Being able to find information you need when you need it is fundamental to the way you manage your business.
It doesn’t matter what your business does – whether you’re making pies, children’s’ clothes, iron gates or if you provide home help for the elderly, IT support for small businesses or organizing events – you need certain information on a day-to-day basis and it’s really important, critical even, to be able to find that information quickly.
That quick access to important information could be the difference between a profitable business and a business that goes nowhere.
I’m not scaremongering when I say that. It’s true. I’ve seen it happen. Businesses that lose contracts or price jobs incorrectly. Businesses that end up paying tax penalties because they don’t have their financial information sorted in time and pay the wrong amount of tax.
It happens in big businesses that don’t have some sort of structure for storing their business information. A key person leaves and no-one knows where to find that presentation to the Board for funding a critical project.
So why do businesses think they don’t need to organise their information in some sort of structure.
There is a belief that a google type search will find any document or spreadsheet – any price list or budget. This approach might work for a one-person business or if there is only one person in your business who is responsible for storing and finding information when it’s needed.
However what happens when the business grows or when that one person is on holiday or is sick and a document is needed urgently for a meeting and no-one can find it.
If you plan to grow your business its sensible to include designing a structure for storing your business information as part of the business set up process.
Then you won’t be caught out when your business has grown and more than one person needs access to key information.