere else really (a more polite way of saying I’m not a real people person). But every once in a while I have the opportunity to work side-by-side with a client in their environment. This is an excellent chance to see how the business runs, how the owner deals with operations, and get a glimpse into the customers’ experience.

During these visits, I have noticed some patterns of disorganization that ultimately affect the growth and success of the business.

Here is one example – some of you will undoubtedly relate….

Disorganized Business Time Bandit No. 1 – eDisorganization

I can’t judge a messy desk since some days mine looks like a tornado caught me off guard. I’m talking more about disorganization that affects the amount of time spent on a task. For example, one of my long-time clients is constantly looking for a file on her computer. I’ve noticed it on many occasions, but one particular day, it affected my time. Pretty much the instant I arrived at her office, she wanted to show me something (more on this in another post, it was a personal picture) and she couldn’t find it. I’m not exaggerating when I say she spent nearly 25 minutes searching for this photo. I gave her suggestions for searching for it, but the photo had a name like px52130.jpg and she had no idea when it was taken / downloaded. I took this as an opportunity to remind her that a) I’m not there to peruse her personal pictures, no matter how dang cute the grandkids are, and b) the 25 minutes she spent looking for this picture meant that she is now even further behind. A state that, according to the exasperated sound of her voice every time she calls, causes her high anxiety on a regular basis.

Disorganized Business? Start with understanding and organizing your Computer's file structure

All files belong somewhere – there shouldn’t be a single file that’s not in a folder.

If you can relate to this, this is one area I would make a priority in getting organized. Know how your computer file structure works. I know there are Apple people out there who think this is passe because of the more intuitive way you can search for anything on a Mac, but let’s face it, that’s not you.

Organizing your computer and understanding where things are is critical if you want to stop wasting time. Folders and sub folders are your friend. Your electronic filing cabinet should be as organized as that big metal stack of drawers in the corner (I’m kidding, it should be way more organized than that). Just throwing everything into “my documents” is the same as filing your bills, correspondence, and bank statements in a file drawer marked “things that came in the mail”.

Taking a few seconds to think about where you’re saving your files is all that’s necessary to keep your computer organized. If you are just clicking save without telling your computer where to save, you’re creating trouble for yourself later. This is a particular problem when saving email attachments – by default they go into some temporary file that no one has ever purposely opened and even I have trouble finding. This can be changed so that things at least download into your “my documents” folder, which you will then immediately place in the appropriate sub folder. By making a few changes and tweaking some settings, you can save time and eliminate the frustration of searching for files. Fortunately this is one of the easiest fixes and will take you by leaps and bounds towards that organized feeling. And its way easier to maintain than a clean desk, trust me.

For more info, check out these links:

I talked this client into hiring me for just one extra hour to organize her electronic files. The result was immediate and pretty much astonished her. She’s been able to keep it up with a few exceptions, and hasn’t called in a panic looking for something in quite some time. Unfortunately, now she’s all too able to show me pics of those adorable grandkids, but at least we’re only wasting a minute or two, instead of nearly half an hour.

Oryan Consulting can help with the basic organization that will make way for growth. Call today so we can get your electronic files organized – you can use the time you’ll be saving on the business that actually makes you money!

Susan Leipzig is a joy junkie, Class A introvert, WordPress fanatic, and Administrative Consultant ready to help you remember what you love about your business. Call today to schedule your consultation. 503-805-7309

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