If the time has come and you have finally plucked up the courage to look at your filing, what do you find?
Masses of paperwork, in no order and no idea why you have kept certain documents – it must have been important once, but can you think of the reason?
The best plan of action I find:
Set aside some time to go through the paperwork and start from the beginning. It is so easy to get distracted and find other tasks to do instead but persevere, it will be worth it in the end.
It is a good idea to start looking through the paperwork and sorting out into relevant piles:
- Essential information that is needed to be kept
- Items that can be recycled such as leaflets, brochures and catalogues
- Items that can be shredded such as old receipts, correspondence and junk mail that have your personal information and data on
Once you have cleared away the items that you no longer need, you should only have the pile of essential information left.
This should include items such as:
- Client files/data
- Suppliers information
- Invoices & receipts
- Insurance documentation
- Staff information
- Office equipment manuals and warranties
Having a filing cabinet means that you can easily locate important documentation and information. Have a system that works for you and your business whether it is in numerical, chronological or alphabetical order. If you have things that are in a misc section, ask yourself “do you really need it?”
Once you have sorted your paperwork, system and filing cabinet, it is a good idea to try and keep on top of your filing. It can be a tedious and boring task but it does need to be done.
If filing paperwork is not the best use of your time especially when you are focusing on running your business, then think about outsourcing and get some admin support.