After a long and cold winter, spring is a time for new beginnings and renewed energy.
From a business standpoint, it's the end of the first quarter, which sets the tone for the rest of the year. So, if you’re looking for ways to refresh and reorganize your business ready for the new season and the new quarter, here are a few “spring cleaning” ideas to help you get started...
1. Review Your Business Plan and Mission Statement
Be honest, how long has it been since you checked your business plan? Changes in business can happen on a daily basis, and as your business evolves and grows, you should reflect this in your plan so it stays relevant. Take some time to evaluate different elements of your plan, such as your products and services, market analysis, or financial projections. Not just an essential document for new ventures, a business plan helps you to keep the big picture in mind and stay focused on your goals.
For this reason, it’s also worth revisiting your mission statement. Are your objectives and methods still the same as when it was written? If not, it’s time to recalibrate your strategies to make sure you get back on track with your original mission, or rewrite it so it matches your current purpose.
For any changes or updates that need to be made, the sooner you make them, the better.
2. Organize Your Books
No matter your industry, there is no escaping accounting. Keeping your books neat and tidy will make it much easier to find things when you need them, and you will be able to make better decisions if you have a clearer idea of where your business stands financially.
And even if your business is growing, you should still take the time to review your finances regularly. If it seems like you are overspending in some areas, whether that’s utilities, shipping, or internet provider, check for more affordable options and make a cost-effective plan for the rest of the year. A mini audit may feel like just another time-consuming task, but it’ll be worth it when the money you save can be reinvested back into your business.
3. Refine Your Marketing
When sprucing up your business, you should never overlook the marketing department. Just as this new season brings changes in the world outside, spring is an excellent time to make any changes to your marketing efforts. What’s working and what isn’t? If it’s no longer practical or getting the results you want, it’s time to tweak it.
Research trends: Whether that’s in your industry or among your target audience, staying up-to-date or refreshing your knowledge on current trends can be vital in informing and inspiring new campaigns.
Branding: If you've changed your mission statement or business plan, you might want to update your branding, too. Remember that consistency is key, so make sure all your marketing materials reflect these changes going forward.
Email marketing: Experiment with different subject lines, formats, and content. Give your subscriber database a cleanse by removing inactive subscribers for increased deliverability, higher engagement, and less likelihood of your emails ending up in the dreaded spam or junk folder.
Social media: Are there any other ways you can harness the power of social media that you’re not already utilizing?
4. Check Your Website
From boosting brand visibility and credibility to generating leads, a business's website can have a profound impact on its success, regardless of industry.
So if your website has been gathering dust, here are a few ways that you can give your site a scrub and make sure you keep getting the most out of it:
Links: You don't want clients or customers to stumble upon “page-not-found” messages, so check your website links regularly.
SEO: Check if your website is appropriately optimized for search engines. Are your keywords still relevant? Update your titles, meta descriptions, and other elements as needed.
Design: Does everything on your website match your current branding?
- Text: Check that all the information on your website is still up-to-date and free of errors. Does all the text match your company’s tone of voice? Is it suitable for your target audience?
Analytics: Review your website's analytics to see where your visitors come from, which pages get the most traffic, or where your visitors drop off.
Mobile optimization: More than 90% of the internet population worldwide browses the internet on a mobile device, so it’s important to run frequent tests to make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
5. Improve Your Operations
Another great way to keep things fresh within your business is to ask your staff for feedback. Your employees are on the frontline working with your systems, products, or customers and clients every day, so their recommendations and insights can be invaluable for your business.
It’s also worth taking a look at your company policies and procedures. Are they still relevant? Do they need to be updated? Is there anything that can be improved?
You could also conduct a competitive comparison. For example, how your products or services compare to others on the market. Your competitors may have upped their game in recent months or years, so don’t get left in the dark.
6. Declutter Your Workspace
“A tidy home makes for a tidy mind”, but according to research, there may be more truth to that old saying than we realize. A 2011 study by Princeton Neuroscience Institute found that having a lot of visual stimuli present when trying to concentrate on one stimulus will result in all those items competing for your attention. Simply put, if there is too much going on in your view, you will need to concentrate harder to get a task done. So why not take this opportunity to clear away all the items in your workspace that no longer serve you?
While you’re at it, have a digital declutter, too. Delete any old files and folders taking up space in your computer, and purge your inbox of any non-essential emails.
While there are many benefits to reorganizing and refining your business with a good spring clean, we know that this can be easier said than done for many business owners with a lot on their plate and not enough hours in the day.
But the good news is, an experienced virtual assistant can perform the vast majority of the ''cleaning'' tasks in the guide above. Time etc is among the leading virtual assistant services in the world, trusted by thousands of entrepreneurs and established businesses, such as Google and Hubspot, to handle their time-consuming tasks and help them to achieve more.
Instead of skipping spring cleaning, let a skilled and experienced professional handle it. Try a virtual assistant for free today.