On Monday, March 20, winter officially dissolved into spring. With the first day of spring comes the age-old tradition of spring cleaning: out with the old and in with the new. This year, after you’ve spent however many hours cleaning up your home, you may want to invest the same amount of energy spring cleaning for your small business too.
How exactly can you apply the principle of spring cleaning to your small business? Here are seven ideas.
7 Ways to Spring Clean Your Small Business
Basic spring cleaning: tidy up your workspace
No matter how clean you keep your office, storefront, or restaurant, it’s virtually guaranteed there are at least a few nooks and crannies that get neglected over the course of the year. When’s the last time you cleaned behind that bulky printer, anyway? Spring cleaning is a great time to tidy up your space, paying attention to even the hardest places to reach. Have you been staring at a stack of old files that you’re never going to need again for the last seven months? Toss them. Get rid of that wobbly table you always stick in the corner of your restaurant’s dining room. You catch the drift.
Clean up your inbox
If you’re the type of person who has tens of thousands of emails in your inbox, you may want to consider purging as many as you can in an effort to reach Inbox Zero. Proponents of a minimal amount of messages in the inbox swear that it’s very beneficial from a psychological perspective. Spend a few hours cleaning up and organizing your inbox and not only will you be more productive, you might feel somewhat liberated.
Invest in more efficient technology and equipment
While it might be possible to get the job done with old equipment and outdated processes, your team won’t be as productive as they could be if you upgraded to modern tools and technology. For example, instead of having your wait staff take orders with a pen and a pad, consider investing in tablets that make the process easier while also reducing the likelihood errors will occur (e.g., a cook misreading a waiter’s handwriting). If you own a deli that delivers, set up an ecommerce portal on your website so customers can place orders online. Painters who are still writing invoices and managing their finances by hand can also invest in a bookkeeping app.
Check your content for broken links
Over time, some of the links on your website might stop working. Maybe you decided to rename a piece of content and forget to update the link. Maybe an external site you linked to shut down. Maybe you’ve stopped hosting a certain piece of content. Whatever the case may be, broken URLs are bad for business. Not only do they harm the user experience, they also hurt your SEO rankings and decrease the number of indexed pages on your site. Spring is the perfect time of the year to assess the state of your website to determine whether any links are broken. Fix them if you find them.
Stop taking on debt if you don’t have to
It’s common for small businesses to run into cash flow problems every now and again. In fact, 71% of small business owners say that cash flow issues are the biggest challenge they face. When money’s tight, many small business owners look for outside sources of financing. Lots of them decide to apply for loans—taking on a lot of debt along the way. Instead of adding a ton of money to the liability side of your balance sheet, familiarize yourself with all the financing options available to you. For example, if you routinely wait on late payments from your customers, you can use an invoice financing service like Fundbox to advance payments on your outstanding invoices. That way, you’re borrowing against your assets and don’t have to incur any long-term debt.
Segment your email marketing lists
How effective have your email marketing efforts been lately? No matter how successful you’ve been, chances are you could always do at least a little bit better. If you’ve not done so already, try segmenting your email list to see if you enjoy better results. According to MailChimp, segmentation results in more opens and more clicks while also reducing bounces and unsubscribes. Figure out what your customers have in common and divide them into subgroups with similar needs and interests (e.g., age, location, or engagement level). If you need some ideas as to how you can segment and break out your email list, check this out.
Start asking your employees for their feedback
If you’ve ever had a boss who never asked your thoughts on any topic, you know how disheartening it can be. Never forget your employees are your biggest asset. Ask them for their feedback on a regular basis, and your employees become more engaged. They also may have great ideas on how to improve operations that you never thought about before. Incorporate employee feedback into your repertoire. You’ll be able to identify any problems that are brewing sooner than you otherwise would, and you’ll motivate your employees to try even harder. What’s not to like?
Ready for more?
Apply for funding and find out if you qualify today