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How to Organize and Manage Your Business Documents

For any business, it is important to keep track of your documents for organizational purposes. If an employee has to work on a particular iteration of a document or use it in reference to either a customer or client claim, then they should be able to locate it easily and quickly. The ability to bring up a document is not only helpful in resolving issues, but also integral to the professionalism of a company. Messy filing cabinets and online storage can create an image of disorganization and be harmful to a business and the perceived ability for it to function well. 

In this post, the Find Your Audience team will provide some key advice on how to properly organize and manage your business documents both offline and online. 

Firstly, if your company primarily stores documents offline using filing cabinets and binders, then make sure that everything is labelled correctly. Investing in a label machine could help in this situation, as it can quickly help employees name each file before storing it away. Consider labelling these documents by client name, year, or subject matter. You can also store files away in different sections. Ultimately, the goal here is to create a recognizable filing system that makes documents easier to find should anyone require them in the future. 

When it comes to organizing and managing your business documents on your own computer or laptop, the aforementioned policy applies as well. Make sure you have a naming system in place so you would know where to search for important files. For example, you can create a folder that contains internal documents and another folder containing external communication files. Within such folders, label the subcategories in order to give yourself a clear idea of what is contained within each subfolder. It should be noted, however, that although offline storage is viable, it is nonetheless important to have a backup of these files in case your computer or laptop malfunctions. 

As for online organization through storage platforms like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive, ensure that every employee in the company is using the same naming procedures. This would help make items easier to find if in a hurry. Don’t be afraid to create different folders to separate the documents used for internal business operations and the content created specifically for clients. Develop a policy of how each document should be named as well. For instance, if a document was created on a certain date, should it be given a time stamp? Moreover, how would a business manage accountability when it comes to edited and reviewed documents? Having a system in place for this is integral to success because it allows a company and its employees to continuously learn and grow. 

Of course, it’s just as important to protect and secure business documents. For offline storage in the form of filing cabinets and binders, make sure that they are accessible to the parties that require them. Providing specific employees a key to any locked filing cabinets helps protect any sensitive information from getting into the wrong hands. After work hours or during a lunch break, make sure that cabinets are also locked to prevent unauthorized access. The same can be said for digital storage on computers, laptops, and online services. Make sure that documents are protected by strong passwords and access codes. Put any necessary restrictions on documents that do not require company-wide access as well.

Properly organizing and managing your business documents, be they trade secrets, marketing statistics, or even the login information for social media pages, increase the reliability and trustworthiness of a business. By following the advice outlined in this post, the files belonging to your company, employees, customers, clients, and other stakeholders can be easily located while being kept safe and secure. 

For more business advice, book a thorough consultation with the Find Your Audience leadership team at either 647-479-0688 or Find Your Audience works in tandem with clients around the world to develop viable solutions that meet both short-term and long-term business goals.

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