Without profit, any business, large or small, will sink without trace. The eternal paradox facing entrepreneurs is how to balance building a client base (and all that’s involved with marketing etc.), with actually doing the work that brings home the bacon.
Too many entrepreneurs are caught up in ‘busy work’. Every moment of the day is spent on the small tasks the business demands, but when you add up what you’ve produced during the day, you realise there’s little that actually earns hard cash.
Spending time more productively is an eternal challenge. One thing that can really help with productivity is streamlining mundane tasks that can otherwise swallow whole chunks of time and, by association, profit, is the way you organise storage.
Organising Storage for Maximum Productivity
Ideally, you should have everything to hand, exactly where you need it at the time you need it. Moments spent searching for an item may seem trivial, but add up the minutes and by the end of the week you’ve potentially wasted a couple of hours.
Regardless of where you run the business from, be it home or a dedicated office/workshop, determine which tools or stock items are most frequently accessed and arrange storage accordingly.
For instance, office or desk bound jobs need paper supplies, pens, notebooks, printers/copiers, files, and bits and bobs like paperclips or staplers.
- Install shelves over the desk.
- Have desk tidies for small desk accessories.
- If you need a filing cabinet, choose a smallish one that can hold the printer close to the desk.
It’s all about not having to get up and walk across the room every time you need a pen or a sheet of paper. Your mind stays on the job when you avoid activities that break your chain of thought.
Automated Document Storage
Harnessing the automation power of cloud storage is related to the previous point of organising the office for efficiency.
The paperless office may be some years away (if it ever arrives), but today even HRMC accepts digital versions of receipts and some other documents, so the need for endless filing cabinets has shrunk.
You do, however, need to use cloud storage efficiently, which involves setting up your word processing or databases and spreadsheets to automatically save and sync across devices. Manually moving documents into the cloud only introduces an extra step into your workflow when the purpose is to remove one.
You need to initially set up automated syncing but, having figured out the process, you’ll save hours of manual work as well as reducing the risk of human error that creeps in if you forget to move a file or put one in the wrong place.
Creative Stock Solutions
Unless yours is a service-based business, you’ll have physical stock to store. Business storage facilities have been an open secret among retail entrepreneurs for some time now, and it’s a movement that’s rapidly gaining momentum.
They offer a tremendous boon to business owners who need secure premises to hold and package their stock. This is especially true for those in a growth phase who are not yet ready to take on the challenge and expense of warehousing.
But it works equally well for startups, since with storage room sizes starting from large lockers, there’s a solution for all business needs. Other benefits include:
- Short term contracts – you’re not locked in and can up- or down-scale as needed. This ability is handy when seasonal fluctuations occur and you need additional short term storage.
- All-in prices – with no additional add-ons like utilities or VAT and business rates, you can calculate overheads with precision.
- Convenient loading/unloading access – large parking areas, trolleys and pallet trucks, lifts and helpful staff who’ll take delivery when you can’t be there, offer flexibility and convenience you don’t get elsewhere.
- Packing and dispatching from one place – install a desk in the storage room and you have a handy surface on which to pack up orders. This immediately saves time and money as you’re not transporting goods unnecessarily from one place to another or increasing handling time.
Whether you implement one idea or incorporate them all, the best thing about controlling and organising storage is that once you figure out what’s needed and set up the system, it stays done. You may need to tweak things as time passes, but tweaks are a lot simpler than starting from scratch each time.
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