While some people still rely mainly on paper files to store their business information the majority of us hold some (if not all) of our information on our computers.
One of the easiest ways to get and stay organised is to have a system for all of your business information and having all of your information in one place saves you time and makes you much more efficient. Yet choosing that system can sometimes seem a little daunting (especially if you don’t know where to start!)
What’s most important when it comes to recording your information is that it works for you and that it covers all of your requirements. For some people a simple spreadsheet is perfectly adequate and preferable but for others a cloud based package may be the best solution.
But with all of the various systems out there which one should you choose?
Below are a set of useful questions you should ask to get started:
- What type of system are looking for? A personalised spreadsheet held on your hard-drive or a cloud-based system you can access from anywhere?
- What do you want to use your system for? Your accounts; client details; marketing and sales strategy; project management or do you want a system that can incorporate all of these aspects? Be clear on what you need it to do.
- How much do you want to pay? If you’re looking for a hard-drive based system then Excel or Google Sheets will probably be on your computer already and wont incur additional costs. Cloud-based systems come in all shapes and sizes. Quite a few have free options available and cost can depend on the number of users needed and functions included. Whatever your budget there will be options for you to choose from but make sure you have an idea of what that is before you start.
- What features are essential to you? Do you need a system that has a mobile app so you can work from your phone? Do you need a client information system that will integrate with your accounts package? Make sure you know what your specific requirements are before you start looking.
Of course there are other points to consider before you choose your system but being clear on the answers to these questions will give you a solid platform to work from. How you answer those questions will determine which system is the right one for you. And it really does matter that you choose a system that fits with the way you work. Because if you don’t the likelihood is that you won’t use it at all and you’ll end up disorganised and frustrated again.
Having a good system for all of your information is a real asset to your business so take the time and make sure it is the right one for you.