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Organising Your Electronic Files

Just like your paper files, your electronic files can become disorganised. It is so easy to do … you’re in a rush, you save a file to a folder that is convenient and think you’ll remember where you put it, and when it comes time to access it again, you’ve completely forgotten where you’ve saved it. When your files are disorganised, you waste time finding them.

The Gartner Group reports workers spend on average between 30 minutes and two hours daily just searching for documents. Here’s some more statistics for you … we can spend up to 3 hours per week recreating content; 2 hours finding historical data; 8 hours on finding data on IT systems; 6 hours filing and organising; and 9 hours searching. Now, that’s a lot of hours! eWeek reported that executives waste the equivalent of 5 weeks a year trying to find lost files, addresses, correspondence and reports.

One thing your Virtual Assistant (or in our case, your Client Manager) can do for you is sort and organise your electronic files.

So, where to start? Our first step would be to start with the five functional pillars of your business:

  • Sales and Marketing – this includes clients, proposals out to prospective clients, your marketing activities, and generating sales leads.
  • Operations – this is the back office function that fulfils the promises of the sales agreement.
  • Human Resources – all things to do with hiring, training, and managing your team.
  • Finance – accounts payable, receivables, and all other things that belong to the accounting.
  • Leadership – big picture vision and strategy of your business.

And then consider who has access to what, and can some areas be broken down further.

As an example, we have a folder related to all clients, which contains their quotation and agreement, and only myself and my Accounts Administrator has access to that folder. For the marketing activities, we have a separate folder and the team members that assist with our social media have access to that folder.

And then consider are there any additional folders you need due to the type of business you have.

As an example, we have a folder of resources and the folder has templates, guides, examples of work that the team can utilise rather than having to recreate something every time we have a new client. We also have a folder of stock photos and they’re categorised into sub-folders. If a team member is looking for a food related photo, they can browse the sub-folder, and only if they can’t find what they’re looking for do they search the free photo sites.

Now, you might think that you’ll do this yourself because there is sensitive information, however, I want you to consider the cost of your time versus the cost of your VA’s time. Your Client Manager won’t be snooping, and they’ll be just as keen as you are to organise everything – remember, this type of work they LOVE doing.

And what are the benefits to you, besides being organised?

  • Increased productivity for you and your Client Manager
  • Sets you up for when you’re on the road and are mobile
  • First step to a paperless office
  • You’re set up if you have any auditing or compliance requirements
  • It helps with file naming protocols
  • A new team member will not feel so overwhelmed

What are you waiting for … let’s transfor your messy digital files into a structured, searchable and well-organised system.

Virtual Support Specialist, Hong Kong

If you’re overwhelmed, struggling to get things done, or recognise you need some assistance, organise a call with me to discuss your business support needs.

Written by: Nicole Graham


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Established in 2007, Bauhinia Solutions is a boutique virtual business support agency with a team of dedicated and experienced business specialists, administrators, and virtual assistants.