Organization Is Vital to Business Success

chic kitchen pantry organization and Storage

Today I no longer “jump in and try to figure it out as I go.” I prepare

Organization has never been my forte. In fact, of all the qualities necessary to succeed when taking on risk, I believe this one is the most boring and uninspiring. To be totally honest, I am very much resisting sitting here to write this piece. But I’m committed to turning an uninspiring concept into one that you will embrace and understand as important and necessary if you’re really serious about doing that risky thing that you’ve been dreaming about. It might be a business you want to start, pursuing a more fulfilling career, going after a promotion you know you deserve, trading stock options, or taking that vacation you know you can’t afford. Whatever the risky endeavor you are toying with, having organization around it is critical to your success and can actually make or break the deal for you.

Let’s start at the beginning. By organization I am referring to the quality of being organized, it’s the quality or characteristic that facilitates and supports a person to accomplish something through the proper planning, coordination and administration of information, resources, tools, etc. and that allows for the efficient and successful running of a project, a company, an event, etc. Having organization implies gathering necessary information that is then used to take appropriate actions. The key word is “appropriate.” The information is stored, filed, kept in an orderly fashion for easy accessibility. “There must be a place for everything and everything must be in its place,” my father always says. That is organization.

Admittedly, when I considered starting a business over a decade ago, organization of thoughts, ideas and information was not at the top of my “to do” list. In fact, true to my unorganized way of being, I didn’t even have a “to do” list. I simply set about doing what I thought needed to be done to start a company. I jumped in and figured it out as I went. In retrospect, I could have saved myself a lot of time and angst had I been more organized. But entrepreneurial minded and sales oriented folks like me tend to not be very organized. Unlike our financial professional counterparts, we tend to operate from a sense of urgency to get something done versus getting it done right. A financial professional cannot chance doing something wrong because the very nature of a financial task requires precision. Sales is about persistence and being able to deal with rejection, whereas professions like engineering are about exactitude, which requires organization of thoughts, ideas and information.

Within a year of starting my company I decided to take on a business partner with skills that I did not possess (smart thing, that was). Once the partnership agreement was reached, he looked me straight in the face and without hesitation said, “Ok, let’s take a look at your books.” Books? What books? Can you believe I had been in business for a year and had no books? I knew what he meant because I had been placing accountants for four years but I had no idea what books looked like or what a chart of accounts was. Needless to say, you cannot successfully run a company without the proper administration of its finances. My unorganized self found a way to get financially organized by partnering with a financially minded, and organized individual.

On the flip side, if I had been more organized before I started my company, my research would have revealed that 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. A whopping 80% crash and burn (Bloomberg). That piece of organized information might have scared me into never starting my business. But because the reasons businesses fail at such a high rate include ignoring the competitive landscape and lack of possessing a true competitive advantage or value proposition, having a better idea of what you’re getting into can surely help. According to Fortune magazine, the top two reasons why startups fail are not understanding the market and running out of money. By gathering and organizing relevant information an entrepreneur will minimize risk substantially.

Long hours and tough times have taught me that being organized is critical to success. Today I no longer “jump in and try to figure it out as I go.” I prepare for rejection by understanding my prospect as much as possible. Since I am still somewhat of an unorganized individual, I surround myself with people and tools that support me in researching, gathering and storing information, and in the proper planning of financial and other matters critical to the success of the company.

So if you are considering asking for a raise, arm yourself with information about the market and what your competition is earning. Want a new career? Figure out what you need to make it in that field and understand the pitfalls inherent in switching careers. Have you entertained the idea of jumping out of a plane just for thrills? Do your research and make sure you are skydiving with a company that has a squeaky clean record of safety; get informed about the statistics for safety in the sport. Whatever the endeavor, gather information, talk to experts, learn from the mistakes others have made, organize your thoughts, and then if all checks out to your satisfaction, muster the COURAGE and go for it!

Related content:

Organization Is More Than a Process It’s Vital to Small Business

Planning Is Core To Small Business Success

7 Business Practices of Successful Latina Entrepreneurs

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