Here are some tips for keeping on top of your small business administration.
1. Tidy Up - Simple as that. There's nothing worse than trying to run a business from an untidy room or office. Mess brings stress and should be sorted out as your first priority. Ensure that all work surfaces and desks are as clutter free as is possible, and if you are working from home, try to keep an area of your home dedicated purely to running your business.
2. Paperwork - Choose a filing system that suits you and organise chunks of paperwork into logical piles. An ever-growing pile of unrelated paperwork gets harder to sort out each day, and chances are, somewhere near the bottom of the pile will be a request for payment or something else which would have been dealt with already if systems were in place.
3. Accountancy - From our own experience, the one area of admin which you really must ensure gets your full attention is accounting-related. More than anything else, you should keep accurate and up-to-date records of all your income and expenditure on a spreadsheet or using accountancy software.
Whatever works for you is the best solution. From my personal experience, when I'm organised I get twice as much work done, which is better for my own feeling of satisfaction.
5S is a reference to five Japanese words that describe standardized cleanup:
Seiri : tidiness, organization. Refers to the practice of sorting through all the tools, materials, etc., in the work area and keeping only essential items. Everything else is stored or discarded. This leads to fewer hazards and less clutter to interfere with productive work.
Seiton : orderliness. Focuses on the need for an orderly workplace. Tools, equipment, and materials must be systematically arranged for the easiest and most efficient access. There must be a place for everything, and everything must be in its place.
Seiso : cleanliness. Indicates the need to keep the workplace clean as well as neat. Cleaning in Japanese companies is a daily activity. At the end of each shift, the work area is cleaned up and everything is restored to its place.
Seiketsu: standards. Allows for control and consistency. Basic housekeeping standards apply everywhere in the facility. Everyone knows exactly what his or her responsibilities are. House keeping duties are part of regular work routines.
Shitsuke : sustaining discipline. Refers to maintaining standards and keeping the facility in safe and efficient order day after day, year after year.
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