There are three possible resolutions to the starting of one’s own business:
· The business succeeds, and the owner maintains a thriving company until retirement.
· The business succeeds, and the owner sells the venture for a profit.
· The business fails.
On this site, we believe that the second ending is the most fairytale-esque, and we work our hardest to educate budding entrepreneurs so they can achieve it. However, time and time again, we notice that small companies who lack organization in any major aspect of their business will not only fail to sell for a profit — they’ll likely just fail completely.
If you want to realize your promise of selling your venture, you need to be methodical and orderly in all aspects. Here are the top ways you can make your small business more organized this year.
1. Ditch Paper Everything
Companies who rely on paper files are living in the past. Paper is an inferior information storage medium for a number of reasons. It takes hours to sort through. It takes miles of cabinets to hold. It takes billions of trees to manufacture. No matter how efficient your paper filing system is, your employees will eat up time and energy sifting through pages to locate necessary information, and probably, by the time they find it, they’ll have 10 other facts to find in the paper mess.
Ultimately, paper files slow down your business and make it more wasteful. If your productivity is low, it’s likely your profits will match, and no company is interested in purchasing a flagging small enterprise. Plus, corporations are supremely disinterested in ventures that don’t comply with the public’s need for sustainability. Thus, as soon as you can, you should contract a document scanning service to integrate your paper files with your digital ones.
2. Encourage Employees to Plan
More likely than not, you are a goal-oriented person with multiple to-do lists and a planner with a month’s worth of projects and events. However, just because you are proficient at setting goals and planning well in advance doesn’t mean your employees are.
Some workers will attempt to map out the month in their minds, failing to inform co-workers of their projected schedules; meanwhile, most workers simply neglect to consider tasks with due dates weeks or months in the future. Both of these situations spread confusion and slow down the office, which makes your business less desirable to interested parties.
You should do your best to encourage your employees to become planners. You can require them to write down specific life goals, including at least three for the next year of their employment. Then, you should mandate that departments develop strict checklists, perhaps using a useful software like EZ forms, to make sure every worker knows what s/he should be doing and when.
3. Update Old Technology
If your computers still use CRT monitors, it is time for a change. Corporations are unlikely to bid on small ventures that will require a substantial investment to upgrade; if scouts see outdated or broken-down tech, they probably won’t be interested in the combined expenses of purchasing your business and fitting it with modern appliances.
Modern businesses can only be as fast as their slowest devices, so if any of your technology is more than a couple years old, you should swap it out for newer, better models. The same is true for any software you rely on: stay abreast of new versions and their benefits so you can command the most useful technology.
4. Keep Online Profiles Clean
Your digital presence can become just as cluttered and redundant as your physical office, which means you should have frequent contact with your social media profiles. Old, incorrect, and irrelevant information will clog up your online presence, confusing and deterring anyone who visits your social media sites. For customers and parent companies, your various online profiles may be the first contact they have with your business, and if it isn’t a pleasant experience, you will lose out on income and exit opportunities alike.
There are dozens of companies who specialize in social media management, which means you can pass off your online profiles to experienced and dedicated third parties. However, if you don’t have the time or resources to manage keep track of social media accounts, you should stick to only a core few, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.