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Being Disorganized Costs You Money

by Yvonne Russell on February 14th, 2008


Productivity, organization and time management are the mantras of small business. But how good are we at it, really? I like to think I am reasonably well organized, but I still seem to have endless piles of paper around me, even though I work mainly online.

Do you need a professional organizer? Can’t afford it? I found these tips from professional organizers great reminders that time is money. And of course, being more organized can save you a lot of frustration too.

• “Leverage your time” and outsource to those who have specialist skills e.g. accountants, book keepers etc. Is your time and energy best spent elsewhere?”

• Keep receipts in a consistent place when traveling. File receipts as soon as you get home,

• Record mileage, gas costs and other details in a notebook you keep in your car.

Professional organizer, Mandie Crawford learned the hard way, the value of taking receipts with you in your own car when you move.

Three years ago, her mover lost a box containing two years of her records during a move from Hamilton to Calgary. When she was audited by Canada Revenue, being unable to prove those expenses cost her $5,000.

• Keep your business and personal bank accounts separate to track expenses and for accountability

• Use online record keeping systems such as MYOB or Quick Books, if you are going to handle your own accounts.

How About You?
Do you have any tips to share or any questions or insights on this topic?

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POSTED IN: Finances & Money, Office

9 opinions for Being Disorganized Costs You Money

  • Laura
    Feb 14, 2008 at 8:10 am

    This is so true! It takes time to clean, but in the long-run it is worth it. Look at getting organized as an investment in your business!

  • AnnaLaura Brown
    Feb 14, 2008 at 10:58 am

    Not only that, but a lack of organization can cause you to loose track of customers and prospects and that costs you money as well.

  • Mary Emma Allen
    Feb 16, 2008 at 5:38 am

    Good comments, Laura and AnnaLaura. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your ideas. Looking at organization as an investment in your business and realizing it costs you money if you aren’t are really great concepts. I struggle to keep organized (and this is a challenge when working out of your home, especially if you don’t have a separate space just for your work). So I know of the lost time looking for stuff when I haven’t placed it in an spot/file just for it. I have to translate this into lost income as well!

  • Megan
    Feb 16, 2008 at 11:16 am

    FlyLady Marla Cilley talks a lot about the costs of being disorganized, whether it’s at home, in your home office or at home. There are always things that I forget to do because my desk is so messy. :-(

    - Megan

  • jack jones
    Feb 18, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    There are many tasks that we hate doing (some even that we’re good at).

    There are many reasons why we’re disorganized.

    Sometimes we unconsciously stay disorganized to set up barriers against doing the things that we hate to do.

    To grow our businesses, to reduce stress, and to enjoy life, we need to find a way to delegate or outsource those tasks.

    The first step to prepare for this is to get organized. Promise yourself that you’ll delegate the tasks you hate most as soon as possible, if you just get organized!

    The next step beyond basic organization is to systematize certain processes in your business.

    There are people who will teach you how to systematize and setup processes for many aspects of your business.

    Some of these people (like Paul Lemberg and Rich Schefren) offer complex, and pricey solutions. There are also simpler solutions, particular in the Internet Business World, such as Freedom Business System.

    The books of Michael Gerber (such as The E-Myth) are very helpful for understanding why we need to get our businesses organized and systematized.

  • Yvonne Russell
    Feb 23, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    Megan - I hear a lot about Fly Lady. I must check into that. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Yvonne Russell
    Feb 23, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Hi Jack
    Thanks for your informative insights. Going beyond basic organization to systemization is a good tip. I will also revisit or investigate some of the other sources you recommend.

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