Most people do spring cleaning around the house and the yard, but have you ever thought of applying it at work? Have things gotten stale or obsolete? Have you let little things slide that are now causing big problems? Maybe you are still doing things – because you have always done them that way. Here are seven business spring cleaning ideas to get you started:
Walk through your processes and clear out the clutter. Think about business activities that no longer add value to your organization. If products or services have outlived market demand, sweep them out. If sales and marketing efforts are not bringing the desired results, change them. It may be a difficult decision, but clear the clutter and focus your business energy on what will produce result going forward.
Review staff. How’s morale? Take a quick inventory of your current situation. Is there unhealthy conflict? Lack of engagement? Mistakes being made? Issues that are distracting from the business purpose? Someone having a challenge being productive? Time to address the situation with a candid discussion, hire a coach, encourage they reach out for professional help, get additional training or something as easy as just asking if you can help?
Sharpen your tools. Spring is the time gardeners inspect their tools. Now is a good time for employees to review and sharpen their skills or learn new ones to achieve greater results.
Fire or create an improvement plan for unprofitable or challenging customers. Great time to find that weed in the midst of the flowers. Recall the 80/ 20 rule; 80% of your profit comes from 20% of the customers you serve. First verify that you have a system to measure. Be sure to include the hassle factor. Evaluate each customer situation. Create a plan to improve the situation. Also a great time to update your “target customer”.
Start with 0. Pull out your income statement and review every overhead expense. Make sure you know what you are paying for and why you purchased it. Is the business gaining full benefit? Is there a better option? Do you still need it? Great place to find profit without spending a dime.
Review your long term vision. Evaluate whether your personal and business vision still fits today. Has progress been made? Things change. Personally your life may have changed such as getting married, divorced, having a health scare and having kids. From a business perspective the economy may have changed, competition may have increased or technology may have an impact.
Refresh your attitude. Do you come to work excited and looking forward to the day? Or are you burned out and just waiting for the day to end? Maybe you are finding fault with everything and looking for the “easy” button? Take inventory and action to improve.
Spring cleaning your business, job or career may not be an annual event, but it is a great reminder to look for ways to make your job or organization more productive and rewarding.
Mary Guldan Lindstrom