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Spring cleaners everywhere know the drill: wash the blinds, flip the mattress over, beat area rugs until not a single dust mite exists. Springtime is also the time you should think about cleaning your small business, ridding yourself of all those useless items that simply get in your way.
Take Care of the Customer
Prior to beginning a spring cleaning project, take a couple of hours to read your emails and to listen to all those old voicemails you have saved in the system, suggests Yahoo! Small Business Advisor. Make sure that any customer requests or complaints are addressed, and any unfulfilled orders taken care of. As a business owner you know that projects left undone or customers left unsatisfied can hang over your head like a rain cloud. Take care of outstanding business so that you can truly concentrate on getting your business into shape.
Make a List
The Baltimore Business Journal suggest making a list of all the cleaning projects you need to do before you begin. Make sure to focus on the smaller, less-obvious areas as much as the big ones. Areas that customers see — lobbies, conference rooms, restrooms, etc. — are critical to giving your customers a positive view of your business.
Edit the Office
Like any busy business owner, you may find yourself surrounded by clutter and buried in paperwork, samples, and office equipment you don’t need. Take this time to examine everything in your office and workplace in order to determine what you absolutely need to run your business and what you can let go of. If you’re holding on to an old computer, hoping that you’ll find time to repair it, consider giving it away. All that mail you’ve collected and paperwork that has accumulated should be properly filed it or tossed. If you have cabinets, bookshelves, old chairs, and other equipment that has managed to migrate to your business, rent a dumpster to haul them away. A streamlined business place simply provides a more attractive workplace and makes it easy to find what you need when you need it.
Get Everyone Onboard
If you have employees, get them in on the cleanup. If you don’t have any employees but find yourself with a large cleanup project, consider hiring help to get the job done, says Entrepreneur.com. Yes, it will cost you money, but it will also get you back to business-as-usual in a more timely manner.
Repurpose and Retool
Repurposing applies to equipment as well as personnel. Forbes says that you owe it to yourself and your business to design the most effective organization possible. If you currently own items that are not in use but can raise capital for the business, sell them. If you can find a new way to use an old piece of equipment, do so.
If you can find a better use for a particular employee, something that plays more to his strengths, make a change. For example, if you have an employee who assembles parts but is really a top-notch salesman, put him into a sales position. The same is true of you. If you’re not using your talents in a way that is making the business grow, switch things up so that you can do more of what you’re good at and have someone else take over some of your old duties.
Look at your brochures, letterhead, business cards, website, and the sign outside your business. Outdated material sends the wrong message to your customers, says The Small Business Administration. If it has been a while since you’ve updated your marketing materials, now is the time to bring it into the 21st century.