We have all heard the term “Spring Cleaning”. It conjures a visual of purging and physically cleaning spaces in your home or office. For businesses, spring cleaning is really a time to reset and reorganize to help your organization be more productive. While no business should wait for a particular season to revisit processes, systems and to maintain the physical organization’s integrity, if you want a place to start, Spring is a good time to get into action.
To get started, your mindset should experience a ‘spring cleaning’ as well. Using a journal or some sort of a visual format, consider the following tips to get started. You can use a large white board and use post it notes if you want to create a larger visual aid. Consider using colored pens or highlighters to give you visual cues for organization action steps to may want to take and to categories ideas and information into groups.
First, create a mental inventory of your current activities, future activities you have planned and activities that you want to do in the future. Using the color cues, identify which of these activities is vital and really matter to you and your team. If there is something on your inventory that doesn’t have a particular purpose for future improvement or offers ongoing value to the rest of the business, you might consider stopping or lining out the activities.
This inventory of activities is going to identify some “Big Rocks” that will require immediate or imminent action. These priorities may also have multiple steps and require you to employ new resources or personnel. Consider breaking up these ‘Big Rocks’ into manageable pieces that are easier to accomplish and organize.
Finally, this inventory, map or chart needs to be revisited regularly so your and your team stay on track. This is where group goal setting or aligning Organizational Key Performance Metrics can help keep you all organized and focused on the reset priorities. Spring cleaning your business can go further.
“Clearing out the clutter helps us prepare to enjoy the warm and hopefully productive months to come” (Stillman, 2019)
Once you have decluttered your mind and re-organized the direction of your business, its time to take further steps to thoroughly “spring clean” your business. Break the clean up into a few focus areas.
- Ecommerce, Online, Digital Footprint
- Physical Space or Plant
- Customer Experience and Point of Sale
There are eight key areas to focus on to thoroughly spring clean your business.
- Consider automation & digitizing – This will help you speed up processes and make certain steps automatic; Digitizing can help you store documents or resources in a more efficient way
- Unsubscribe from unnecessary lists – Review all the lists you or which your business has accumulated over time
- Audit all activities & question processes– Remove redundancies and unnecessary activities that slow down or add no value to the customer experience
- Review neglected areas – Where you have had limited resources in the past, is it time to reallocated resources or perhaps consider eliminating the area if your business isn’t going to benefit from it in the near future
- Freshen up & consolidate customer facing documents – Ensure your customers are getting the most updated materials that best position your brand and business
- Review staff members and job assignments – This will ensure you have the right person in the right seat in your organization
- Examine, reorganize, or consolidate your inventory – Ensure older or outdated inventory is handled correctly and that you have sufficiently forecasted inventory you will need in the future
- Declutter spaces & deep clean – This will help you establish a clean slate for your business. Looks at every areas of your business from the customer’s perspective to see what they see
Spring cleaning activities can also include refreshing uniforms, marketing materials, social media accounts, and any area of your business that might need a little sprucing up. Consider reorganizing the physical space and looking at your work area from the customer’s perspective. What does your customer see that they don’t need to see or shouldn’t see? Review posted notes, plaques and elements that may have accumulated over time. Now is the time to refresh or remove them as needed. Replace dull light bulbs. Clean off old tape or adhesive from windows. Don’t forget to clean the outside of your business as well, refreshing landscaping, signage and even repainting parking lot lines.
“Even if you do a good job of maintaining a clean office space, sometimes cleaning up around you can help you clear your mind — which is essential as a small business owner. When you run into problems or you are feeling overwhelmed, rearranging and cleaning your office space can help you feel more calm, clear, and able to find solutions” (Germanos, 2019).
Germanos also recommends repainting, adding plants, cleaning air filters, checking or replacing batteries in smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers and update all posted licenses and permits. These steps help make your office or space more livable. It can help improve your staff morale and your customer experience.
Father or deeper cleaning could include:
-Refreshing marketing strategies
-Reorganizing business goals
-Updating mission or vision statements
-Segmenting and reorganizing client lists
-Examining the business financial position
“Giving your small business a good spring cleaning is a great way to ramp up the energy and realize more success” (SeeGirlWork, 2018).
The depth of your spring cleaning should be focused on improving customer experience and improving profits. Working with a certified and professional ActionCOACH Business Coach to refresh your business.
To get connected with an ActionCOACH go to actioncoach.com. The first coaching session is on us.