Productivity / Business plans

Spring clean your business

The sun is shining and spring is officially here! This is the perfect time to clear the cobwebs off your business.

6 September 2013 by

If you’re anything like me then you’ll know how good it feels to clear the decks and de-clutter once in a while. But your home isn’t the only thing in need of an annual spray-and-wipe.

Here’s how to do a business spring-clean.

Sort out your filing

Whether you’re an old-school paper-filer or you have all your documents in the cloud, it’s easy to get behind on organising your paperwork, particularly when you’ve been busy.

Review your documentation, ensure that everything is easily accessible and in the right place.

Do your business process documents need a refresh? Now is the perfect time to revisit this.

"Revisit your business plan and check in on your goals for the year. How are you tracking and do you need to make any tweaks to the plan so far?"

Review your current customer or client list

Take some time to review your current customer list and the value you get from clients. Most businesses will have some great customers and some not-so-great ones.

Great customers are ones you have a good business relationship with, ideally provide regular work, are good communicators and pay on time.

Not-so-great customers are the ones who suck a disproportionate amount of time compared with the value they bring.

Do you have a plan for nurturing and retaining these great customers? It’s easy to spend less time on these quality clients because they are not as demanding, but make sure they also feel the love.

Just as importantly, do you have a plan for making some of those non-ideal customers great?

Finally, if you have some real problem customers that are becoming a drain on the business, seriously consider whether you still want to do business with them, particularly if your time and business are at capacity.

Review your potential-client and contact list

I often have a list of people that my network has suggested I get in contact with, or people I’ve met at events who I intend to connect with but haven’t for lack of time.

Review this list and set a plan to get in touch. If nothing else, meeting new people and exchanging ideas can spark new ideas for your business and invigorate you. Even better, your next great customer might be on that list!

Revisit and refresh your business plan

While you’re feeling inspired, revisit your business plan and check in on your goals for the year. How are you tracking and do you need to make any tweaks to the plan so far?

Seek out a sounding board (or an advisory board) if you don’t already have one; they may have a fresh perspective or different point of view that could be gold.

Want more articles like this? Check out the business plans section.

Make sure you are getting the best deal

In the same way that you should regularly check whether your mortgage and health insurance plans are best for you, make sure your business is also getting the best deal that is a) appropriate for your business and its size and b) cost effective.

Review your insurances

Has your business changed since you set up the policy? Make sure the information your insurance company has is correct or it may invalidate a claim.

Check out other providers and get on the phone to see if anyone will give you a better deal for your circumstances.

Review your deals with regular suppliers 

Are you getting the best value from suppliers? There are different ways to negotiate, it doesn’t always mean just aiming for a lower price.

Are there items or services currently being supplied that you don’t need or use? Can you swap them for something you will get more value from?

Are there some suppliers or service providers that you use regularly but pay an hourly rate to? Investigate whether they would be interested in providing you with a lower rate in exchange for a retainer-style arrangement. It locks in revenue for them and provides cost savings for you.

Could your business do with a spring clean?

Michelle Kvello

is a finance and business strategy expert and founder of Lantern Partners. She works with businesses to clarify their options allowing them to grow with confidence. It’s more than just the finance; it’s about achieving what you want.

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