“Spring is in the air,” say your customers, but is your business flourishing with the new season, or is it stuck in hibernation mode? This season is famous for fresh starts and high energy, but it takes some elbow grease to get your small business ready for the change. If you’ve fallen behind on some chores while escaping the cold of the winter, now’s the time to put in some work to do some desperately-needed spring cleaning for your small business.
Whether you love or hate the feeling of getting your business in order, these 8 to-dos will help your small business get ready for the season and succeed for the busy seasons to come.
Experience Your Website
How often do you explore your own website as if you were a customer? If it’s been a while, open an incognito browser and navigate to your website. Try exploring your blog, finding a product, searching for a specific term, and any other tasks you’d want your customers to be able to do. Is anything difficult to find, or is any question difficult to answer? Does the formatting work on all of today’s different types of technology – computers, phones, tablets, etc.? If you find an issue, you’ve found a new priority to add to your list of spring cleaning tasks.
And Then, Update Your Website
For most companies, your website is your storefront. Even if you’re operating a brick-and-mortar location, customers turn to the Internet to find information like pricing, operating hours, sales, and more. That means, if you’re operating a website that was built in the early 2000s (or one that looks like it), you’re losing customers.
This spring, take the time to update your website. Aim for a modern look that ties into what you want customers to know about your company. Are you a modern tech company, a community-focused restaurant, or an artist? Your website should look and feel the way your customers would feel if they walked in your front door.
Re-Strategize Your Marketing
While you’re rethinking the way customers experience your “storefront”, take a moment to think through how they perceive your advertising. What does your logo represent? What about your social media profile pictures?
An easy to-do for the spring is to update your social media profile and cover photos to match your current brand. If you’re looking to go the extra mile (which you should), look into each of the channels you’ve been using to advertising your business. If some are working better than others, consider investing in those or posting more actively online throughout the spring and summer.
Implement Time-Saving Technologies
It’s no secret that technology can save you hours every week, but when was the last time you looked into new ones? Is there a new tool that you’ve been hoping to explore, but constantly putting off? Make it a to-do this season because it could be the biggest payoff of all. You’ll face some growing pains at first – it requires time you may feel you don’t have, and change is never easy. However, the payoff will last well beyond just this spring. Investing a few hours setting up efficiency-enabling technology today could, in fact, pay off in multiples of those hours saved later on.
Manage Your Files
Every small business owner’s computer takes a beating. Between sending, receiving, creating, and updating the multitudes of documents required to run a business, there’s no doubt that your computer is filled with duplicate or outdates files. Or worse – you don’t have planned duplicates, aka backups, of important files you need.
This spring, comb through your files to delete duplicates or irrelevant files (like that completely outdated draft of an email you wanted to send six months ago). Once you’ve done that, consider transitioning to a cloud storage service, protecting your files from the fickle functionalities of hardware that could crash at anytime. If you do need on-site backups of your files, make sure they are in a separate device that is encrypted (protected) and not in the exact same location as your computer. Imagine a leak that would take out your computer AND the backup at the same time!
Empty Your Inbox
Even the most organized small business owners have a habit of letting their inboxes go. Spring is great time to deal with the piled-up unread emails and excessive newsletter subscriptions. The result? Fewer superfluous newsletters will keep you more focused on emails that matter, help you avoid the temptations of sales or promotions, and get rid of the listicles that you’re not reading anyway.
Purge Your Subscriptions
Do you know how much money you’re throwing away every week on the “free” trial you forgot to cancel before they started charging your credit card every month? If you don’t, it’s time to find out. Review your bills to find every business you’re paying monthly. Immediately cancel any subscriptions you weren’t already aware of – you won’t miss them anyway. For the rest, think critically about the value they bring your business. Does this subscription save you time or bring in business? If not, cancel it and find another service that can help.
Clean (Yes, we do mean this literally)
Whether you’ve got a whole store to maintain or a single desk in a shared workspace, everyone loves a clean start to the workday. Take a Friday afternoon or Monday morning to clean your workspace a little more deeply than normal. Break out the cleaning products, dust of your computer monitor, and consider introducing some (minimal) decorations. The new workspace might just be the catalyst for your next great idea.
In short, there’s no shortage of to-dos to get your business in shape for the high-energy seasons to come.
Your complete small business spring cleaning checklist:
- Audit your website: If you were a customer, would everything work the way you expect it to?
- Update your website: Modernize your homepage, contact details, and pricing or menus
- Update your social media profile and cover photos
- Check the analytics on your social media posts: are your current post times and/or frequency of posts working for you, or is it time to experiment with something else?
- Implement a new technology, even if you’ve been meaning to do it for a while already
- Delete duplicate or irrelevant files from your computer
- Subscribe to a cloud storage system, and transition your files there
- Clean out your unread emails
- Unsubscribe from newsletters you no longer care about
- Purge subscriptions you no longer need or see considerable value from
- Clean (yes, physically clean) your workspace