If you want your business to grow this year, it’s time to get organized. Easier said than done, right? Where should you start?

Organization involves, among other things, straightening up clutter and discarding trash. But effective organization is so much more than that.

Good organization means creating systems and procedures for all the different parts of your business. It means getting your whole team on the same page. And it means taking steps to become more productive and profitable.

For a small business, administrative projects like these can be tough to budget for – in both time and money. Without expendable cash and a large staff, fighting disorganization can feel like an ongoing battle.

Here’s how you can do it, no matter what kind of business you have, without breaking the bank:

  1. Meet with Your Team

Whether your team is large or small you likely have a group of key individuals who keep your company running – whether they’re full-time employees, vendors, coaches, consultants or outside contractors. At least once a year – but more often if you can – meet with your CPA, attorney, marketing team, bookkeeper, and so on to make sure everyone is on the same page.

As your business grows, your goals and objectives will change, and it’s important to keep everyone up to date as you go!

  1. Review Your Contracts

As a business owner, it’s likely you have many different executed contracts with employees, clients, and other organizations. I recommend reviewing the terms of use, non-disclosure agreements, independent contractor agreements, privacy policies, and such, throughout the year depending on your particular needs.

For instance, a property lease should be reviewed every year prior to renewal, while NDAs might need to be reviewed only if you or the other party wants to make changes.

However, if you know that it’s been a while since you’ve looked at any of your contracts or agreements, pull them all out now to make sure everything is in order.

  1. Declutter Your Desk and Get Your Filing System In Order

Decluttering is one of the easiest things you can do to organize your business. In less time than it takes to make another cup of coffee, you can have your desk cleaned up and looking neat.

To optimize your workspace and be your most productive, start by throwing away any items you don’t use (like pens that don’t work or old, out-of-date letterhead). Keep only the supplies you regularly use on your desk. Use letter trays and folders to sort and file papers and clear out your drawers, designating a purpose for each one.

If you’re not sure whether you can throw away those old papers, check your records retention policy or, if you don’t have one, speak to your attorney about setting one up. Even if they must be kept, having a process for scanning and filing digitally might be the way to go.

  1. Clean Up Your Contact Database 

Do you send out an email newsletter as part of your marketing? One of the best things you can do to ensure its continued effectiveness is to clean up your contact database. By focusing on the contacts who actually open and read your emails, you will make sure you reach the inboxes that matter most. Most CRMs or email service providers have tools that allow you to see who hasn’t opened your emails in a given amount of time (say, 6 months) – and it’s probably safe to trim most of those people off your list. They aren’t opening your emails anyway. Since many email providers charge for the number of contacts on your list, this is also a way to save costs.

  1. Get Your Financials Ready for Taxes 

Want to save a HUGE amount of time? Make sure you have all of your paperwork in order when it’s time to file your taxes. When you arrive at your CPA’s office with a box full of random paperwork and receipts in no sort of order, you are just wasting time for all parties involved. The process is a lot faster, and less painful, when you know what you need and where it is.

  1. BONUS TIP! – Clean Up Your Online Presence

Is your business on the Internet? Chances are you need to clean up and organize your online presence too! I’ve put together a free document that will help you avoid common pitfalls when it comes to social media and online marketing. Download your copy here.