How to Handle Records Management in a Small Business
How Records Management tasks can free up your time.
Many small business owners and managers have at one time or another asked themselves, “How do I handle Records Management in addition to all my other tasks?”
The average small business owner or manager of an SME has to handle a bewildering number of tasks and wear multiple hats daily. It is an admirable ability to be able to multi-task so well. However, it also creates quite a strain at times.
So when it comes to adding a Records Manager hat to your daily activities – since few small businesses have dedicated records managers – you’ll be forgiven for throwing your arms up in despair.
Proper Records Management can Reduce Your Workload
Yes, you read the heading above correctly!
Whether you realise it or not, you are already handling records and information on a daily basis. The manner in which you handle them, however, is closely connected to your productivity and ability to run your business.
Every time you make a sale and you write out a receipt or get a contract signed you are handling a record. Every time you send out an invoice you are handling a record. Whenever you consult a supplier list to get someone’s contact details, yes, you guessed it, you are handling a record.
Why Your Workload Increases
It is quite interesting to see how different people handle their workload. Some people seem to get lots of work done almost without effort, others look really busy but actually get very little done and still, others don’t seem to have a lot of work but have actually just become overwhelmed by the amount of work they have.
The reason one’s workload becomes too much is due to uncompleted actions or tasks. These then stack up and bring your production to a grinding halt. Faced with so many tasks to complete, many people simply give up as they do not know where to start.
How Task Management & Records Management can Decrease Workload
Busy productive people tend to be well-organised people. Well organised people are good at task management.
Task management in its simplest form is about listing out all your task and then handling them one by one. This is a good start. However, some tasks are more important than others. Thus more effective task management not only lists out all tasks but gives them an order of importance.
Records Management can Streamline Tasks
Since records are vital to your business’s continued existence and smooth running handling of Records Management in your small business becomes a priority.
Records must be effectively controlled, preserved, securely stored and be quickly and easily accessed in order for your business to run smoothly. The amount of time wasted trying to find records or find out who has them is a sure way to slow down your task completions and increase your workload.
Thus by more effectively handling your small business’s records, you are effectively improving your task management and workload.
The Basic Plan
The broad idea is this:
- Create a simple Records Management Programme
- Define the rules that apply to your records and the way you manage them
- Break down your RM Programme into smaller programmes
- List out the tasks for each of these programmes
- Define basic key performance indicators or statistics for each programme
- Add a few of these tasks to a list of weekly and daily tasks and make sure you do them
There is an old saying about eating an elephant, you do it one bite at a time. The same goes for your Records Management and any other worthwhile task you wish to complete.
You tackle big problems by breaking them down into smaller ones and then you just tackle them one at a time in order of importance.