Five ways to give your small business a spring cleaning
Spring is traditionally a time of renewal, a welcome opportunity to shake off the dust and cobwebs of winter and embrace what’s ahead. It’s also a common time for a more literal kind of cleanse: a solid spring cleaning.
The arrival of spring is a good opportunity to clean things up around your small business. Take some time to deal with workplace clutter, look at your finances, and reassess the road ahead. In many different ways, it can give you a bright new outlook.
Get started with your desk
The idea of a full-scale business clean up can be a daunting task, so give yourself some momentum by tackling a manageable project first: dealing with your individual work space. Start with any accumulated piles of paper and other clutter and either give them a home or toss them in the trash. Wipe down flat surfaces to get rid of any built-up dust and grime. Give your computer a quick clean, too, by organizing files and emails, upgrading outdated software, and deleting any unwanted programs or material. Make it an office-wide event and get all your colleagues in on the clean-up – by doing it together you’ll improve the mood while making sure the job gets done across your whole business.
Breathe life into your brand
Does the image of your business need new life? Maybe it’s a peeling paint job somewhere, or a logo that’s starting to look a little stale. Perhaps a new floor plan would be an improvement, or a spruced-up sign in your front window. Cast a critical eye around your business in search of things that could benefit from a breath of fresh air. Whether it’s brighter colours for your walls, an invigorating new layout, or something else entirely, there are plenty of ways you can give your business an updated look, add energy and vibrancy, and maybe even attract more eyeballs.
Brighten up the books
If you didn’t already do it at tax time, take a good look at the bottom line and make sure your cash flow situation is solid. Check inventory and supply levels and decide whether you want to get rid of some things, or replace them. Is it time to liquidate old stock? Can you afford to buy new computers, or upgrade your phones? Audit your bank and see whether they can improve the plan they offer you. Finally, look for reward programs and loyalty offers that will provide a return on your business spending.
Dust off your goals and update your business plan
Maybe you set new goals for your small business back at the start of the year. Perhaps it’s been a little bit longer since you last checked in. Either way, now is a good time to evaluate your progress, consider necessary changes, and make sure you’re still satisfied with where things are going, and how you’re getting there. Take out your business plan and see how well it will help you realize the targets you hope to attain in the next 12 months, and the next several years. How have things changed since the last time you looked at it? Do plans and processes need to be updated? Consider bringing in a trusted outsider to examine how your operation works, and ask them to offer an honest assessment of what could stand to be changed. Finally, imagine yourself as a customer of your business, and take a close look at the interaction. What can you do to improve your relationship with your most important asset?
Streamline and schedule
Once you’ve reached the end of your cleanup activities, go back and review them, looking for possible improvements and other ideas. Then go ahead and schedule another spring cleaning session into next year’s calendar. By gaining an enhanced understanding of the necessary tasks, and tying them to a fixed date, you’ll find it far easier to handle future cleaning needs.