It’s tough to say for sure with the crazy weather many of us are experiencing, but one thing is certain: Even it doesn’t feel like spring has arrived where you are, it does feel like spring is in the air. You can feel the sense of possibility and excitement that the new season brings, and you’re itching for it to arrive. And that feeling extends to your business.
Did you make New Year’s resolutions for your business way back in January? Well if you didn’t live up to them, it’s time to let it go. Stop beating yourself up about what you did or didn’t achieve. Let’s start with a fresh slate. With thoughts of new possibilities in mind, here are some ideas to spring-clean your business.
Get your systems going. Do you waste a ton of time every day searching for emails or files or dealing with printer problems? In the long run, ignoring these problems is costing you more time than it would to fix them. Set aside one day (or part of a day) to do what you need to do to get organized—purging emails, defragging disk drives, deleting files. Then implement new systems to keep things running smoothly. TJ McCue posts tons of reviews that can help you pick the best tools for productivity and organization.
Streamline sales. How fast does your company follow up on leads? If the answer isn’t “instantly,” you’re losing sales. In today’s 24/7 sales environment, customers can find competing businesses more easily than ever, and often, the decision of where they’ll buy comes down to “what company gets back to me fastest?” There’s no excuse for dawdling when you’ve got a lead—they’re the lifeblood of your business. Get CRM tools and use them (there are many cloud solutions at reasonable prices). Set a policy to follow up on all leads within 30 minutes or an hour, hold salespeople accountable–and see how your sales improve.
Energize your team. Retaining key people is more crucial than ever now. Several recent polls have shown that small businesses are getting ready to hire—which means your employees could be ready to jump ship if you don’t keep them engaged. Get your staff excited about your company’s upcoming year by coming up with creative teambuilding ideas. Hold a monthly out-of-office lunch, bowling tournament, happy hour, hike, beach bonfire, volunteer afternoon at a homeless shelter…you name it. Better yet, give your employees the reins and let them come up with ideas for things they’d like to do.
Take a tablet. Tablet computers like the iPad are revolutionizing how people use computers. Rumor has it Apple is planning to make a big announcement about the iPad 3 today, March 7, so soon even more people will be getting on the bandwagon. Figure out how tablets will play into your business model. How could using tablets in your company help you do things better, cheaper, faster? (Could your salespeople use them in the field? Could your restaurant waitstaff use them to take orders?) How are your customers using tablets and how can you connect with them in this new medium?
These are just four ways you can refresh your business outlook and get ready to spring forward as the economy recovers. What are you doing to spring clean your business?
Spring Cleaning Photo via Shutterstock
I love to clean. Thanks, Rieva.
I feel a wonderful sense of accomplishment when I clean my office.
Also, like you suggested, whenever I put something together that can be used in a system, that helps me feel more organized.
Not as organized as you…but, I’m trying!
The Franchise King®
Hello Rieva, I like Your tips. You actually tell what is needed for any business.You also tell some new concepts like using iPad for business. But I think most important is to make your business environment clean and good.
LOVE “Energize your team” As the economy improves retaining top talent is more important than ever. Great post.