It started off innocently enough. You bought one set of cookie cutters…one new lens for your Nikon…one box of water bottles to customize with your new Cricut. Now, you have a bustling small business, and SO. MUCH. STUFF.
Creating beautiful products for your customers is thrilling, fulfilling, and everything you ever dreamed of doing for a living. But the not-so-fun part is staying organized, especially when you work from your own home. Here are our tips on how to manage and maintain organization in your business, and some tools (like inventory management software) that help your business stay organized.
1. Environment is Everything
The environment that you put your materials in can determine if your equipment stays pristine or begins to deteriorate. Doing some due diligence and researching the ideal conditions for your equipment is prudent. Generally speaking, most items do best in a clean, cool, and dry environment that is at room temperature.
It’s also important to think about possibilities of environmental damage. Items like photo prints and dyed fabrics don’t do well when close to a direct light source or air conditioning vent. Your attic or basement may seem like prime locations until you remember that one is prone to roof leaks and the other could become flooded. These factors are sneaky but integral to take into account.
The last environment factor to consider is expansion. Pick a space that ensures your collection will have plenty of room to grow. Limiting your space could limit the growth of your business.
2. Are You All About Access or Aesthetics?
Your personal preference and the type of items you’re organizing play central roles in determining whether your space is arranged for aesthetics or access. In a photography studio, displaying your props and backdrops could inspire creativity and fresh ideas. On the other hand, it’s best to keep expensive camera equipment stored away. Bakers need easy access to tools (and it’s not likely you’ll have an audience watching you frost) so go for that open shelving!
3. Make Sure You’re Cataloging As You Go Along
Cataloging is the task that small business owners with lots of “stuff” collectively hate. But keeping an inventory of your items is absolutely necessary. Whether you’re documenting your storefront antique collection, or you’re trying to figure out which shade of reflector you need to order, cataloging is a must.
The good news is that cataloging is not as cumbersome as it used to be! No need for spreadsheets and note-taking…there are tools that help a business stay organized. Sortly streamlines this entire process so all you need is your phone! Simply take a picture of your item and track as many details as you’d like. Want to sort your materials alphabetically or by date purchased? With just a few clicks, Sortly just saved you hours of monotonous work.
4. Stay Consistent
Scheduling a routine session to look over your inventory is the smart thing to do. During this time, you can catalog new items, remove old ones you don’t want anymore, and tie up loose ends. Use tools that help your business stay organized, like Sortly, to keep on top of things before they get out of hand!
As they say with cars, maintenance is always better than repair. Similarly, it’s easier to put two photo prints in their correct places than realize three months later that you have no clue where they are.
Ready to get organized? Sign up for Sortly for free!