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23 Tips For How to Organize Your Small Business

23 Tips For How to Organize Your Small Business

Have you ever spent what felt like hours looking for something because your store, warehouse or office was messy? When you run a small business, you wear many hats, so time is of the essence. Staying organized is critical for running your business efficiently, making customers happy and ensuring your employees can do their best work.

In this guide on how to organize your business for success, we’re sharing strategies that will help you keep various aspects of your retail and ecommerce business running smoothly. Keep reading to gain:

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Digital business organization tips

1. Use project management software

Our first tip for how to organize a business is to implement project management software. Whether you’re a solopreneur or have a team of people working for you, using a project management tool can help you keep track of what needs to be done and your progress with tasks. You can use a simple spreadsheet or software like Asana.

2. Create systems and processes

Whenever you do something for your business, document how it should be done. For example, you could create a step-by-step guide to counting inventory at your store. Having processes in place makes things faster the next time you do that task, and makes it easier to outsource help and train employees.

3. Create SKU numbers for products

Give each product in your inventory a stock keeping unit (SKU) number. This unique identifier can help you search for products in your ecommerce platform, POS system, shop or warehouse.

4. Keep files organized

Instead of naming files the first thing that pops into your head, create a file-naming convention for your business to make it easier to find what you’re looking for on your computer. You should also create a system for file hierarchy.

For example, if you run a clothing boutique with an ecommerce store, you’ll need to organize product photos. You could create a folder for each season, then create subfolders for different types of items, such as bottoms, tops, shoes, outerwear and accessories. Then, you could name each image with the product’s name, its SKU number and what type of image it is (full body shot, close up, front, back, etc.).

5. Hire a virtual assistant

Hire a virtual assistant to help with administrative tasks like managing invoices, following up on orders and responding to customer emails. Virtual assistants are an affordable alternative to hiring an on-site, full-time employee.


Office organization tips for small businesses

6. Keep your office neat

Our first office-related advice for how to organize your business is to keep your office orderly. Whether your shop has a back office or you run an ecommerce business from home, it’s important to keep your workspace organized. Tidy up at the end of each day to have a fresh start. Have a place for everything and put things back after using them.

7. Use a desk and drawers

Running a retail business means you’re on your feet a lot and may not think you need a traditional office setup. However, using a desk to work from and drawers to store important files and products will help you stay organized.

8. Go paperless

Opt for paperless billing and email notifications from credit cards, banks and utility companies. Doing so will mean you have less paper to store, which saves you space. When you need less space for storage, you can rent a smaller work space and save on overhead expenses.

9. Get an extra computer screen

Having two monitors to work from can make a world of difference in your business. You’ll be able to see photos of your products more easily and reduce strain on your eyes when you’re sorting through spreadsheets.


Warehouse and storeroom organization tips

10. Label everything 

The best way to keep your warehouse organized is to label every item. Add a SKU to every item. If you use a bin system, label the bin with its contents so you can easily fulfill online orders and replenish your store’s inventory.

11. Store similar things next to each other

If you want to know how to organize a company, you should place similar products close to each other to make them easier to find. For example, a clothing store should keep footwear in one section, bottoms in another section and tops in another section, rather than just placing a shirt next to a shoe because they came in the same shipment. 

12. Leave room for your business to grow

Like a library leaves rooms on its shelf to add new books, you should leave space on your warehouse shelves to add new inventory so you don’t have to move everything over when new products arrive.

13. Take advantage of vertical space

Use up all of your warehouse space by storing up. Purchase tall shelving units and use a step stool or ladder to reach higher products. Make sure to keep your best-selling products within reach to save time.

14. Use inventory management software

Inventory management software is critical to maintaining an organized retail or ecommerce business. This software can help you keep track of what you have, how much it costs and when you need to reorder.

15. Make your most popular items accessible

Place your most popular products in an easy-to-reach spot in your warehouse, such as near the front door. This tactic will save you loads of time when fulfilling online orders and replenishing your storefront.

16. Furnish your warehouse with good lighting

Our final warehouse-related tactic for how to organize a business is to illuminate your space. Keeping your warehouse well-lit will make it easier to find products. Doing so will also help you avoid sending customers the wrong items.


Store organization tips

17. Make opening and closing checklists for employees

One of the best strategies for how to keep your small business organized is to give store employees an opening and closing checklist to follow. Include things like tidying up displays, balancing the cash register, turning off the lights and activating the security system. A checklist keeps employees accountable and helps ensure that everything that needs to be done gets done.

18. Conduct inventory counts regularly

Counting inventory on a regular basis will help you keep track of what you have in stock and when it’s time to reorder inventory. It will also help you keep an eye on employee theft. Your inventory management software and a barcode scanner can help speed up the process.

19. Place your best-selling products up front

Organize your shop so that your best-selling products are in an obvious spot, such as near the front or by the checkout counter. This will not only make it easier for staff to point customers to the right items, but it will also help drive sales.

20. Implement signage for customers

Stay organized by placing wayfinding signs and section labels throughout your store. For example, if you sell outdoor gear, you could organize your store based on different activities (camping, fishing, biking) and hang signs over those sections to make them easier to find.


Ecommerce business organization tips

21. Create a packing station

Create a packing station by putting all of your packing supplies in one place. Include things like boxes and sleeves, bubble wrap and other cushioning materials, branded inserts and stickers, tape and scissors.

22. Set up email filters

Organize your inbox by setting up rules to send specific types of emails to different folders in your inbox. For example, you can have one folder for questions from customers, another for return inquiries and another for correspondences with vendors.

23. Use a chatbot to automate customer support

An often-overlooked strategy for how to organize your business is to leverage chatbots. Implementing chatbots can decrease the number of customer questions you’ll need to respond to manually and reduce clutter in your inbox. Configure your chatbot to answer common questions on topics like shipping fees, return policies and accepted payment methods.


FAQs about how to organize a business

If you’re a small business owner looking for more insights into keeping your business orderly, here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about how to organize your business.

How do you organize a small business?

If you want to know how to organize a small business, you should use both physical and digital organization strategies. Physical organization strategies include keeping your workspace, storefront and warehouse neat if you run a business that sells products. Digital organization includes tactics like creating file-naming conventions, using project management tools and leveraging automation to reduce digital clutter.

How do entrepreneurs stay organized?

Entrepreneurs stay organized by having systems in place, both in the digital and physical realism of their businesses. For example, SKU numbers, file-naming systems and searchable databases help entrepreneurs find what they’re looking for efficiently.

Why is organization important to a business’ success?

Organization is important to a business’ success because it helps increase efficiency. The more efficient a business, the less time you can spend doing menial tasks, and the more time you can spend on revenue-generating activities that prolong the longevity of your business.


Wrapping up: How to organize your business

Now that you’re learned how to organize your business for success, it’s time to turn these tactics into action. By implementing even just one of our organization tips, you’ll be well on your way to running your business like a well-oiled machine. When you can quickly find the products you’re looking for, keep emails at bay and help employees do their work efficiently, you’re setting your business up for long-term success.

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More of this topic: Management & Operations