As the season begins to shift from the dreariness of winter into the renewal of spring, now is a good time to consider obtaining a small business loan to clean and revitalize your small business. While pulling out the broom and dustpan is one way to undertake spring cleaning, there are other tasks you can complete that will help you organize the day to day; structure and streamline operations and focus on small business marketing. Consider these five small business cleaning tips this spring:
1. Clean the company
Although the rest of this advice here is more business oriented, now’s the best time of year to actually clean the retail shop or office space or the work room. You might hire a cleaning crew to sweep up here and there, but take the opportunity additional sunlight and warmer weather brings by spending some time giving the business a good, thorough scrub down. Move furniture or display cases, and clear out any old boxes or other unused inventory that might have accumulated throughout the year.
Consider hiring a specialty cleaner that goes the extra step during the process, and get the deep shampooing for the carpet, or the steam clean for the walls. There can be a pungent smell lingering in the walls, furniture and rugs that builds up throughout the year. You might not notice it because you’re used to it, but customers and clients most certainly will, and it can negatively affect lead conversions and sales.
2. Dust off your business plan
Lots of times business owners only take out their business plan when they need it most, such as when they’re seeking out investors or new capital. But even if you don’t have an immediate need to use your business plan, it’s still a good idea to review it and make sure it’s up to date. Forbes contributor Newtek, noted that annual reviews of this important document ensure you remain on track for any sales targets, growth forecasts and other business milestones. In addition, companies can often pivot to respond to industry trends or new competition, and these changes should be reflected in the business plan. After all, this document should accurately depict the current makeup of the market, your competition and other factors affecting your business. By keeping your business plan as current as possible, you’re also positioning yourself for the future, since when you pick up the document next year, you’ll have a better sense of what’s happened in the last 12 months so you can more effectively respond to the changes.
3. Sweep out your inbox
Whether they’re old junk messages, a build up of newsletters and email blasts or a barrage of leads that you need to follow up on, set aside some time to clear out your inbox and get it as close to empty as possible. Not only does this make your email account more manageable and organized, but in the case of responses that hadn’t been returned, it alleviates the stress with having those communications left hanging. You don’t necessarily have to dedicate an entire weekend to take care of this task either, but simply using the last 15 minutes of each day can easily take care of this.
4. Declutter your documents
If you’re a document-heavy organization with a high production rate, it might be time to ditch the filing cabinets taking up so much space in your office. As American Express Open Forum noted, the cloud has replaced the clunky metal filing cabinet. Depending on the type of organization you run, this could involve implementing an enterprise resource planning system, a software management platform or some other type of cloud-based customer relationship management program. Each of these systems can eliminate much of the paperwork associated with accounting, budgeting, sales, marketing, customer support, inventory and human resources. Further, since it’s cloud-based, you get real-time access to all of this crucial information, which is organized and stored in a single repository. This ultimately lets you create a better financial forecast and streamline workflows.
5. Freshen up your website
Maintaining a stylish and up-to-date website is necessary for attracting and retaining customers. Shoppers and clients expect a smooth user experience that incorporates the latest Internet trends and styles. If your website looks like something cobbled together during the Bush administration, customers will most likely click out of there quickly. Further, while the site should be fresh and current, it should also be intuitive and easy to use, since a complex page will just turn potential customers away.
Consider including marketing content such as blogs, white papers and videos. Plus, it’s important to insert links to your social media channels as well, so customers and industry peers can stay in contact. Your online presence is sometimes the only way new customers and clients learn about you, and it’s important that you make a good first impression.