Often referred to as a sign of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal and resurrection – spring cleaning is an annual practice and an effective way to reorganize things in our lives. Between heavy scrubbing, decluttering rooms, rearranging furniture and throwing unnecessary items, it’s the refresh our lives need after a long winter and ahead of the summer months.
But spring cleaning isn’t just for our homes. It can also help your business improve its overall performance. Applying the principles of spring cleaning will also do wonders for your small business, helping in terms of work efficiency and also general operations.
Here are five small business spring cleaning tips to get you started.
Tip 1: Make a schedule
Cleaning is a tedious task and people tend to shy away from it, but you don’t have to do it every spring. If the spring season isn’t the best time to clean up your business, choose another month or period that’s more convenient. This isn’t all about following tradition, it’s a matter of making a schedule and sticking to it consistently.
- Find a method for scheduling that better suits your needs and lifestyle
- Play with different methods such as applications and notebooks until you find the one that works for you advantageously.
- To prevent you from losing track, remember to steer clear from using too many mediums. Whether you use a digital app or notebook, it is best to stick with one type of method to put down all of your tasks.
- Do not forget to write down the due date
- Write down the date when you are going to do a specific task. It will help you focus on what’s at hand and makes you committed to getting it done.
One online project management tool we recommend is Airtable, which works similar to a normal spreadsheet like Excel and Google Drive, but it gives you the benefit of a database. You can use already existing templates or start from scratch with different views like calendar view, planning view etc.
Tip 2: Restructure procedures
Clear out the clutter that no longer serves a purpose for your business. Regardless of your trade, the needs of consumers are always changing. What’s popular today might not be the same tomorrow. Review all business activities and eliminate processes – or products – that don’t contribute to success.
One great way to do see what is being talked about is to look at Google Trends. All you need to do is to type in the right keywords, and discover what people are searching in relation to your business.
For example, you are a restaurant owner and want to know if you should consider food delivery:
- Type in the keyword “Food Delivery”
- Select your region “United States”
- Select a category “Restaurants”
This might be an additional task but re-evaluating and streamlining your procedures allows new opportunities to come in.
Tip 3: Update your security system
Without proper protection, you are at risk for various concerns that might jeopardize your business. Take advantage of this time of year and do a routine check-up of all your security software.
- Ensure that you are using a trusted security software. If you don’t have one, there are lots of options available in the market such as Avast Business, Symantec Endpoint, Bitdefender Business Security and many more.
- Make sure that your Windows or Mac computer plug-ins are always up-to-date.
- If possible, always set your software to auto-update. Updating them frequently prevents any data leakage or worst, loss of vital information.
If your business is handling customer data, it is important to learn how to protect yourself against a lack of up-to-date security system. While your client and proprietary data are always at risk, a cyber liability policy can help hedge or completely offset the financial impact of a potential breach.
Tip 4: Physically clean
What could be more satisfying than working in a highly organized environment free from dirt and clutters? Don’t forget to physically clean your workspace or in some cases, the whole office environment. Throw out unnecessary things, label files, organize your desk and use cute but highly efficient tools to increase productivity. You could equally repurpose old stuff instead of buying new equipment. How about an old file drawer turned into a digital cabinet with fingerprint protection security, cool isn’t it!
Tip 5: Review time management
Identify the biggest time-wasters and provide concrete solutions to rectify problems immediately. Look back on certain causes that consumed a big chunk of your time and save yourself from repeating the same mistakes again.
- Create a spreadsheet listing of all your business activities that need to be carried out
- Organize them under different categories such as calls, meetings, delivery, bookkeeping etc.
- Track the actual time you’ve spent on each task and log them religiously.
- Review and compare the actual versus desired time allocation
- If you are spending too much time on every task and tends to forget essential matters, review your list and prioritize each activity according to the degree of importance.
- If on the other hand your list is correct but fail to manage time efficiently, you need to make positive changes in how you consume and handle your time.
- Make adjustments for each activity and implement vetted time management techniques
- Trust your employees and delegate tasks to the most suitable and skilled person.
- If you need extra resources, don’t be afraid to hire someone who could help you out.
- Find alternative solutions for important matters that consume too much time. As long as the desired result is the same, exhausting alternative ways are okay.
If you are having a hard time identifying these time-wasters, try using productivity tools such as Rescue Time. This lightweight app tracks your time and gives an accurate report based on your activities. Time management allows you to focus more on important things rather than waste time doing insignificant matters.
Business spring cleaning should be performed consistently to ensure a smooth, and efficient day-to-day operation. In the long run, you’ll see that doing this routine on a regular basis will result in fewer problems and complications.