“Being organized” generally ranks high on the list of New Year resolutions. But like workouts and dieting, organizational systems can easily collapse by February. For most people anyway. At some point during the decades of my entrepreneurial career, I realized that my lifelong OCD trend has not helped me organize my company. They really made my business more profitable. Here’s what I learned along the way.
For over a decade, I ran a production company employing dozens of full-time employees and contractors. I insisted on carefully classifying all my digital media assets using spreadsheets. The footage would be stored on our main server before downloading to an external hard drive – of which we had hundreds.
One day, I received an email from a previous client who asked me for some footage we had shot some time back. As it happened, my team knew exactly where it was, and it was immediately given to the client, who opened up a new work opportunity and replicated the business. Being organized, my company really made money.
It is difficult to pin down an exact number for the ROI of being organized. This will depend on the size, workflow and strategies of your company. But the true benefits are more than just financial, and costs are important for the organization to ignore.
The excuses for clutter are numerous. The old joke about being “just a system I understand” is a bad business philosophy. In the corporate world, executives often focus on bottom-line costs – this is the line I hear most often when consulting for large agencies, as I try and give executives a reliable content management system I convince you to transfer your data. He felt the upfront cost was too high and brushed off the tight outfit alternatively.
Related: This Can Be Mary Kondo E-Course Finally Help You Get Organized
This is a big mistake. Organization should be mandatory. There is a simple reason for this: When a workflow is organized, employees and contractors spend less time looking for files and more time to do their actual work.
This basic theory stands behind one of the only studies of cold, which is being conducted in a difficult ROI. Express Employment Professionals, an employment agency, surveyed 18,000 business leaders to find that company-wide disarray cost 57 percent of respondents six work hours per week. Unorganized employees can cost their company more than one-fifth of their actual salary: $ 11,000 per year out of their $ 50,000 annual income. Elsewhere, a report by the SaaS company Mediaweight states that employees spend eight percent of their workday searching for files, and waste between five and 15 percent of their company’s digital assets after abandoning the hunt.
True benefits are immaterial
Beyond financial, clutter incurs costs in ways that are impossible to determine but cannot be underestimated. Unnecessary mental health and disorder go hand-in-hand, causing unnecessary stress and anxiety. If an employee spends an hour searching for an old document and another hour to recreate it, it is not a waste of time and money – it is bad for morale.
In the work-from-home era, rock-solid organizations can also bring collaborators closer together. Collaborative tools make it easier for remote employees and freelancers to feel that they are sharing the same space. In the creative industry, this is necessary for creative collaboration, which will weaken many concerns in a remote workforce. Ultimately, working remotely prevents the serious moments that occur when you can pop into someone’s office and stop an idea. Being organized means less administrative busyness, so your team can focus more on the tasks they enjoy.
Strong Virtual Culture
A strong virtual culture also helps when you are working with new team members. This means that there is an established, common language in which they can easily integrate. Our brains are naturally motivated to follow the rules. Smooth collaboration means less downtime, saving you money and making your company’s output more efficient.
An inevitable future
When discussing organizational systems in 2021 and beyond, it is impossible to ignore the skyrocketing popularity of cloud-based and AI-driven software. I mentioned earlier that my production company, once upon a time, used spreadsheets to track external hard drives that shut down our archival storage. Two decades later, AI can automatically list all information in the cloud, while also adding custom metadata fields and audio transcription.
The trajectory is clear to industry watchers. According to Data Center Dynamics’ May report, during the first quarter of 2020, cloud spending increased by 37 percent to $ 29 billion over the same period in 2019. In the same month, industry analyst Gartner predicted a 19 percent increase in cloud spending. End of 2020, despite an eight percent drop in overall IT spending due to the epidemic. Indeed, despite the uncertain number of small businesses, spending on cloud infrastructure is increasing worldwide.
I expect another spike to occur in mid-2021, by the time the business starts opening up and entrepreneurs will be comfortable taking risks again with new ventures. Future-looking entrepreneurs will kickstart their new projects with a strong, cloud-based foundation.
The reasons for this are obvious: it makes good business sense. It is no secret that the cloud is the future of digital organizations. No one is moving in the other direction, although many companies are adopting hybrid solutions, especially to collaborate with independent entities that are different from the larger ones. However, if cloud adoption is not on your radar, then simply building a more efficient manual system is better than doing nothing.
But I would urge all entrepreneurs to look at the software available in their industry. Odds are good that someone has found a way to save you time, which will ultimately save you money, speed up your workflow and improve the mental health of your workforce. If it is not strong ROI, then nothing is.