The onset of spring signals renewal and optimism. As the weather warms up and there are more hours of sunlight in the day, people discard the old and welcome the new with the annual tradition of spring cleaning.
Spring cleaning is not just for your home, however. Like your house, your business could use a thorough dusting. Is your website starting to feel dated? Your client list cluttered? Or are some processes simply not working as well as they used to?
Spring is an opportune time to tidy up your company to prepare for summer growth. Changes do not have to be big—one percent improvements here and there add up over time. Although, big changes are worth tackling, too!
Here are some quick ideas to get you started on making your small business the best it can be this year.
1. Refresh Marketing Strategies
How are your current marketing strategies working? If you find that you are securing fewer clients or having trouble communicating with customers, perhaps it is time to try a new strategy. In the digital age, marketing tactics are always evolving, and it may behoove your business to tap into improved ideas. Here are a few:
- Who is your customer? Building customer profiles is a reliable marketing tactic and can help you understand your client, as well as what they may want to see from you in the future. If you already have a customer profile, it is worth revisiting it to see if it still rings true.
- Invest in social media. Do your customers frequent Facebook or Instagram? Start a Facebook page or Instagram account for your business and invite people to follow it—you can share discounts, offer giveaways, and engage with your customers directly here. Investigate paid Facebook Ads to see if its right for your company.
- What worked for your company last year? Print ads, flyers, email marketing, or word of mouth? Build on your existing tactics or experiment with new ways to engage customers.
2. Organize and Automate for Improvement
As a busy entrepreneur, paperwork and emails can stack up, fast. Do not lose a potential client or partner because their business card or email got lost. Organize your desk space and office. Purge your email inbox by unsubscribing from unfulfilling email lists, create folders for specific tasks, and delete old files that only serve as clutter.
Secondly, automation is your friend—the easiest task is the one you do not have to do. By automating systems, you save yourself time and energy to focus on other parts of the organization. Email marketing is often automated because it allows you to send canned welcome letters, confirmation emails, and shipping updates without taking time out of your day. The hours spent building automation systems now will save you days in the future.
3. Revisit the Mission
As a conscious company, your mission is the core of your business—however, getting caught up in the details of prototyping, operational management, and other important day-to-day functions may cause you to stray from your original intentions. Revisiting your mission frequently keeps your business centered and focused on the big picture. Or, perhaps you have learned new information about your industry and its time to adapt your mission to best address the problem.
4. New and Improved Brand
Similar to revisiting your mission, there may come a time when your company has outgrown its current brand. Spring signals an exciting phase of renewal, and thus is a great time to refresh your brand to reflect new values, tastes, and appeal to new audiences. This could be as simple as changing a dated logo, tweaking your slogan, or painting a mural in your storefront. A brand refresh feels big, even if it is a simple change, and puts your company in the forefront of customers’ minds. Therefore, it is an opportune time to promote a new website launch or product line that reflects your new values.
5. Expedite Processes
It can be easy to fall into a routine during the winter months, and while routine isn’t necessarily a bad thing, you may not realize that you have fallen into ineffective habits. For example, are you putting up with a clunky CRM because its what you are used to? Are you still dealing with Excel sheets because you are procrastinating on adapting new software? Is your conversion rate suffering because your lists are cluttered between paper and digital leads?
Springtime may be a good time to analyze these processes and see what could use improvement. Additionally, check in with staff on systems that are not working effectively for them and create a plan to tackle these issues. Managing efficiency is crucial to keeping your company running smoothly.
By no means is this an extensive list. We hope these tips get the spring cleaning process started for you and spark new ideas for innovating your small business!