Why This Question Matters

By Paul E. Casey

In real estate, the motto is location, "Location, location, location". In business, it’s "Organization organization, organization". Time is your precious commodity. The best use of your time should be spent selling. Contract out repetitive functions like bookkeeping. Also, think about this: Saving two hours commute time a day will save you one full year of productivity in approximately 10 years.

Organization, or lack thereof, often makes the difference between success and failure in the business. Success in business is all about developing systems that make doing your job and its various tasks easier and more profitable with each passing day. Time is money. And the more organized you are, the faster and easier it will be for you to manage your business and make money.

Organization means opening your daily mail and or e-mail and deciding what to do with your inputs on the spot, instead of letting it stack up. It means returning important phone calls or e-mails within twenty-four hours. It means having a filing system for bills, invoices, receipts, tax records, etc., so you can locate whatever document you need quickly. It means having a business card of your own that you can hand out to people - with your company name, address, phone, e-mail address, and website URL - so they can contact you easily. It means making sure that your car is in working order, so you won’t miss important appointments. The more organized you are, the more you can accomplish in a day, a week, or a year.

When you hear that someone is “burned out” from running their own business, it usually means that the business owner is exhausted from the daily effort of trying to run a disorganized business. A business owner who is disorganized is continuously flailing away like the worst government bureaucrats or people who work for large organizations. These people can afford to be disorganized because their salary is not based on organizational ability. For the self-employed business owner, organizational ability is an essential survival tool. I firmly believe that being organized is one of the major reasons I am still in business today.

Being organized also instills a sense of confidence in your clients and potential clients, while not being organized tends to have the opposite effect. There used to be a print shop across the street from my office. I say "used to be" because it has since gone out of business. I suspect the main reason this print shop went out of business was a lack of organization among its employees.

Each time I visited the print shop, I saw empty and unplugged computers, diskettes stacked everywhere, and papers and files spread out across the desks and piled on the floor behind the counters. The entire shop had a look of general chaos. After a time, I stopped using this print shop for large projects where I had to leave an original set of documents with them. I was afraid that would misplace or lose my documents. I often wondered how many customers they lost because of their poor organizational skills.

Riding in someone's vehicle tells me a lot about whether or not I want to work with them on a professional basis. If the car is relatively clean on the outside, and if the inside is not littered with fast-food wrappers and old newspapers, it tells me that this person is organized and pays attention to detail. If someone is organized enough to make sure that their car is presentable, I imagine that their home and office are probably also organized as well. If I conduct business with this person, my project with them will probably be completed in an orderly manner.

Bottom Line: Always be thinking of ways of making your company more efficient.

Click here to find out more about available resources on successfully sustaining your small business.

When you hear that someone is “burned out” from running their own business, it usually means that the business owner is exhausted from the daily effort of trying to run a disorganized business.