Organize Your Business with a Late Spring Cleaning

Take time to freshen up your business plan, tools and online space.

by Dennis L. Prince
- Jun 14, 2013

So you've de-cluttered your work spaces, de-gunked your computer and swept out your store room. Excellent! These are key components of a solid spring cleaning rejuvenation for your business, but don't put away your clean-it-up resolve just yet.

After tackling the tactile elements of your business, the next part of your successful spring cleaning centers on your business method, your contacts and your potential to grow your reach.

It's still springtime and that means there's still opportunity to spruce up your business beyond what you've already achieved with the usual tote of cleaning tools. Keep those sleeves rolled up, and let's get to spring cleaning tips to organize your business.

Power-wash your pathway

Your plan's purpose is to serve you and your business in achieving your goals. If it's not performing to that level, change it now

OK, so we'll keep with the cleaning metaphors since it keeps us in the spirit of the moment. Springtime is a perfect time to revisit your business plan, that is, your pathway to your goals.

You've likely given this a good scrubbing at the close of the year in preparation for the New Year, but as spring marks the end of the first quarter, this is when you determine if you're on track. In what you've achieved, experienced and learned in the previous three months, do your chosen plans and tactics still support the goals you've set? If so, terrific but, if not, there's plenty of time to adjust course and modify your methods to make the most of the balance of the year.

This might mean you need to only tweak a few tasks or it could require you fully discard and rethink larger chunks of your plan—that's the power-wash part. Remember, your plan's purpose is to serve you and your business in achieving your goals. If it's not performing to that level, change it now, change it quickly and don't fear the course correction. It's still early enough in the year to do so.

Get some new tools

Just as you rummage through your tool shed to see what needs to be sharpened or adjusted, your business tools need similar assessment.

If you're working with aging software that isn't up to snuff with current business trends or technology, it's likely time to plan a migration to better applications. You can lose a lot of time and effort when you struggle with dragging along an out-of-date tool. If you need to upgrade to a better tool, this is the time to do so. (Actually, the start of the year would have been the best time, but no sense wasting energy on would-have-should-have lamentations).

Of course, look carefully at your tools since sometimes they only need a bit of organizing, in terms of the information they manage for you, rather than outright replacement. Either way, be sure the tools you're using are serving you and not the other way around.

A site that remains unchanged for long will unwittingly indicate that nobody's minding the store

Add a fresh coat of color

Every spring promises a vibrant color show across the landscape, and you can offer the same with your business. Whether yours is an online presence only or you also manage a brick-and-mortar establishment, adding color can excite the eyes and entice customers.

With consideration to your online space, think about introducing bold new colors this time of year, letting customers know you're active and open for business. A site that remains unchanged for long will unwittingly indicate that nobody's minding the store. You can also consider making some color changes to your branding and logos.

Even if you've built your business around a specific color scheme, it's possible and practical to dress that up at the various seasons. Plus, introducing new colors can communicate how you're staying fresh with the times and able to cater to new audiences who may have recently discovered your business.

If you update your color schemes, be sure to replicate that in all of your business correspondence. That includes business cards, letterhead, electronic signatures and so on.

Renew your 'welcome' message

Akin to giving your business a springtime color boost, this is a perfect time to update your welcome message to your customers. It could be that your business is growing—we hope so—and it's important to let customers know that when they visit.

If you have a "news" area, online or printed, update it to let everyone know what you've been up to and what you're planning next. Customers are understandably anxious over where they do business, often fearful they're favorite store might not survive the economic difficulties.

Review your contact list (suppliers, shippers, and so on) and make sure it's up to date

Reassure your visitors by letting them know how your business is faring. They're sure to be relieved and reassured to know you'll still be around next month, next year and beyond. And, if you don't currently provide these sorts of updates to your customers, here's your opportunity to start.

Refresh your relationships

Finally, after the long and often tiring winter period, the arrival of spring helps us rub our eyes and reemerge to engage with others. For your business, this is the time to revisit your contacts, your customers and others who have supported your endeavors. Review your contact list (suppliers, shippers, and so on) and make sure it's up to date. Determine if any service providers upon whom your business relies have made changes and if you need to respond to those.

Then create and send a message to past customers to let them know what's new at your business, inviting them to come see the changes and improvements you've made. When you've gone through the work to spruce up your business, it's good business to make it known.

You needn't—and really shouldn't—wait until springtime to make these updates and improvements to your business. Preferably, you're keeping an eye on all of the foregoing throughout the year. Even so, if your business has accumulated a bit of dust and a few cobwebs over the past months, this is the time to give it all a good polishing to get the most of what the rest of the year will bring.

About the Author

Dennis L. Prince has been analyzing and advocating the e-commerce sector since 1996. He has published more than 12 books on the subject, including How to Sell Anything on eBay…and Make a Fortune, second edition (McGraw-Hill, 2006) and How to Make Money with MySpace (McGraw-Hill, 2008). His insight is actively sought within online, magazine, television and radio venues.

Opinions expressed here may not be shared by Auctiva Corp. and/or its principals.

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