Yes, you read the title correctly!! When we think of Spring Cleaning we are typically ready to turn up the stereo and dive into every room and closet for the ultimate seasonal deep clean regimen. However, if you are a business owner Spring is also the perfect time of the year to air out your business and lay the foundation for a productive and fertile business year ahead. At the first of the year we are pumped up and hitting the ground running in our business which is an exciting time. This momentum although great, can also cause us to get behind on filing and organizing as the busy days of the year add up. Now, it may require an investment of time over a day or two to properly clean out the old but it's definitely worth the time and attention to set the tone for what's to come. Here are some quick and easy ways to make the task seem less daunting that every entrepreneur can follow to Spring Forward this year.
#1. Paper Management
Springtime for many entrepreneurs means tax time!!! Therefore that will require a great deal of paperwork, receipts, invoices, statements that are ready to be removed from your active filing cabinets. Now is the time to create a 2016 box and prepare to archive these documents that no longer serve a purpose in 2017. You also have the option of scanning these documents into a dropbox or other cloud filing system to prevent storing unnecessary documents. Shred any documents that have personal information on them such as bank statements or credit card statements. Be sure to also review the current paper flow system that you have in your business. This is the ideal time to determine if the system you have in place is helping you be productive and increasing the profit in your business. If not, now is the time to ditch what's not working and implement a new system.
#2. Update Software Programs
This is a step that is highly overlooked by many, just because we simply don't think about it. How many versions behind on software updates are you? Running the latest software for your website platform, smartphone, computer operating system, email and anti-virus security is key to business productivity. Remember, outdated software can cost you and make your systems vulnerable to malfunctioning. Batch task this process and devote about an hour to updating all of your platforms to their latest system updates.
#3. Create a Digital Folder System
You have created a filing system for your hard copy documents but what about your soft copy documents?
Create category folders within your email account to prevent your inbox from becoming cluttered. Along with the desktop on your computer and smart phone. Your email account should not have more than 10 emails within your inbox. Losing important emails or files means a lot of wasted effort trying to search through your computer. Take the time to devote a few hours solely to organizing your desktop files and email inboxes. Remember, once you have a productive system in place it's all uphill from there!
#4. Close Out Winter Inventory
If you are a product based business this would be the perfect time to offer discounts on any remaining inventory to help you free up space and recoup some of your costs. Put together a Last Chance sale for your customers that will benefit them on getting your great items at a super low cost and allow you to upload your website with what's fresh and new for the year ahead. This is also the time to review the workflow system you have in place to track your inventory, listing products, shipping and delivery, etc. Review each step to make sure that it's not slowing you down and is in alignment with your Brand direction. The key is to always work smarter not harder! Having proper systems in place will give you the peace of mind that your business is running smoothly everyday (even while you're sleeping).
#5. Update Your Contact Lists
Organize your customers, clients and vendors into updated groups. Follow up with each group to make sure the information you have on file is accurate and take this time to determine who you will continue working with and what contacts you will part with. This is critical to your business, you don't want to be in the middle of a project and need to contact someone only to find you have the wrong information!
#6. Update Your Social Media + Website
Take stock of your online presence and make some positive changes across the board. If you don't have the time to do it yourself, appoint a staff member or virtual assistant to mange your social media accounts and create relevant posts. Update your website copy to reflect the current status of your business. Changes to pricing or policies, different hours and new products are all things to keep regularly updated. Visit your site page by page as a viewer to ensure that all links are working properly and that their viewing and checkout experience is seamless.
#7. Spring Forward Into The Cloud
Many entrepreneurs are taking full advantage of technology and going paperless with apps such as Evernote and Dropbox (both are my personal favorites). Both of these apps have cross-platform capabilities, which gives you 24/7 access to not only important documents but the amazing advantage to run your business from anywhere in the world. Moving your files gives you the benefit of having everything you need in one place for future reference, and the generous sizes of cloud storage available ensure that you will have the space you need for all of your documents. This is particularly important as we move into the end of tax season and will streamline this process for you and your accountant.
These simple tips will have your business organized in no time and have you ready to hop in your flip flops to embrace the new season with ease.
Now, tell me which of these quick and easy tips will you implement this month? I would love to hear from you.
P.S. Do you need help getting your business organized? No problem, schedule a 30-minute Brand Inspection with me by visiting www.
thebrandinspector.com today and let's get your Brand organized!
Lakeshia Williams, also known as “The Brand Inspector”, is a Certified Professional Organizer and Brand Consultant for women based entrepreneurs, professionals and mompreneurs. She inspects Brands to identify their strengths and weaknesses to get them organized and increase their profit. Although originally from San Francisco, California she has established herself in Atlanta, Georgia as a creative-minded Entrepreneur, pairing her organizational skills, design and business expertise with her passion for empowering entrepreneurs to live every aspect of life in balance and harmony.
Her wide variety of life experiences and exposure to cultures around the world allow her to offer unique insight and assistance to her clients. After over a decade of working in Corporate America and many years as a small business owner, her specialties include workflow improvement, office space planning, procedures + guidelines development, and productivity solutions. Her background in business allows her to pass these skills on to her clients. Through her unique approach of “inspecting” businesses, consulting, and speaking she empowers on the go professionals and small business owners to become functional, focused, and organized as they focus on growing the business of their dreams.