Well, it is spring time here in South Africa, so time for some business spring cleaning.
When we think of spring cleaning we tend to only consider our house or our closet, but why not do a spring clean on your business (and I am not referring to your physical office, although that might need a good tidying up. I know mine does).
If you look around your business, whether it be your filing system or your marketing strategy, you will probably find some clutter that could be cleaned up and streamlined. The problem with clutter is that it tends to slow things down, put a spanner in the works as we might say.
So get the feather duster out, we are going on a spring clean.
Examine Your Marketing Strategies
Take some time to have a look back over the past year at your marketing strategies. Which ones worked best, which didn’t? Examine your audience. Are you targeting the best match of people or businesses to gain the best results? Are you running ads that are wasting you money? If you aren’t getting a good ROI on your current ads, you may find that something from a few months ago was, then you need to adjust your marketing.
The main aim of marketing is to get the best ROI without wasting money. If we fine tune our marketing to perform optimally then we spend less with a better return. However if we are just doing marketing willy-nilly without examining our efforts, we end up throwing good money down the toilet.
Take this time and examine which campaigns are money traps and change them to something that worked better in the past, try something new, or simply delete them.
Freshen Up Your Website and Social Media
The internet is constantly evolving. Technology is replacing itself faster than it can be created, and so does website design. Not to mention hack threats, so also check your security.
Take a good look at your website and ask yourself, or a professional, if it needs a fresher look. Something that fits in more with the current design trends. This also needs to be done alongside your marketing plan. Just because you have ads in place driving traffic to your site, doesn’t necessarily mean the ads are at fault if you aren’t getting a good ROI, it could be that your website needs to be looked at.
Landing and squeeze pages are very important, and if they are not converting the leads to customers, then it is your website that needs to be addressed.
Same goes with your Social Media accounts. Do you need to take a different approach to your content creation because it has become stale and repetitive over the past few months? Do you need to change cover images to give it a fresh look and spark some new interest from your followers? Are you focusing on a platform that isn’t bringing you any results, in which case you need to focus more on a different platform that is?
Clean Out Your Inbox
This is probably the most difficult of the lot, as simple as it may seem. How many of us dread the idea of having to wade through thousands of emails to pull out the ones that are important and need to be kept just so we can delete the rest?
I bloody well hate it, but it has to be done. One thing you might want to consider moving forward is creating a folder, just a single folder where you move the important mails to. Then, once every couple months just delete the rest. When you come to doing your spring clean you can then go through your saved folder and sort them into more relevant folders, but it definitely cuts down the amount of emails you need to get through.
Automate Your Processes
Maybe this spring clean thing is causing a lot of stress for you because you know how much organizing has to be done. As you go through all of it this year, then consider what you could automate throughout the next year in order to make things more streamlined when you come to do this again.
You have sorted through your emails and noticed that you always save emails from Person X. So, set up a rule on your emails to send any emails from Person X to that folder (or a specific folder for that person) immediately.
You may post content to your social media accounts which takes up a lot of time because you have to post to Facebook, and then to LinkedIn, and then to Instagram. You however weren’t aware that there are websites that allow you to schedule all of your posts in one place, and if you want to post the same content to all three platforms, you can set it up for all three once, and schedule them to go out on a specific date at a specific time. Take a look at such websites and consider signing up for a plan.
Those are just some examples off the top of my head. There are often ways to automate just about anything to make your life and business run better. Determine what takes up a lot of your time and then investigate possible solutions.
Dust Off Your Business Plan
As with everything in life, things change, adapt and evolve, and that includes your business. If you think of your business as a child, then you must take into account that a newborn grows into a toddler, etc. etc and with that growth comes change.
Take out your business plan and have a good read through it. Does it still reflect your current business, or is it somewhat outdated. If you need to adjust it or rewrite some sections, then do so. That is the roadmap for your business.
Free Up Your Finances
Two things I would like to speak about here. First of all, is your accounting in order? Maybe you need to sort out receipts for your accountant or just touch base with him or her to see how your business is doing.
Secondly, as your business grows you will be signing up for various things. With my business it is usually third-party software that I use to automate my systems or help me to do my job. However, what happens quite often is that I will move away from one system to use a different one which gives me more of what I want, but I forget to cancel the subscription or debit order.
Go through all of those accounts and see what you can cancel. This will free up your finances by making sure your accounting is in order and getting rid of the clutter of accounts that are no longer in use or just a waste of money.
Re-evaluate Your Goals
This does or could fall under the business plan, but goals are very specific and very important, so I wanted to keep it separate instead of getting mingled in with all of the other aspects of the business plan.
Review your goals and make sure they are still aligned with your current views. Don’t be afraid to adjust your goals. If you haven’t been able to achieve what you originally set out to do, but along the way your focus has changed to something else, then change your goals. As long as you are making progress and growing, then goal changing is okay. You don’t need to beat yourself up just because you couldn’t reach your goal due to a much needed diversion.
If you still have your eye on the original goal but it is proving to be more difficult to reach it, then maybe push it out a year or two and note what steps you need to take to get there. You will probably have a better idea of how long things take now as opposed to when you first began and had pipe-dreams of reaching such and such a point within the first year. Stay on course, but let yourself adapt.
Connect With Your Staff
Making sure you staff is happy is vital to having a good, loyal and responsive team. Take some time to interview your staff members. Find out if there are any problems that they are facing with their current position. Shuffle your staff if needs be. If a position is not doing anything but wasting money, then look at moving that staff member into a different position that better suits them and your business. If you need to fire people, then do that, get rid of the bad eggs in the basket. It’s all about getting your business to run better and more efficiently.
Reconnect With Your Clients
Past clients can be some of the most lucrative aspects of your business. If you haven’t contacted them in a while, then reach out to them, simply let them know that you are still around and you were thinking about them. Thank them for the business they once gave you. It may just spark some interest for further business.
Connect with your current clients. Interview them to find out how happy they were with your product or service. Gather data that will help you better shape your business for future clients. We usually think we know what our clients want, but more than often we don’t, so ask you clients the crucial questions.
Tidy Your Desk and Office
I’m sorry, you can’t get away from it. The dreaded manual labour of cleaning and tidying. Although having said that I tend to enjoy it. After a good tidying up I always feel refreshed, like a new day that has dawned, ready for the next chapter.
Give everything a good spring clean and get ready to move forward with a fresh head and a new outlook. Productivity will abound. Our environment always affects our mental state, so getting rid of the clutter in our work space and organising everything will have an effect on ourselves, and will declutter and organise our heads just as much.
Pin it for later