Last Updated on September 13, 2023
Do you know what the number one cause of business failure is? It’s not a lack of funding, not a lack of customers, not even an inability to find talented employees. It’s disorganization—moreover, disorganized small business owners. Furthermore, disorganization doesn’t just make things difficult for a small business owner; it can cause the small business or startup to sink entirely. This means that as a small business owner—and especially if you’re running a one-person show—you need to be as organized as possible to stay afloat.
You prioritize the wrong things
This is a problem because you’re not focusing on what matters. Do you find yourself putting off important tasks in favor of easier ones? Perhaps you choose to clean the bathroom instead of finishing a project that will make more money for your business. Or maybe, when it comes time to order supplies for your business, you have no idea what product is best for your company and thus end up taking too long to decide which one to buy.
In short: if something isn’t going to make money or take care of itself (i.e., cleaning), then don’t worry about it until later. Focus instead on more important tasks—like doing work that will help grow your business!
You don’t plan for the inevitable
One of the most overlooked aspects of business is planning for the inevitable. Those things are bound to happen despite how hard you try to avoid them. For example:
- You run out of supplies mid-project and have no idea where they are hiding in your office or workshop.
- Your computer crashes and takes all your files with it—which were never backed up anywhere else besides on that computer (oops!).
- An employee gets sick and needs time off for recovery or surgery (nobody else can fill his shoes).
- A supplier runs out of parts before you can place an order for more, leaving you stuck with no materials until a new shipment arrives (which could take weeks).
You avoid help
When you are a small business owner, finding time for everything that needs to be done can be challenging.
Delegating tasks is essential to running any company, but many people have trouble knowing where and how to begin charging.
If this is the case for you, consider hiring a virtual assistant (VA) to help with some of your daily tasks.
Virtual assistants are an excellent resource for small businesses because they can perform many tasks simultaneously without taking up too much office space or costing too much money.
Some virtual assistants specialize in specific areas like customer service or social media management, while others offer more general assistance with things like research and data entry.
You panic when things get stressful
When you are stressed, your heart rate increases and so does the amount of adrenaline in your body. Adrenaline is a powerful hormone that can give us an energy boost when we need it most. But too much adrenaline can lead to panic attacks or anxiety attacks, which will only worsen things.
- Panic is not a good state for problem-solving. You may make bad decisions because the stress makes it harder for you to think clearly.
- Your ability to focus on essential tasks will be compromised by panic and anxiety when they occur, with too much stress in your life and procrastination (the not to act).
- In addition, any activity requiring concentration, such as reading or working on a computer, becomes difficult while experiencing high levels of anxiety within an agitated state caused by excessive amounts of stress hormones being released into your system at once!
You multitask like crazy
Multitasking is a myth. It’s quite the opposite—you’re just switching back and forth between tasks, which can be detrimental to your productivity and health.
Multitasking is also bad for your brain and for many small business owners. Studies have shown that when you take on more than one task at a time, it takes longer for your mind to switch from one thing to another.
In addition, multitasking has been shown to negatively impact memory and decision-making negatively your skills (think: stress! No multitasking is helping with productivity. Think again; according to some studies, people who don’t multitask are up to 50% more productive than those who do!
You overwork yourself
It’s one of the most common reasons small business owners are overworking themselves. You may think that you can get more done if you work harder and longer hours, but that is that’st’not true at all—in fact, it makes life much more everyone involved. Instead of working yourself into a frenzy, try delegating tasks to other employees or contractors so they can take some of the load off your shoulders. Or perhaps you could even hire someone to manage your schedule, so you have more time for other things—like planning and getting organized!
You haven’t established good habits yet
Habits are important. They can be broken and developed, but most don’t have the proper rituals to help us organize our business operations. Discuss why this is the case and how you can form better organizational habits.
Good organizational habits will make you more productive and help your business run smoothly. On the other hand, bad organizational habits can lead to disorganization in your daily work life and leave you feeling frustrated with yourself for not being able to get anything done at all.
Breaking destructive organizational behaviors starts with identifying those behaviors:
- Are you constantly late on projects?
- Do you forget meetings or deadlines?
- Are there specific tasks that never seem to get done, no matter how hard they try?
If so, these may be signs that some poor organizing habits have crept into your daily routine without being noticed until it was too late—or even worse: You’ve gotten so used to operating under those circumstances that they’ve become normal!
For a small business owner, disorganization can cost you your business
Not being organized can cost you time, money, and your business. Here’s why it is crucial:
Disorganization can lead to wasted time
You may be successful at running a small business, but your productivity levels will suffer if you don’t have suitable systems in place. One study found that clutter costs the average office worker $1,600 annually in lost productivity. And let’s not forget all those hours spent looking for something stored away somewhere or trying to remember where it was when you need it again!
It can increase the risk of loss due to theft or damage
When things are disorganized in an office setting or home workspace, there is always the possibility someone could walk away with something valuable because they didn’t know where it was hidden away! Or worse yet – someone could damage something expensive accidentally because they didn’t see it clearly enough due to clutter (which happened once at a client’s house).
The bottom line about small business owners and being organized
Being disorganized leads directly to poor decisions, which lead to bad outcomes like bankruptcy. Instead, take action early. That often means hiring virtual assistants to help you with your time-consuming tasks.