Your Business and Spring Cleaning
When people discuss Spring Cleaning, they typically do so in regards to cleaning their garage or sometimes even their office. It's typically about cleaning a physical space; reducing clutter, creating order, and making your physical space look better. Guess what - there is opportunity in the clutter that inspires spring cleaning! Think about it...those piles exist because most small businesses get weighed down in the day-to-day of the business. They get so busy working in it, that they don't have time to work on the business. Now you might be thinking, "How in the world is Spring Cleaning going to help me work on my business?"
Spring Cleaning forces you to slow down and really look at your business.
If you want to clean up that desk or that inbox, take the time to understand what each document is and what your next action is with that document: throw away, take action now, calendar, or shred. This will help you prioritize and hopefully work on your time management.
Tip: As you clean out your desk, inbox, etc., we encourage you to keep a to-do list nearby. It doesn't matter if it's pen and paper or electronic, keep it somewhere it's easy for you to access and update. As you move each thing, make sure you know what action you must take and when. We recommend using a tickler file, which can be done physically or electronically, to help store documents and to-dos in a way that is easy to manage on a day-to-day basis.
Spring Cleaning should cause you to ask questions.
As you complete your spring cleaning checklist you shouldn't be focused just on cleaning it up, you should be asking what in your business allowed it to get to this point? Is it acceptable? Something you want to deal with each year? Or, is it something that needs to be different? Spring cleaning thus becomes an inventory on what isn't working in your business and becomes the springboard for where your systems can be improved.
Spring Cleaning and Business Vision.
It's important to remember, spring cleaning isn't just about physical "stuff." Yes, it includes cleaning office space, maybe taking a look at the inventory system, and your inbox. It should also be a good time to clean up other areas of your business such as your business's vision, your goals, even mindset or attitude at the end of the first quarter. It's a great time to stop and check in just to see how things are going in general. You may find there are culture issues to clean up as well as physical things to move.
Spring Cleaning Checklist.
We encourage all businesses to have a Spring Cleaning Checklist. This is a quick refresh at the end of the quarter to ensure that your business is getting off on the right foot. Think about it, officially or unofficially, you probably have an end of the year checklist that includes how your business has done and what you want to accomplish in the next year. This checklist should be designed to ensure that after your first quarter you are making actual progress on your goals.