Always Be Ready To Sell Your Business: Part 2 of 5
Go paperless by scanning everything and move your files to ‘the cloud’.
Picture your company being thrust into a state of unexpected growth. Are you ready for it? Have you taken the steps that you need to in order to be scalable to a point that you might not be accustomed to?
Are you ready to sell your business?
Recently, I posted Part 1 of our 5 part series, ‘Always Be Ready To Sell Your Business’ that addresses many of the common areas of improvement that, if addressed, can keep your company running in tip top condition. Sometimes it’s hard to turn heads down and address the things that need to be done to ensure that your company is as efficient and scalable as it can be, but you need to challenge yourself to do so.
This week, I want to go over file organization.
Your files need to be uncluttered and organized. Accomplishing both can be quite daunting. The longer they are ignored, the more daunting they become, so tackle them now. Here are some tips:
- Lay it all out in front of you (yes I’m serious). Go through each piece, removing everything that is unnecessary. This is a great after-hours project- order some pizza and roll up your sleeves.
- With the remaining files, create a file organization strategy; here is an article from entrepreneur.com with great tips. The idea is to have a tiered folder system that makes things easy to find.
- Go paperless by scanning everything and move your files to ‘the cloud’. You may be required to keep certain hard copies of documents, but still scan them before you stick the hard copies in your now empty file cabinets or safe. There are several good cloud document filing solutions. Google docs is great and eliminates the need to choose between Microsoft (word) and Apple (pages) platforms. I recommend the cloud file system Dropbox that allows your entire team to have access to only the files they need to have access to. These come with the added benefit of eliminating the possibility of losing any documents to a team member’s computer crashing. No company documents should ever be stored anywhere outside of your cloud file system.
- Within each department’s files, create a master account list where you can store all vendor’s contact information, account passwords, and other important information. When it comes to passwords and account access information, be sure to use encryption methods so as not to make your company’s confidential information accessible to hackers. Different files can be shared with different groups in a rolls based system so , for example, only the accounting department will have access to financial documents and account access info, but everyone will have access to the admin folder where all forms, policies, procedures, and so on are available.
- Finally, honor the work you have done by maintaining clean and orderly files. With Dropbox, whenever someone saves a new or updates an existing file, everyone has instant access to it. This is a great feature, but lots of cooks in the kitchen can get messy, so assign one manager to each folder, and hold them accountable for the management of that folder.
Start planning for this overhaul of your file management now so that your company’s documents are secure, well organized and super accessible. It will improve efficiency and speed when working with customers and vendors, and provide a more stable foundation for which your company to stand on.
Stay tuned next week for Part #3: Keep Your Books Current!