When you search under the keywords “office management” you find a lot of information targeted to office managers, people who manage the offices of larger companies. But what about those of us who may be the only person in our office or who have such a small staff that everyone takes care of traditional office management duties? Don’t we need to know how to manage our offices better?
Of course, we do! Having a well-managed office is essential for the growth of your business, regardless of its current size. So, this month I’ll be discussing different aspects of this topic and how they apply to micro- and small businesses.
First off, what do I mean by “office management”?
Office management is the maintenance of all the administrative functions of a company. This includes word processing, financials, office supply inventory, correspondence, appointment scheduling, and more. If you don’t have a staff — and many entrepreneurs don’t — you have to do all these tasks yourself, on top of all the tasks that make up the services and products you provide. Therefore, it is essential that you develop processes that keep these tasks quick and easy to do.
There are several ways to go about this, and I’ll be covering them in more detail in later posts:
There are plenty of software applications that can make creating documents, managing your finances, and staying on top of your office supply inventory and calendar much easier. Some are all-in-one packages. Others are stand-alone products that you’ll have to integrate with other stand-alone products. Which you choose is determined by your personal preferences and, alas all too often, your pocketbook.
You can hire help to assist you with many of these tasks. Assistants can work on-premises or virtually and can be temporary for one-time tasks or ongoing. It all depends on what your business needs are.
Prioritizing and Time Blocking
You can schedule certain times when you handle your administrative tasks. If you do this, you must be disciplined and only tackle admin tasks during the time you set aside. This has two benefits:
- it makes sure that your business building tasks are not interrupted by admin tasks, and
- you can often breeze through your admin tasks by giving them a concentrated effort during a set block of time.
Regardless of which one or more of the above options you choose to help you manage your office, make sure it works for you and your unique situation. It doesn’t matter if your office is the kitchen table or a rented corner room in a high-rise. Office management is an important and necessary part of a successful business.