Spring is finally here! It’s finally warming up and the daffodils are out! Before we head off to the long days of summer and those beach holidays, it’s time for a spring clean first! We don’t just mean your homes. It’s time to spring clean your business too!

Here are some helpful tips to help you clean up some important parts of your business, so that you’ll be set for fresh new growth (of leads and sales) in the coming months ahead!

1. Update Your Business Plan

spring clean your business

When you first had your business idea, you would have (hopefully!) created a business plan, detailing how your business would develop. This would also include carrying out market research to identify your ideal customers.

You would also have looked into operational factors, for example, where the business would be based. Plus where goods and services wold be bought from. You would also be looking at how much you expected to sell, at what rate and how much profit you estimated to make.

The start of a new year is a good time to review the business plan and see how relevant it still is and make updates where necessary.

Are you planning to take your business into a new market, selling products offline as well as online, selling to overseas customers or even bringing out a new products or services?

You might want to review whether there would be changes to your operations, such as moving from a base at home to an office or other workspace?  

If you are adding more products/services then does your brand name reflect this? It is always a good idea to choose a business name that can be used when your business expands.

All of these factors could affect what you need to include in your updated business plan so that it’s as helpful for you as possible.

You should also look back over your finances, to check your forecasts are still accurate. There could have been an extra cost you hadn’t planned for. Perhaps you have made more or fewer sales than you anticipated. If so, it is a good idea to update them in your business plan.

2. Check Your Website

spring clean your business

When did you last give your website a thorough once over? Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to fully review it. The best way to do this is to look at it from a client’s point of view.

Things to think about and do whilst reviewing the website:

-Does it reflect what you are offering clearly, especially when you offer packages?

-Are your keywords working for you? Use google searches and other relevant searches to help you with keywords that people enter.

-Are visitors converting into customers after visiting the landing page? If the conversion rate is low, try to change the content of landing page.

-Are there are any broken links to sites? If so, fix them by replacing them with other links.

-Does it still look as fresh as it did when you first designed it?

-Does the design need updating? More often than not, it usually does and it’s worth doing. Just like a house looks brand new with a fresh lick of paint, so would a website that’s had a makeover.

-Are your mailing lists still okay to use? More importantly, are you GDPR compliant? This applies to any business which has customers in EU, so that you have permission to email your clients the latest newsletter or marketing emails.

-Are you offering deals, incentives to your existing clients?

Can you automate any aspects of your marketing? There are plenty of tools out there that can help with sending out email sequences to your clients.

3. Cleanse Your Content

spring clean your business

Content (especially fresh content) is essential to help drive traffic to your website. Look at what you have already created and check whether it is still relevant or even fit for purpose.

It is also worth checking if you could repurpose your content in anyway. For example, could blog post be turned into an infographic?

Also, check that the statistics that you have used is still relevant. Could you include a more up to date statistic? Perhaps a study that states there are 54% users in 2017 is now 75% in 2019.

Don’t rest when it comes to creating new content. Being fresh and consistent is important. Get yourself a content calendar (easily download one from the internet) and plan ahead. Look at what your competitors are writing? Can you write something better? If so, get on with it! If you struggle with this or haven’t the time, then outsource this task to someone else. More about this topic below.

4. Spruce Up Your Social Media

spring clean your business

Social media is a great way to engage with existing network and customers. You can get useful exposure for your brand to gain more potential clients.

Make sure you edit and check your bio for each platform you use. Have you included your website? Is the address still accurate? Can people contact you easily using a “book me” button or “email me” link? Does your profile picture look professional? Can a new prospect tell straight away what you are about, just by looking at your bio?

It is important to note that your business doesn’t need to have presence on every single platform. For every post that proves popular on Facebook, there may be a dozen others on Instagram that are doing nothing for you.

Take time to evaluate your insights and metrics for each of your social media sites and see which ones are performing well and where you need to spend more time on.

Most platforms have useful analytics available for free, but you may choose to use cloud tools like SproutSocial or Hootsuite to look deeper into your metrics.

Once you have this information, you’ll be able to get rid of platforms that takes up so much of your time and doesn’t deliver any results for your business. You are then left with a core group of profiles to focus on. Spring is the perfect time to evaluate all these questions and make sure you’re in a strong place for the rest of the year.

Again, if you haven’t the time to constantly post fresh content or posts for your social media sites, then you can ask a friend or family member who is available to help you. Better still, employ a social media manager who will have all the right software and tools to manage this for you.

5. Deep Clean Your Books

spring clean your business

Your head is probably in taxes right now. If the whole process is proving to be a huge nightmare, you need to get your accounting more organized.

Poor bookkeeping is often down to poor organisation unfortunately. If you wait for months before updating your accounts (or stash your expense receipts in a shoebox) and only get round to processing them when doing your tax return, then perhaps you need to think of a more effective system.

If you hate spreadsheets, try looking at cloud accounting software instead and find a specific system that’s designed for your type of business.

Make sure that “doing the books” becomes a regular part of your weekly business routine. Grow in Cloud helps organise your transactions as well as chase up invoices, through the use of automated email reminders. You also have a of log expenses, which will save you a lot of hassle in the long run. The more automated your processes, the more likely things will stay in order.

6. Review Your Supplier List

spring clean your business

Look carefully through your suppliers list and see whether any of them are not performing as well they should be. For example, do you work with a courier company that is frequently late when making deliveries to your business?

Does your broadband provider fail to provide you with adequate coverage or service speed? Does your bank keep introducing new service charges or other fees? Has your energy supplier racked up their charges too? Just like you would with your bills at home, it’s always a good idea to check competitive suppliers to see if you can get better deals.

If you rely on replenishing items (paint, fabric, card…) can you get them cheaper elsewhere? If so, contact your current supplier (especially if you have a good relationship with them) and ask them if they can match the price. Am sure they wouldn’t want to lose your custom! Otherwise move on. You are running a business and need to look after your finances.

7. Limit The Use Of Paper

spring clean your business

Paperless is the way to go! A good place to start limiting your usage is with Grow in Cloud’s invoicing feature. Not only does its digital invoicing help you get paid faster, it helps the environment too! Once a service is booked, then the business owner can send off the invoice straight away and use automated email reminders to chase up payments, if necessary.

For both the customer and the business, a paper receipt is proof of purchase. That said, paper receipts are an expensive way for businesses to manage. They offer less and less value for customers who prefer the convenience of the cloud over their pockets/wallets.

No one seems to want paper receipts and few people really need them, yet they are still produced. According to Huffington Post, over 250 million gallons of oil, 10 million trees and 1 billion gallons of water are consumed each year in the creation of receipts for the United States alone, generating £1.5 billion of waste. Here in the UK, more than 11 billion receipts are printed each year, each costing just under a cent to print. All of this creates a costly problem for retailers, consumers, and above all else, our environment.

It’s not just receipts where paper is wasted. When it comes to booking and scheduling appointments, paper is wasted here too. Some businesses still use paper calendars to book and schedule appointments. Then once appointments are booked, cards are given to clients/patients with their appointment written down for them. These can get lost or thrown away once appointments are completed.

With Grow in Cloud’s appointment scheduling feature, businesses can send out appointments to clients via SMS/Email or both. Automated appointment reminders can be sent too, which businesses can customise.  

spring clean your business

In a recent poll on our Facebook page, 80% of followers prefer to book appointments online. The feature also allows clients/customers to book appointments online when it is more convenient to them. This can be done via a free client site/website widget that can be embedded into your current website or through your Facebook business page.

spring clean your business

8. Organise your Outsourcing

spring clean your business

Of course, spring cleaning may not be your strong suit and you may not feel confident doing all this yourself. This would be the time to outsource to experts (or sticking with the spring cleaning analogy, it could be time to hire professional cleaners!). 

There are specialist agencies that focus on digital marketing, so outsourcing some or all of your marketing to them will then allow you to focus your time on other areas of your business. 

There are also Virtual Assistants (VAs) that can be employed to carry out these tasks too as well as a whole host of tasks for you. This infographic explains tasks they could carry out. Many specialise in particular areas, such as book keeping, social media or content writing.

By bringing in an expert to review to support you for the rest of the year is often a lot easier than tackling the whole project yourself!

9. Do Some Actual Cleaning!

It wouldn’t be spring cleaning without actually putting on your marigolds and having a good scrub down and tidy up of your work space.

If you work in an office, then this could be turned into a social event where you bring in drinks and nibbles for the team. Everyone then pitches in together, to give the place a good thorough tidy up and clean.

Summary

We hope these tips help you in making your business a continued success this year. When things run efficiently, it means more time for you to focus on growing your business. Happy Cleaning!

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For more tips and advice on how to run and grow your business, sign up below for our weekly blog posts.

Some Other Business Related Blog Posts:

10 Ways To Grow Your Business in 2019

Why Having An Online Scheduling Tool Can Save Hours On Admin!

Online Invoicing-Is It Really A Cost Effective Move?

Why Businesses Should Blog

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