Organizing one’s business for effectiveness and efficiency can be a tough goal for any entrepreneur. The list of items to consider may appear to be too difficult. The task can be made simpler if the entrepreneur keeps in mind the overall goals of the organization. The internal organizing systems are only a means to an end and not an end itself. Unfortunately, support systems are often based on considerations that have nothing to do with the overall operation of the business.
The first consideration is, therefore, how will the support systems contribute to the goals of the organization. The second consideration is how well a support system will work with the other staff members. It is important to keep in mind the adaptability of the employees to the company workflow. If the staff is older, with minimal computer skills, it may be a waste of time and money to invest in a system that is predominantly computer-driven.
There is no consensus among experts regarding the “best” office support systems. The entrepreneur should not rule out paper-based systems, simply because these systems are not “high-tech”. Notepads or Post-It Notes can often be as effective as a sophisticated computer system. Start with the bare essentials and add items as needed. Avoid the BSOS (Bright Shiny Object Syndrome) when buying equipment or systems for the office. The BSOS can be compared to a child going into a toy store and wanting to buy everything in sight!
One must make an honest, thorough assessment of the desired outcomes when purchasing office systems. Where possible, the desired results should be quantified (assigned objective, measurable values). What does “better” or “more productive” actually mean? Saving time may be irrelevant if the company’s clients do not feel they are getting good service.
Develop a system for continually assessing tools used in the business. Employees should be trained in the proper use of equipment and supplies. In addition, questions, comments, and suggestions for improvement must be solicited from employees. One must be open to making changes and revisions based on the actual results achieved.
Never let the “how to organize” be more important than the company’s purpose or mission. The reason for the company’s existence must always be the highest priority.