With March 20th marking the official start of spring, it’s a great time to take that renewed energy and apply it to your business. Spring cleaning is an opportunity to dump unwanted baggage and for you to spruce up your small business.
Think of spring cleaning as a wardrobe change for the new season. You’ll need to make decisions as to which clothes you’ll need to replace, save, or purchase new articles of clothing. As a matter of fact, spring cleaning will require a combination of smart strategic decisions that will influence how your small business grows.
1. Updating your Business Technology
In order to survive during the recession, many small business owners needed to cut on their expenses. One of these cost saving moves was to delay replacing or upgrading their small business technology (i.e. hardware & software). While these cost saving moves may have been necessary at the time, it can potentially be penny-wise and pound-foolish now.
For your business spring cleaning, you should replace malfunctioning computers, monitors, and other defective hardware. Having malfunctioning equipment can easily disrupt business productivity by potentially breaking at a critical time (e.g. POS system malfunctioning) and causing your small business to lose sales. If you have held back on regularly updating your software, your system may be susceptible to viruses, therefore immobilizing your business. Even worse, if your security system is compromised, your business information could be easily accessed by a third party. It is important to ensure that your business technology is up-to-date and operating at optimal performance.
2. Organizing your Small Business Information.
One of the purposes to a business spring clean is getting rid of clutter. It can be difficult though, because your business will naturally accumulate more information the longer it operates. So, instead of purchasing additional file cabinets to store your customer and financial information, you can save your business the money and space by opting to use an online solution to store your data. In addition, opting to going paperless will save your business money spent on office supplies (e.g. ink, paper, & etc.).
Depending on the type and amount of information your small business needs to store, you can always use a cloud-based solution to file your business information online. If your business needs to store documents, media, and other small files, you can look to a free cloud-based solution that will store a limited amount of your business data. These cloud-solutions such as Box, DropBox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive are all great options for your small business. If you’re looking to store business contact information (e.g. vendors, customers, & etc.), you can look into a cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution. Furthermore, if you’re looking to store business financial information (e.g. invoices, expenses, & etc.) you can look into a cloud-based accounting software. The majority of these cloud-solutions are either free or affordable and you’ll need to evaluate which solution is best for your small business.
In addition to freeing up your business from file cabinets and unnecessary paperwork, there are additional benefits to cloud storage such as being able to access your business information anywhere and anytime. Utilizing a cloud solution to store your business information will create a centralized location to where your business data is being held. Generally, having your business information stored online can be more secure and accessible.
3. Organizing your Leads and Customers
While you may secretly wish that all your customers are great, the truth of the matter is that not all customers are created equal. For your business spring cleaning, you’ll need to organize and separate your leads and customers into groups, so you’re able to better evaluate them. These groups should reflect the profitability of each customer, and the questions you should be concerned is how much they’re spending, whether they’re paying their bills on time, and how you can improve to retain the profitable customers.
When you organize your leads, you can follow up on contacts whom are interested in your business’s products or services. A CRM solution can help your sales team by following up on potential leads and converting these leads into customers. An accounting software can show you the amount of money a certain customer has spent, therefore giving preferential treatment to them will help ensure you keep them as your customer. Organizing your customers will also help you identify the customers who have been giving your business problems and give you the option to cease doing business with them. Finally, you’ll gain valuable information about your customer retention rate after you’ve organized your list. With this information, you can contact lost customers and ask them for their opinion to why they decided to leave while improving on your business product or services.
4. Updating your Company Image
The number of individuals browsing the internet is only increasing; therefore, unless your business is involved in any illegal activities, it is crucial that you maintain a positive online image. It is no longer a question whether you need a website for your business but specifically what information you should provide on your website. With a business spring cleaning, your website may require a complete design overhaul to improve its aesthetics and update the website so that it is Search Engine Optimized (SEO). When you’re updating information on your website, you’ll also need to ensure that your website is easy to navigate, provides quality information, and allows your small business to generate more leads and customers.
When used appropriately, social media can be a great platform to attract new business. Depending on your business, you’ll need to find the appropriate social media platform to engage your customers. You can also help spruce up your company’s image by adding a blog to your website and keeping your customers informed and improving your website’s SEO.
With a spring cleaning, your small business will be organized and optimized to become successful. Do you have any personal tips for a small business spring clean? Comment below.
This article originally appeared on Servora Blog and has been republished with permission.