I know, I know...you're entrepreneurial, you're independent, you're a pioneer in your field. You've been successful for years, or if your company is brand new you're hungry, full of energy and drive. You don't need any help with basic stuff like where to put a filing cabinet or how to set up a break room. But while you probably are all of the great things mentioned above, you may not have always have a grip on the best set-up to keep things running smoothly for future growth. Here are a few examples of when a professional organizer can help you keep your momentum, and even take your business to the next level:
1. You secretly dislike your work atmosphere. Pretty simple, but don't ignore the signals. You resist working in your designated office space because it's, well... a wreck. You take your paperwork to conference room because there's no room on your desk. Don't underestimate the effect clutter has on your mood and ability to concentrate. I don't care if Steve Jobs WAS messy - I'm guessing he had plenty of people working for him to handle the finer details. This situation also often occurs when you work from home, so along those lines...
2. You work from home and often have difficulty separating work life from personal. Your office space has Lego minifigures, dog treats, and copies of Runner's World magazine on top of your contracts and orders. An organizer can help you figure out the best ways to separate your two worlds - without offending the rest of the household.
3. You have more inquiries and calls for your business than you can handle. I've seen this scenario occur with people who start a multi-level marketing business with the idea that it would just be a part-time extra source of income. But then what happens when all of a sudden tons of people want what you're selling? What happens when you host a party and have 35 pieces of contact information and selections to process? Good business organizers have suggestions on the best recordkeeping methods to keep you from dropping the ball and losing money.
4. You have more than 25 unopened emails in your work inbox. I'm not necessarily into having no emails in your inbox at all, but when you aren't opening messages, you're likely losing customers or opportunities. Timely responses make for good impressions, so you need a method for daily email processing that doesn't take up hours of your time.
5. You can't find documents you know you've saved on your computer. Maybe it's your naming conventions, or maybe it's the fact that you save 5 drafts of the same thing, but whatever the issue is a PO with tech experience can walk you through ways to clean up your electronic clutter and get things in order. Same goes for your smartphone (all those pictures!) and tablet device.
6. You can't figure out whether or not you want to go "paperless". You keep hearing how great Evernote (or Iqtell, or Google Drive or the next Big Thing) is, but so far it doesn't make a lot of sense to you. Nor do you have a lot of time to mess with it and learn all of the features. A couple of hours with an organizer could go a long way towards determining what technology makes sense, or if your Franklin Planner is still a good thing.
7. Your employees can't find what they need and keep bugging you for assistance. Repeatable systems. Visual cues. Labels on almost everything. Do you have these? If not, expect to spend more time training and explaining than you would like. A PO with business expertise can help you set up the office so that the basic stuff is obvious to most anyone, thereby saving everyone time and effort.
Just as it's helpful to have someone with no attachment to your stuff come and help you purge your attic or garage, it's great to have an unbiased opinion on how to create the best atmosphere for your company's success. The price of hiring a professional organizer can usually easily be made up in increased productivity, and not losing track of important business leads. So what are you waiting for? Check out www.napo.net to find qualified business or office organizers in your area.
Sara Skillen - Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Organizer Coach®, wife, mom, dog-lover, author. Learning to trust my intuition more every day. Shall we work together?