Disorganization Will Prevent Optimal Business Flow

In 15 minutes, you could finalize a contract, sign a deal, mastermind a plan, or make a new connection that could drastically change the trajectory of your business and send you off in the way of success. Or, in those same 15 minutes in a disorganized business, you could waste time on things that will eventually, if not immediately, wreak havoc on your bottom line – maybe without you even realizing it.

Here are three ways disorganization could be crippling your business and hitting your bottom line harder than you ever thought.

#1 Lost Files

Every year, small business owners scramble to get their P&L statements in line and report their tax numbers. During their scrambles, they do everything they can to collect the right documents and file accordingly. But, even so, it’s still reported that about 40 percent of small businesses make tax mistakes that, on average cost businesses $845 per year in IRS penalties. Business owners also overlook tax write-offs and rebates, therefore an extra payday goes to Uncle Sam instead of into the pockets of the business owners.

The solution: Immediately scan all tax-related documents and file them in a place that’s easy to find and access come April.

#2 Digital Document Disorganization

Are all your documents filed in a way that you can easily retrieve them? When you need to refer to a contract, do you quickly pull it up and find the clause in question? Or instead, do you spend time trying to locate contracts, invoices, and receipts because they aren’t filed using consistent naming conventions and/or are not in folders? If your situation is the latter, then you are suffering the effects of digital hoarding, which could be costing your business tens to thousands of dollars.

Think of it this way. The average executive wastes six weeks per year searching for important documents. For an employee with a yearly salary of $60,000, that’s about $6,290 per year. Rather than watching that money flow out the door, imagine calculating it in your revenue – just by being more organized.

The solution: Get your business a smart digital organization system and use it. Train yourself and your employees on the best way to file and be sure to follow your guidelines.

#3 Physical Clutter

Although some people say that a cluttered desk fosters creativity, it often doesn’t foster a productive or profitable business. In fact, physical clutter is proven to result in psychological clutter and therefore, creates a barrier to getting things done. Even further, a study by OfficeTeam reported that 32 percent of HR managers said they’d wonder whether someone with a messy desk would also be a mess when it comes to organization and effectiveness – and they could be on to something. Clutter can lead to difficulties finding things and wasted time, resulting in a drop in productivity. Businesses quickly lose money paying unproductive employees and the bottom line is impacted.

The solution: Set aside time each week to declutter physical spaces. And work on being proactive about your clutter by filing and discarding things as they appear.

The good thing about disorganization – digital and physical – is that it can be fixed. Deploying a few simple strategies will prevent those dollars from flowing out of your business and instead, keep flowing to help you keep growing.


Stay tuned for more business tips from Jen Cohen Crompton, and be sure to follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn!

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