The saying “out with the old and in with the new” can mean more than clearing out a cluttered wardrobe or rummaging through the mass of paper work which has quickly accumulated on your desk.
If you take the phrase and apply it to your work, you’ll be able to re-examine how you are operating and prioritise what needs fine tuning. Perhaps you’ve fallen into a routine which gets the job done, but isn’t necessarily the best way of working. Brushing off the dust and evaluating your business is an essential “chore” worth taking on head first.
With a new season comes a new mind set; here’s what you should be “cleaning”.
1. Your Computer
Where piles of paperwork is visible clutter, the not so visible clutter on your computer is probably what needs urgent attention, not your desk. If your desktop is looking more icons than screen, it’s time to press delete. Uninstall programs and files which are no longer in use, and update anything which isn’t running on the latest version. Try Dropbox to store and share files easily which will free you up much needed space. You are one step ahead of the game, so why wouldn’t your software be?
2. Your Finances
The most important part of your finances is addressing your budget. Set tough but realistic targets and make sure you’re spending less than you earn. Review your overheads- look at your utilities, phones, and other services you use for your business and shop around to see if you are getting the best deal. If you tend not to go through your bank statements now that they are paperless, take a closer look and make sure you are not being charged fees you don’t know about or are
paying for subscriptions which you aren’t getting the value from.
3. Your Customers
You may be happy with what you are doing, but are your customers? Find out how they are really feeling by running a customer satisfaction survey. Discover how you are doing and strengthen your weaknesses. Never forget, at the end of the day the customer is always right. Check that your customer information is up to date, and take a look at your email databases when you get the chance.
4. Your Social Networks
Tied into addressing your customers, is your social media accounts; the heart of where your customers are connecting. Try using social listening tools such as Followerwonk to gauge sentiment about what people are saying about you online, and discover opportunities of how and when to speak to them best. Work on the simpler side of things too, update the bio sections of your profiles and make sure that branding is consistent across all channels.
5. What you are missing
Once you have made your way through the admin, stop and think, what are you not offering which your business would greatly benefit from? If there is something which you have intended on doing for years but never really found the time, make it happen now. Could you create a new product or service? Could you enter new markets? How can you add extra value to existing clients? Look for the gaps and don’t leave any stone unturned.
That office desk may even eventually get some much needed TLC too…