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One large part of owning and running a successful business is learning how to organize and store your files effectively. When you start out in your business this should be fairly easy to keep track of because you won’t have too much stuff to store. However, after a few months and years, it may become more difficult to organize. This is why storing your documents in a safe place is so important.
When you are storing items made of paper, you need to be aware of the surroundings and make sure that the items are stored somewhere they will not become damaged. For example, if you are to look at storing a lot of financial data and important paper documents, they need to be somewhere which isn’t too humid, isn’t in direct sunlight and also is at a cool temperature. The light can bleach paper and make it faded over time, the humidity will damage and weaken the paper, as will temperature. Keep files in a cool, dark and dry area.
Always store the most important and frequently used items at the front of your unit. This will mean you do not have to pull everything apart when you want to reach what you need.
In order to organize your files effectively, you will need to raid the stationary store and pick up lots of colored folders. Colour code each type of project or category by using different folders for each. This will make things much easier for you when you come to look over records or find something you need.
When you are looking for the right place to store sensitive documents, a great idea would be to use a storage unit such as a CDN service for the items. This will allow you to store every file you have and securely lock the unit every time you leave it. It will be safe and sound until you need to access it, which will give you the peace of mind you need for your business.
What needs to be stored?
There are certain types of records you will need to store for different amounts of time:
Permanent records – you will need the records of every employee plus their retirement plans and forms for safe keeping. Any deeds for your land will need to be kept as well.
Ten years – any compensation claims, payroll records.
Seven years – medical benefits, personnel files for your employees, payroll checks, time reports
Five years – life insurance benefits, health, and safety reports
Three years – contracts for building work, records of past employees
One year – client records and receipts of purchase
Knowing which types of files need to be kept and which you don’t need will help you to condense the records you do keep and allow you to make room for other important items. Make sure you go through the records every year to see if there are things which can be recycled and shredded to make room for new records.