7 Ways to Spring Clean Your Business

A few times a year I really try to sit down and intentionally take stock of where my business is at. I don’t necessarily mean growth or numbers, but more like refreshing my website, tackling the growing number of unanswered emails sitting in my inbox, etc. You know, all the things you can easily look at and say, “Oh, that can wait until tomorrow.”

Image:  Marlene Lee

With spring on the horizon (fingers crossed), I figured it was a good time to not only clean up my business but share these practices with all of you as well. And even if you’re not a business owner, let these ideas inspire a little spring cleaning in any area of your life!

Now to tackle the tips...

1. Clear your desk

There is something therapeutic about a good clear out of your office, but I’m going to be honest, to do it thoroughly can be incredibly time-consuming. To make it a bit more bearable, start with small, achievable steps and simply aim to declutter. First, take every single item off your desk (your computer can stay if you can’t physically move it) and give the desk itself a good cleaning.

Next, think about what you actually need around you when you work. Can a few filing trays or a nice box (I’m a fan of those handy filing boxes, so long as they have a lid) help you institute a regime that is better organised and more efficient? It’s amazing how much more motivated you feel after 60 minutes spent sorting your desk and creating space.

2. Tackle your inbox

Once you have a lovely, clear space to work, spend some time organising your emails. Multiple email folders are much easier to tackle than one overwhelming inbox which is at capacity. The reality is, “zero inbox” is not a thing for a living business. And you wouldn’t want it anyway, right?

Start by setting up an urgent folder, then you can split all your customer emails into a separate folder, then your supplier emails, your personal emails - think of as many categories as possible. For people who email regularly, you can set up rules so those emails go straight to the correct folder. The next step is to actually respond to all those emails. I suggest scheduling a slot of time on your calendar every day (or at least once a week) to keep it somewhat under control.

3. Fix broken links

Broken links can be really frustrating for people visiting your website. Take some time to check both your internal and external links. Go through every page on your website and click every link to make sure it sends the user to the correct destination. You can use google analytics to assist, but personally, I think there is a benefit in doing this manually, as it’s a good opportunity to review your website and make sure the content is relevant.

If you have a blog on your site, you can do this for it too. I recently went through all of the Lois Avery Journal articles and checked every link. I often refer to hotels, restaurants, bars, etc. and it was amazing how many links had changed in a short period of time. If you see any more on our website, please let me know!

4. Freshen up your social media profile photo

As you know, Lois Avery is a visual brand, and we have a lot of beautiful photos. It’s really important that I update our social media profile photos every season. A new photo, or even an old one that you’ve not used for a year or two, can freshen up your profile. I’m going to be freshening our photos in April, so keep an eye out!

5. Refresh your website

Following on from that lovely seasonal photograph that is now glowing on your social media profile pages, you could add a couple of seasonal photos to the homepage of your website. It takes less than 5 minutes to change a photo and can make your website an exciting place to visit for your regular users.

6. Conduct a customer survey

I conducted our first customer survey last year and it was so helpful. Listening to your customers is really important, and most people love to help and give feedback. The direction Lois Avery is taking this year is very much with those survey answers in mind. I am hoping to do another one at some point next year to ensure we stay on track.

7. Spring clean your business mind

Buy a new business book or schedule a course or workshop of some sort. Consider a resource that pushes you outside of your comfort zone. I find it easy to become distracted by ‘trends’ in business books, so picking up an unknown book on the topic of choice can be really rewarding.

I think it’s important to also look beyond the usual topics of organisation, management and marketing (whilst these are of course important tools), a book on psychology or design may be what you need to stretch and invigorate your business mind. Use this opportunity to mix it up a bit!

Hopefully this list has helped spark a little bit of motivation to tidy up your business this spring!

BusinessJennie Hogg