After a long, hard winter, the weather is finally starting to break (hopefully where you are) to reveal the early days of spring. Before long, buds and blooms will appear displaying new life and new beginnings.
During this time, many people take the time to clean out closets, garages, cabinets and more to get a fresh start on the season. Windows are washed, baseboards are cleaned, and furniture is painted or polished to convey the message of cleaned and renewed. Does it stop here, or does spring cleaning carry over to other areas too?
What about your business? Could it use some spring cleaning?
Unless you have an abundance of time, energy and organization, the answer is probably yes. But, this isn’t a bad thing. Even the most organized people and businesses understand that clean-outs are necessary habits.
One starting point is through decluttering. The physical side of this is rather obvious since everyone knows they need to clean out files and other paperwork that may not be useful anymore. There may also be items that are dated that no longer need attention.
What about decluttering your website? This is actually one of the biggest areas that stores clutter. I’m not sure why this is, but most people typically tend to add but never remove. Unfortunately for some, a website is not the cloud to catch everything, or at least it shouldn’t be.
Cleaning up your website does not even have to be a complete redesign, but it should take some time and careful planning. For instance, you need to be mindful of current trends. We live in a Twitter-centric world, which means that line after line of text is not the most effective way to provide your audience with your information. Infographics, for example, have recently grown in importance since they have the ability to relay a complex message in a clear and succinct way. Images, charts, video and other forms of media also provide alternative means to get your message to your audience. In other words, your content may simply need to be reworked in a way that serves as a refresher. This could involve updating a map, image of your facility, staff photos, etc. to show that you are maintaining relevance.
Also, your website should be easy to navigate. Those involved in the online world typically conduct a “Mom Test” to determine if their website or tech innovation is really user friendly. Tests like this and focus groups often provide a wealth of knowledge for staying current and easy to use.
Spring cleaning for your business also includes creating or updating new policies or procedures. With time, processes change. Therefore, documents such as a social media policy or a termination document need to be current in case you need them. This protects you and your business and alleviates stressful time crunches.
Thirdly, and on the financial front, reducing costs that don’t provide value play a role in spring cleaning as well. It’s sometimes easier to do things “just because they’ve always been done.” But, this doesn’t always make them right. Again, things change; processes change. If you’ve sponsored an event for 25 years that you never attend, never gain any leads or conversions because of it, and never receive press, why continue it? Is the social measurement service you’re using providing any benefits? Are your vendors capable of carrying your business to the next level that you want to go, or are they headed in a different direction? These questions need to be asked an analyzed.
To this point, are there other areas you need to invest in to better prepare your business for growth opportunities? You might not think you have the budget for this until you analyze and find that certain areas aren’t really bringing in the results they once did. If so, try something different.
Lastly, spring cleaning for your business is a time for cultivating your audience. Spring is a time for gardening, so we can’t leave out the spring cleaning tasks associated with your bread and butter – your clients and customers. To meet these needs, it requires tasks such as “watering the garden.” Businesses know they should always nurture their customer base, but a simple word of thanks, discount, promotion, etc. only helps to strengthen relationships.
Planting is also a task associated with spring, and for your business, there is no exception. You need to be “planting seeds” in the form of attracting new business opportunities. This can be done by distributing a brochure, sending an email newsletter, running a social media campaign, and more.
Fertilizer, of course, must be sprinkled on these seeds to further nourish and help them grow. Beyond this, a garden isn’t complete without the proper décor. Just as fountains, solar lighting, flags, etc. add just the right touch to a garden, the same is true in your spring cleaning efforts for your business. These little additions could be an updated logo, a new Facebook cover photo, a new blog series, and other personal finishing touches that go a long way in letting customers know you are energetic and concerned about helping them in any way you can.
Just like a garden and your home, if you conduct spring cleaning each year, your business will not only be well-maintained, but it will also grow in value. And this is why spring cleaning is so important.
Images courtesy of ImperfectHomemaking.com and MartinaMcGowan.com.