The arrival of spring brings with it the desire to sweep away the cobwebs and make a fresh start. That makes now a great time to conduct spring cleaning of your company’s operations, finances and marketing. Here’s some ideas on how and where to get started.
Dust off your business plan. If your business has been chugging along and earning a profit, you may think there is no reason to revisit your business plan. However, this can be the best time to give your plan a fresh look, checking to see where you have veered from your original vision and how you might update the plan to reflect changes in your market, competition, customers and long-term goals. Take a fresh look at your financial projections and make adjustments based on your current outlook. Every business can benefit from a good road map, and an annual business plan tune-up can help keep you on track for success.
Clean out your inventory. Virtually every business has inventory that is damaged, outdated or expired. You’ll help keep your storage costs down if you evaluate your current stock and dispose or donate items you are unlikely to sell. That will free up space for new, updated products you might add to your inventory to better address customer needs.
Develop an inventory tracking processes. If you are among the many businesses that use manual processes to track inventory, now might also be a good time to consider an online inventory management system. Not only will such a system simplify record-keeping, it can also help prevent future over- or under-stocking, which can also cost your business money. While you’re at it, consider developing an inventory control process that tracks the quantity and location of your stock from its arrival to the time it leaves your business. Your accounting, accounts payable and other systems may offer similar automation opportunities.
Spruce up your website and social media presence. Many customers get their first impression of your business from your website and social media accounts. You want to make sure they feel welcome and can find whatever it is they are looking for. Put yourself in a customer’s shoes and navigate your website from their point of view. Check to see if all your links work. Perhaps your site design needs an update to improve navigation. Simplifying a customer’s online experience may keep them on your pages longer and produce higher revenue.
Scrub your customer lists, email and computer files. It can be challenging to stay on top of customer contact information. But taking the time to update your customer database will save you time and money in the long run. It also creates a reason for you to reach out to customers and remind them you are there to serve them. Springtime is also a good time to clean up your email accounts by cancelling automated subscriptions that you don’t need and deleting the flood of messages clogging your phone and computer. It might not be a bad idea to archive years-old messages and files. A bonus: your computer speed might improve as a result.
Clean your office, too. A sparkling digital image is important. But a clean and inviting office also improves productivity and sends an important message to employees and visitors alike. Look around and remove old office equipment, furniture and other items that have outlived their usefulness. Are desks overwhelmed by endless stacks of paper? Scan and transfer important files to digital formats.
The bottom line: spring cleaning is not only good for your own well-being. It is also good for business. It will open your eyes to opportunities for improvement that might otherwise be buried under a pile of clutter.