Small Business Tips Blog
Like most Canadians, you probably celebrate the arrival of spring by sweeping away the remnants of that last winter snowstorm. If you’re a small business owner, make sure that spring cleaning your business, not just your home, is on your to-do list this month.
Embarking on a good spring cleaning is a great way to reenergize your workplace and prepare for the rest of the year. And it’s the perfect time to renew your commitment to the New Year’s goals you set back in January. Coming three months into 2017, think of this is as your business’s quarterly checkup.
- Revisit your business goals. While January 1 is all about goal-setting, not everyone is as excited about the follow through. Spring is a good time to examine the goals you set at the beginning of the year, see if you’ve fallen short and, if so, devise a plan to get back on track. While you’re at it, schedule one-month or two-month checkups to ensure you stay on track.
- Update your business plan. Your business plan should be a working document. If it’s been resting in a drawer since you created it, pull it out, dust it off, and, if you’re not where your plan expected you to be, update it, and use it to keep your business moving forward.
- Clean up your marketing. Many businesses have a hard time giving up their old (and outdated) marketing ways. Others adopt (or add) a new approach every time they hear of one. Spring is a good time to assess whether or not your marketing plan is working for you. If not, you may need to declutter or start fresh to ensure your marketing plan is achieving the best results for your business.
Spring is also a good time to freshen up your relationships with the people in your business – including both employees and clients and customers. All relationships can use an injection of new energy now and then, so take the time to examine your connections with your people:
Employees: Spring is a time for renewal, making it an ideal time to evaluate employee performance. Evaluating and rewarding good work now will reinvigorate your workplace and sow the seeds for improved performance in the months ahead.
Clients and customers: Get up to date on what’s new with your clients. Send an email to check in, especially with those you haven’t seen in a while. Check their websites before you send them a note; you may be able to provide suggestions on how your company can help them – and drum up new business for yourself.
Clean your desktop.
This applies to both your virtual desktop and your physical desktop – although new research shows that messy desks can be signs of creativity and productivity (so I’ll leave that decision to you).
A messy company website, on the other hand, isn’t good for anyone, so make this the month to review and clean up all things technological.
- Review your contact page. Is everything up to date…including phone numbers or contact names? If you have a contact form, make sure the link works and it includes a current email address – and that you check it regularly!
- Organize your computer.
oFile or delete miscellaneous files on your desktop, then create a filing system that works for your business.
oOrganize your inbox. Delete emails that are six months or older. Sort emails into folders. Update your automatic signature and your automatic responses. Then think about turning off your email notification (and other social media “dings” and “pings”) – research shows that being a slave to your devices can be “toxic”.
- Change your passwords. Just like changing the battery in your smoke detector every spring and fall helps keeps your family safer, changing your online passwords at regular intervals will help keep your computer – and your business – more secure.