Spring Clean your Small Business
If you come over all Moley from The Wind in the Willows at this time of year and have run out of cutlery to shine and windows to wash, it’s well worth turning your attention to your business.
Setting aside some time to give your SME a quick once over before you encounter problems is always time well spent. Here’s how to give your SME a good spring clean.
Tidy up your outgoings
Giving the bank statements a good bottoming is always a fast way to find some spare cash and clear the decks a bit. You’ll be amazed at the products and services you were still shelling out for that you probably stopped using years ago. Now’s also a good time to assess whether the things you pay for are still good value for money or whether you could find a better deal elsewhere or roll some of those services together to make them cheaper. The fewer outgoings you have the easier the rest of them are to keep an eye on.
Dust your branding
Even the most well-thought-through branding starts to look a little tired after a while. That doesn’t mean a whole redesign though - simply using your branding differently is a quick way to get noticed again. Think of it as a quick flit of Mr Sheen and a dust down. Perhaps give your social media pages an overhaul; make sure your LinkedIn has plenty of fresh content, grab some new hashtags on Instagram and start interacting more with customers on Facebook, perhaps using competitions or Q&As. Check your analytics to see which areas you’re hitting your audience’s sweet spots on, and where you could do better.
Don’t forget your offline assets, too. Make sure your materials aren’t looking out of date - it’s worth investing in a few new product shots and marketing materials every now and then so they don’t get stale.
Organise your prospect lists
Hopefully your prospect list is an ongoing, organic document that is updated on a daily basis. (Ahem). If it’s slid a little since your last bout of enthusiasm, dedicate an afternoon to getting it shipshape and Bristol fashion again. Delete anyone you’ve already sold to or has moved out of your sales funnel for any other reason. Add any new prospects to the list. Then do a bit of research online and on social media to add as much detail as you can for your sales people to use. Is the business about to upscale, move or face any other period of change? Have they recently invested in new technology? What challenges is their business facing? Once your list is up to date, arrange it in the order in which you hope to make contact. Then sit back and await the oohs and aahs of gratitude from your sales team.
Declutter your processes
Go through your processes to see if there’s anything you can ditch in favour of a less time-consuming tech solution. It might be as simple as regular orders you could move to a subscription or there may be more complicated processes such as billings that you could have a computer do for you and same on human hours. Work out what your business’s pain points are and then search for a solution
Polish your policies
With Brexit and GDPR, it might feel like you’ve done nothing but overhaul your policies for the last few years. However, it’s always a smart move to check through everything and make sure you’re still compliant, particularly if you’ve changed your procedures or your business has grown recently.
Change things up a bit
Whether it’s having an office switch around, or something as small as altering the times you have regular meetings or the way they work, a change is always as good as a rest and it stops everyone getting stuck in a rut. If you’re casting around for ideas, a new office plant and the instigation of Doughnut Fridays always works for us.
Make your teams sparkle again
Your people, as you know, are your most valuable asset. Keeping them enthused about your business is time well spent. Maybe now’s the time for a staff survey to find out what your team would value most? It might be a more flexible benefits system with the chance to exchange salary for extra holiday, or it could be something as simple as fresh fruit delivered to the office. Rewarding people ‘just because’ rather than always linking reward to achievement can have a huge effect on morale.