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The Organizing Trend Will Benefit Your Business

– Contributed content –

Laptop and file storage on desk


9 Feb. 2019. Organization seems to have turned from a niche subject matter into a global juggernaut trend over the past couple of years. From the phenomenon of Marie Kondo which has has everyone reorganizing areas of their home from their garage to their sock drawer, to the growing focus on organization as a part of user experience design, it seems that everyone is streamlining, categorizing and busy tidying up. The fact is, the sheer volume of options and information that we all face on a daily basis – in business and in our personal lives – is completely overwhelming. It’s led to a type of cognitive dissonance where we’re struggling to think about the noise level our things create. Getting properly organized is an antidote to all of that, a chance to think clearly and focus on the most important items. And what business couldn’t do with a little more of that?

In a world increasingly obsessed with curating, eliminating and tidying, professional organizers are a growing commercial force and a macro-trend that is impacting operations the world over. Even commercial giant eBay has recent launched it’s eBay Valet service to take advantage of the swelling need for us to organize and downsize, while Japanese organizational queen Marie Kondo is riding high with a trending series on Netflix, and being named one of Time Magazine’s Most Influential People last year. Shows like Clean Sweep and Mission: Organization have taken over our TV screens and professional organizers aren’t just for celebrities anymore. Getting organized has become elevated to the status of virtue signalling for individuals, and there is much businesses can also take from the trend and bring on board to help everything run much more smoothly and efficiently.

Why organization matters to business

Companies struggle all day with time and task management. As a business leader, you will be required to juggle many different tasks, often with competing deadlines, and to split your efforts in many different directions. This means that being both efficient and effective becomes hugely important – for the health of the business and for your own sanity. Where a business does not have the correct systems in place, you find that tasks tend to bottleneck around a programme or a process which is not fully optimized. The issue builds up until it becomes a time drain – resulting in futile effort, lost productivity and squandered profits. Many a business has hugely benefited from bringing in an operations consultant who is able to have a clear line of vision in engineering processes, optimizing software and eliminating waste.

Benefits of an organized approach

There are so many positives your company can gain from making a conscious and sustained decision to focus on better organization. Firstly, there is all the time you’ll save. It may only seem a couple of minutes at a time for you to search through a pile of disorganized papers or a chaotic email inbox, but multiply this by the hundreds of small tasks we process on an an average morning and across all employees and it adds up to a huge amount of wasted time. Going for the best matter management tools and the right software and physical storage solutions for your business can claim back hours, days and weeks of wasted time. Some areas of organization, if not up to scratch, have a legal implication – think misplaced supplier contracts, incomplete tax documents and forgotten HR items. So there is the very real possibility that businesses could be in danger of facing hefty legal bills or taxation fines if their house isn’t in order.

Organization is also at the root of good financial management, which every successful business needs. Cloud based systems which can monitor receivables, produce timely invoices, chase clients and issue prompt payment to creditors are a must if a business has any hope of planning cash flow and making accurate financial projections. The smooth working of a supply chain and the service offered to customers depends on your company staying on top of the money coming in and going out, and having that information readily available is the essential support needed to make adjustments in reducing spending and increasing sales which can lead to prosperity.

In a globally competitive marketplace, there is also necessarily a relentless focus on delighting customers and turning them into brand advocates. The value of this is seen not just in a higher average transaction cost and the relative expense of acquiring new customers versus retaining existing ones, but also in the reputation excellent service creates for your company. The age of social media and peer review sites has created a lot more transparency, and thus can either work in your favor and win you tonnes more referrals without draining your marketing budget or it can set you up for failure and do untold reputational damage that is extremely hard to undo. If bad organisation leads to delays in processing orders or providing a crucial service, or poor billing systems result in erroneous charges, your business is going to suffer the cost eventually.

Lastly, there is a huge amount to be said for the management of stress levels proper business organization can bring. Where you are operating in a disorganized environment, there is a constant, low level stress at play that can be toxic to mental and physical health over time. Many thousands of workers across the country are signed off with stress related illnesses each month, and that corresponding drop in productivity has a huge cost – the economy in the UK alone loses an estimated £100 billion per year from stress at work. A large proportion of that can be remedied very simply and without huge expense, simply by streamlining processes and finding the correct software solutions to bring organization to your business. So, with all those factors at play, it could be the year to take a long hard look at the shortcomings in your business and tap into the organizational trend with a few simple moves.

Tackle your office space and storage

Running a truly organized business starts with ensuring that your physical surroundings are in order. Studies have shown that clutter reduces our ability to think logically, so creating a more streamlined environment for workers is essential. Apply this concept from the shop floor to the C-suite – if you want to perform at the highest level, you’d be surprised how much of your daily productivity and mental flow is impacted by having a tidier desk. Take a review of storage options and ensure that you create a dedicated space for anything which needs to be in reach and eliminate anything that doesn’t. Vertical storage options have the power to really improve the storage capacity and efficiency of the working space. It makes sense from both an efficiency, a cost and an environmental perspective to cut down on the amount of paper that flows through an office. Try restrictions on printing and looking into tools for a paperless office including cloud based document storage and practical additions such as document signing software. If some paper based files are unavoidable, opt to have them stored off site by an archiving company with an online management system and highly secure premises.

Tackle your customer management processes

Without happy customers, a business doesn’t have much, no matter what size it is. So it’s important to keep good customer relations near the top of the priority list. Any kind of disorganisation when it comes to this area can reflect very badly on your business and it’s service, and in the age of review sites and social media word spreads very quickly. Just think of all the bad restaurant reviews that you’ve seen on TripAdvisor. When planning an excellent customer experience, a good CRM system is absolutely key to organise the information you hold about them and allow for things like segmentation, personalized marketing and a data driven approach to your decisions. A system which includes customer support software to help tackle any issues quickly and efficiently is key. In this area, AI technology such as chatbots can also help to give some service around the clock, resolve straightforward queries immediately, signpost to relevant information or channel more complex queries to the right person quicker.

Organizing your marketingAnother angle that great software can support with is executing great marketing campaigns. Even the biggest companies can make the mistake of having a disjointed, not very well organized approach to their promotional activities. There is no excuse not to be more planned – even if you think you work in an industry where you need to be responsive, planning in 80 per cent of the activity in advance still leaves you with 20 per cent capacity to jump on trends and react to competitor activity and external market changes. Get your ducks in a row by scheduling marketing activity, making a master plan and using a service like Hootsuite to get a chunk of your social media posting set out in advance. You’ll find that if you’re more strategic in your approach you’re far more likely to generate a great return on investment and be able to personalize what you do to your customers a lot more.

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