Winghart Law Group, Inc. offers legal services when dealing with business transactions, commercial litigation and commercial real estate negotiations. That business counseling experience allows our firm to see what problems businesses run into when they face legal issues. Today, we are going to address one of those problems and explore examples that can help your company move forward.
Why Organization Is Important to Your Business
It doesn’t matter if your company is a start-up, small business or a mega-corporation. If it is not organized, then you are losing business. However, being unorganized can have legal repercussions as well. Here are three organizational areas our business counseling attorney thinks are essential to business operations and legal preparedness:
1. Office Space & That Mountain of Paperwork
Keeping a clean and neat workspace does more than create a pleasant environment for you and your employees to work in. It can be utilized to ensure that everything has a place, so you and your workers will always know where and how to find important items and documents. To this end, many companies have gone paperless, and for those that aren’t ready for that e-solution, off-site storage facilities are an option. But be wary – storage facilities have the ring of a gym membership. You feel good for having it, but you really don’t use it as often as you could. (I know from personal experience, my gym doesn’t know who I am.)
If confronted with a subpoena for plans or invoices, employees must be able to find these documents efficiently and fast. Remember that time is of the essence when dealing with court orders—many of which have deadlines. For paperless offices, this means having data management software that utilizes file formats that can easily be indexed. You should also use file formats that are ubiquitous or easily converted, so courts and other parties will be able to open and view them. For businesses utilizing off-site storage, double-check the facility’s organizational procedures and make sure they match your needs.
Do you have a document retention policy? How long do you keep documents? While much of this can be based on your industry, you must consider how long you reasonably need to keep those file around.
2. Computer Organization
Almost every modern business utilizes computers in some way, especially those businesses that choose to go paperless. Which means keeping your computer organized is just as important as keeping your physical workspace clean. To do this, make sure the desktop on your PC is clean. Most icons on the desktop are just shortcuts, so deleting them won’t hurt anything. Only keep shortcuts to your most frequently used apps on your desktop, and do not store files on your desktop. Store your files in appropriately labeled folders.
Another important legal issue when it comes to keeping your computer organized is the security of your system. In some business disputes, consumers have claimed damages due to sensitive information being leaked or destroyed on company computers. You can fight these claims by keeping up with software updates—many of which are security related. Put these tasks on a schedule, and don’t forget to check to see if there are newer versions of the software you use. Bonus tip: There are many other security measures you will need to undertake. Maintain anti-virus software and consider using a firewall if your systems will be regularly exposed to the internet. More complex issues relate to email security and encryption, topics that an IT specialist and your attorney can point you into the requirements and best practices for your industry.
3. Productivity and Workflow Tracking
Is the productivity software you use still fulfilling the needs of your company? Has a new app been released that can handle multiple functions from several of your current apps? It may be time to upgrade. Productivity apps can save your business a lot of time, and they have many uses that also serve as important legal protections.
For instance, if you are caught in a legal dispute with a business partner that claims you did not fulfill contractual obligations, productivity software can protect you. Time-tracking is built into some productivity software, and there are even apps specifically dedicated to time-tracking. Depending on the circumstances, using the logs from these apps can help prove you delivered on your contractual obligations. Productivity software can also track payments and invoices, customer service, and passwords. Having apps like this at your disposal will protect your business and help it grow.
How Can Our Experience Help Your Business?
Here at the Redwood City offices of Winghart Law Group, Inc., we are dedicated to being the business law attorney that you need. We familiarize ourselves with your company and its specific necessities to provide high-quality business counseling. Our experience is diverse enough to handle large firms while still providing fantastic client service and value. To see if we are the right fit for your legal troubles, call us at (650) 332-2994 for a free 30-minute consultation.