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This is a guest post by Kevin Flanagan.

If you own and operate a small business, getting organized is vital to the survival of your venture. Disorganization has many hidden costs to your business; Insightly reports that the average worker spends up to half an hour every day trying to locate a client's information or searching for a lost email, resulting in up to $6000 in annual costs to their employers. If you want to be productive, secure, and efficient, here are some ways disorganization can suck the life from your business and how you can beat it:

It Can Cost You Clients

Disorganization can directly impact your bottom line if you fail to connect with clients interested in your product. A common cause of lost sales is simply not following up with a prospective client; Follow Up Success reports that 48 percent of sales people never reach out to potential customers with a follow up communication. If you have a disorganized inbox or client database, it can be easy to overlook a potential consumer who is ready to be a paying client. Take the time to clean out unneeded emails and data so you can focus on what matters.

Your Time is Money

When time is spent searching for information or documents, it isn't spent generating revenue for your business. Visions Productivity Solutions reports professionals spends 25 to 35 percent of their time searching for the information or tools they need to perform a function of their job. That is time that could be spent marketing, contacting customers, or even creating a new product that is lost forever. If your disorganization has led to the actual disappearance of important resources, there is also the accumulating expenses of having to replace them. By organizing your workspace, you'll spend less time hunting and more time making money.

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Security Concerns

A disorganized workplace or computer can make it hard to keep track of critical files such as invoices, receipts, bank statements and other information that cyber-criminals are always on the prowl for. Not securing your data puts your business at a higher risk to be targeted by identity thieves, but services like Lifelock can help you to secure and protect your data and help you in the event that your data is compromised. Protecting your crucial documents is the best defense, but having someone monitor your security can ensure identity thieves are thwarted or that the damage they can cause is minimized.

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Morale and Stress

If your office is cluttered and messy, it can directly impact the productivity of your employees. In a recent survey conducted by Neat As A Pin Organizing Experts, 87 percent of workers surveyed expressed they are less productive in a cluttered environment. Disorganization makes you seem unprofessional, and directly impacts how employees feel. How can an employee feel motivated to do his/her best when he or she can't even find a stapler in a messy workspace? Getting the space that you share with your staff organized leads to better morale and shows your employees you care about appearances and respect them as workers. You set the bar for your organization and if you fail to provide a high standard your employees are not going to set it with you.

Kevin Flanagan is a freelance writer and performing artist from Phoenix, Arizona. When he isn't crafting quality articles, he spends his free time organizing late night comedy shows and writing for the stage.

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