Mastering Early-Stage Startup Organisation: 5 Essential Operational Strategies

When you’re deep in the trenches of building your startup, it’s easy to let organisation slip through the cracks. But neglecting tidy operations can haunt you down the road. We’ve all been there, and those precious moments of frustration can derail your flow in more ways than one.

By the way, in this article, whilst I mention the Google tech stack (Drive, Docs, etc…), I do so, as most early-stage businesses I interact with, use Google. Other tools are available and as capable (Microsoft 365 for example).

So, without further delay, here are five pretty straightforward ways to maintain order in your startup:

Implement Functional Folders

Don’t let vital documents like legal agreements, contracts, financial records and HR/People documents become a chaotic jumble. Instead, create clearly labelled folders in Google Drive, organised by department. Avoid the frustrating scramble to locate crucial files when you need them most.

Document Your Experiments

Every experiment, every test, every variable—it all matters. I’ll say this twice: Every experiment, every test, every variable—it all matters.

Keep a meticulous record of these in your Google Drive (Docs, Sheets, Slides). Don’t leave your winning experiments shrouded in mystery. By documenting the ‘why’ behind your successes, you pave the way for future triumphs, and you’ll be able to educate future employees on what has previously been tried and tested.

Streamline Your Communications

Whatsapp, messages, email, pigeon… you get my drift. Steer clear of the messaging mayhem that using multiple tools can create. Instead, leverage Slack channels (or a preferred centralised communication tool, like Basecamp) to categorise conversations by function and use this for all internal communications. Quick and easy access to the right information can be a game-changer.

extra tip: Use email for all external conversations, this way you have a separation and clear lines of communication in and out of the business.

Customer Relationship Manager aka CRM – get one

Customer information is your superpower. Begin by centralising essential details like names and addresses in a basic Google Sheet. As your startup evolves, consider transitioning to a robust solution like HubSpot, which even on the free tier, offers huge amounts of value! Harnessing customer intelligence can and will fuel your growth.

Keep a Close Eye on Finances

Financial oversight is non-negotiable. You must regularly monitor your income, expenses, and cash flow. 82% of businesses fail due to cash flow!!

You can start simple, using Google Sheets or Excel, there’s even a multitude of free templates out on the web, like this one from Hubspot. You can also upgrade and start using cloud-based accounting tools (Xero, Quickbooks, etc…), they provide invaluable visibility that can inform your decisions and alleviate stress.


Maintaining order in your startup may initially seem like a distraction, but trust us—it pays off handsomely as you scale. What other organisational tips have you found indispensable? Share your wisdom with us!

If you’re looking to bring operational maturity into your business, drop us a message and let’s have a chat.

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