BPT -- Small businesses are always trying to find ways to get organized so employees can work more efficiently and save money in the process.
With tax time just around the corner and projects opening and closing on a daily basis, taking your business organization standards to a new and improved level might seem like a huge undertaking.
"A well-organized office helps you find what you need and to work efficiently, which reduces stress," said Julie Morgenstern, an internationally known organizing and time management expert. "More importantly, staying organized lets you to spend more of your valuable time on what's most important to your business."
It's easier than you think. Your small business can increase efficiency and get organized in three easy steps -- shed, shred and get ahead.
Shed: Go through your project folders and purge any unwanted files or papers. Organize the documents in binders, labeling them with pertinent information so you can quickly scan multiple binders to find the information you need at a later date. For tax filing resources, the Internal Revenue Service recommends keeping important business records from three to seven years, depending on the documents.
If you have old binders that are no longer in good condition, don't throw them away, recycle instead.
Take these binders to a Staples store, which gives customers $2 off the purchase of a new binder for each old one brought into a store to recycle.
Shred: Private and sensitive data that is no longer needed must go through the shredder to protect your business and employees from fraud and identity theft. Surprisingly, almost 20 percent of small-business owners don't shred confidential material, with the leading reason being that it's just easier to throw materials away, according to the 7th Annual Staples National Small Business Survey. To simplify the shredding, consider Staples 10-Sheet Cross-Cut Shredder, which includes new features like a convenient pull out bin and a lockout key that functions as a master power control, rendering the shredder non-functional until the key is replaced.
Get ahead: Don't let your piles grow in your office this year. Get a jumpstart on those files right away and train all your employees to keep organized during the work process so you won't have to play catch up at a later time. In an effort to establish a better filing system as you get everything organized, try the BETTER Binder with removable FileRings, available exclusively at Staples.com. These binders allow you to remove all the material inside (keeping the rings intact so nothing is lost or out of order), for easy filing in a standard filing cabinet or storage box. This process allows you to use the binders to securely take material out while the project is in the process or put the material away into a permanent storage once the project is closed. FileRings are sold separately, allowing you to reuse the binders.
An organized small-business owner has more time to get work done as 83 percent of these entrepreneurs are solely responsible for organizing their companies, according to the survey. It's never too late to tackle this task, and as a small-business owner, you'll feel better and be able to spend more time focused on growing your business.