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Getting Organized Harder Than Saving Money for Small Business Owners

Messy desk piled with papers Photo by Mrbhughes for Dreamstime.com

Small businesses tend to struggle to get their acts together, a new survey shows. Owners admit their businesses would improve with better organization, but it's a task many of them loathe.

To more than a quarter of the owners of 1,006 small and midsize businesses surveyed by office supply retailer Office Depot, filing and organization are their least-looked-forward-to tasks; 27 percent said they loathe trying to put their office in order.

As the top "pain point," organizing their office ranks higher than the effort to save money or acquire new business; 21 percent of owners cite "organizing my office" as the top issue that hinders their ability to focus on business growth.

When asked what would most help bring order to their offices, a majority of SMB owners plead for more time (57 percent). The need for more tools is cited by 39 percent, and 14 percent say they could use an organization expert.

The items that SMBs would most like to keep more organized or up-to-date are their desks (28 percent); desktops (24 percent) and file cabinets (23 percent).

Seventy-five percent say they wish their work space was more organized.

While small businesses may fret about staying organized, they also realize its importance. Ninety-three percent believe an organized office or desk leads to increased productivity.

As unappealing as the task may be, small businesses tend to believe organizing their offices is more achievable than any other improvement. Twenty-two percent of SMBs think they could enhance their organization, which is followed closely by better time management (21 percent), increasing profits (19 percent) and acquiring new business (18 percent).

Although SMB owners don’t feel adept at organization, the majority tidy their desks either daily (27 percent) or weekly (34 percent). Only 9 percent admit to cleaning their desks a couple of times a year, and 1 percent say they never organize their offices.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and held a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.