Spring has officially arrived (even if it already feels like Summer!!). The warm, pleasant days, the sun shining down on our bodies usually leads us to a sudden urge to clean up, clear out and de-clutter. You might also be feeling the urge to Spring clean your business.
A business spring clean may not be on the top of the priority list, but it’s sure to reward you with a lightness of being and a clear head. Here are a couple of ways to get started.
The cabinet in the corner of your office is probably full to the brim of old, old paperwork. You might even have a pile to file on the top of the cabinet. But for the purposes of a better business and spring cleaning, take a look at the documents and ask yourself the following questions.
- Are they receipts? In which case, send them off in shoeboxes to be uploaded forever and then you can bin the paper (as in recycling or security shred if necessary). Less paper for you to deal with (and if you EVER need a record you can search for it really easily).
- Do you actually need to keep those files? If you haven’t looked in them for a year or more, consider moving the files to a document box and if you don’t look at it for two years, then turf them (unless they’re tax or legal papers).
- Have you got most of what you’re storing on your computer anyway? If you do you can turf it right now. Most of us keep paper AND electronic copies of everything. But we’re really not sure why. If you’re worried about losing your electronic versions – try backing up to something like Dropbox (servers in the cloud – trust me it’s likely safer there than on your computer).
Review your current client list
Why on earth does this need a spring cleaning? Well if we go by the Pareto principle 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your clients. So by that reckoning, 80% of your clients probably aren’t really right for your business. Okay, your ratio might be higher than that, but do the math before you argue the point.
Once you’re done, you’ll find you absolutely have some great clients that provide you and your business with a lot of value, but you’ll also have clients that you get little from, or that you don’t have a real relationship with.
Decide on a course of action that essentially automates your dealings with those folks if you don’t feel that you can ‘oust’ them to streamline your processes. For those people that really take up more time, effort and energy than they’re financially (or emotionally) worth – put your prices up – A LOT! They will either pay more for more of your time, effort or angst or they’ll move on.
That then leaves you free (and refreshed) to focus on your ideal customers – you know, the ones you adore working with, who are a joy to do business with.
Clean out your contacts
Have you met people networking that you really wanted to get in touch with but just forgot about? Are there contacts that you know you should get in touch with, but you just haven’t had the time?
Spring is the perfect time to reach out to your networks and really connect. Set a plan to get in touch with them – try 2-3 a day. Don’t use email – use the phone (here’s why the phone isn’t dead).
If’s not just about gaining business, it’s about engaging with your real network.
By the same token, you’ve probably also got people on your list (LinkedIn, Facebook, your phone contact list, etc) that you have no idea who they are, where you met and you’ve never heard from them since. These ‘contacts’ do not add to your networks – they’re just clutter. So feel free – delete them.
That then leaves you freer to find and really engage with the people you would like to get to know better, learn from, partner or hang out with.
Rejuvenate your business plans
Spring is the perfect time to revisit your business plan. Take a few deep breaths to relax, think about what you want in life and for your business and then look at your existing goals – with new eyes. Do you still want the same things? If yes, great – tweak anything you feel is taking you off-course. If no, don’t be afraid – write new goals.
Get the best plans for your business
You always shop around for cheaper home and car insurance and phone plans, so what makes your business any different? Maybe now is the time to review those same plans to make sure you’re getting the best on offer for your business.
Whilst shopping around for whats best, review your insurance policies. Are they up to date? Have you made any changes to the business that would affect an insurance claim? If you can find a better offer at a different provider, consider switching – but always read the fine print. And if you don’t have time, consider a broker. They really can and do save you money.
Spring cleaning is not only good for de-cluttering and de-stressing, but it also rejuvenates your business and your business head-space. Give it a try and see the benefits unfold for you.
Of course if we can help you to de-stress by taking away some of the business admin that you’d prefer not to deal with, we’d be delighted to talk to you. You can call us on 9994 8000 or drop us a note.