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Staying organized is important for the best productivity in your business. Keeping your documents together for tax time will save you time and keep you from pulling your hair out later. We wouldn't want that now...would we?
If your not organized yet, don't worry! Neither was I at first.
During my first year with my business I kept everything in a huge pile and at the end of the year I would struggle to find everything I needed.
And let's face it. It was discouraging and incredibly overwhelming having to go through all those stacks of papers.
This led me to find a system that would be much easier for me to keep all of my needed documents in a easy to use system. Note: Everything mentioned here can be used for your personal household needs as well.
Are you ready to get more organized?
Great! Let's get started!
This is obvious, but you need a filling cabinet or some other means to hold all of your files. I use this cabinet and love how it doesn't look like your traditional filing cabinet and it blends in with the rest of the room decor.
You will need some supplies.
- Hanging folders
- Manilla Interior Folders - Get interior folders so that they will sit in your hanging folders without sticking up over the top.
- Smead Viewables
Figure out the categories you will need files for. I have 2 folders for Income- One for In Person Sales and the other for Online Sales. Expenses I broke down to Store Receipts and Company Purchases. I also have folders for Postage, Legal, Giveaways, Blank order forms, Contacts, Contracts for Vendor Shows.
Now for Contracts and Income from In Person sales I also have manila folders labeled for each month. I find this has greatly helped me stay organized. Since I book vendor shows months in advance I am now able to see all shows for any particular month at any given time. No more forgetting where I put that contract.
It's time to start putting your new filling system together. With the Smead Viewable system you can color code each category to make it even easier to stay organized.
So for example income can be blue, Expenses- Red, Legal- Purple. You get the idea. Depending on your needs this may take you the most time to get set up just the way you like it.
Don't give up on this process. It will be worth it in the end. I promise.
Now that you have your filling system all set up you need to get in the habit of using it. Sounds simple enough right?
Unless you are a highly organized person by nature any filing system you create will require discipline to really start developing that habit.
What I now do is after every vendor show I go ahead and input into my newsletter all contacts I might have received and immediately file them away and then do the same for all of the sales receipts from that show.
It took some time to get use to, but now it is a habit and much easier to do if I file everything right away.
I would love to hear from you if you have tried this system or if you have a system you absolutely love that you think I would enjoy.