How to give your business a spring clean
As a small business owner, it is normal to feel the pressure to be “on” all year round (because sadly, the bills don’t pause during winter). However, being aware of nature’s cycles – and tapping into the energy of each season – can help you build your business sustainably over the long haul.
After a Winter season of reflection and consolidation, early Spring is the ideal time to prepare for the growth phase of the cycle and make space for new opportunities and greater joy to enter into your life.
Yes, it’s time to Marie Kondo your biz!
Note: Please don’t feel you have to do all of these. Pick one or two that feel right for you… Working with seasonal energy is meant to be about ease and flow, not stress and overwhelm.
Here are few ideas to spring clean your business
Declutter your workspace
Even if you’re not normally a particularly tidy person, a clean desk and office space is sure to lift your mood and improve your focus. It’s also a much more productive way to procrastinate than scrolling social media!
So do your filing, clean out the multitudes of promo pens in your drawers, and invest in some attractive storage boxes to keep all the bibs and bobs hidden away. Only keep things on your desk that are necessary to your daily work or that bring you joy (e.g. a family photo). Give your background a “Zoom” check – even if you normally use an overlay image, it will ensure your workspace looks presentable. And give everything a thorough wipe over, including your screen and keyboard.
Sort out your tech
Do a full back up of your files and archive finished projects, photos, emails and receipts onto an external drive. You may also like to pop a copy onto a cloud server for easy access. Once this is complete, you can delete everything you don’t need on hand from your hard drive and phone. Clean up your computer desktop, and either file or trash anything you don’t need quick access to.
Close down all your browser tabs – bookmark them if you need to find them again. Set up a password database such as KeyPass or LastPass, rather than saving your passwords through your browser, so you can clear your cache every now and then. They’re more secure that way too. Turn off all your notifications from your email and message apps, and choose a regular time each day to check them instead.
If you find social media, news sites or messaging is distracting you from your work, you might like to install a productivity/blocker app (there are loads of options!), so you can only access these sites at certain times.
Last of all, unsubscribe from any apps or software you no longer use – this will save you money too!
Get your finances in order
Talking about money… if you haven’t separated your business bank account from your personal account, now is the time. (I know this sounds obvious, but it’s amazing the number of solo business owners who haven’t done this!)
Download and file all your digital receipts so that if you got audited you’d know where to find them, and ditch old receipts and files you no longer need for tax purposes (usually 5 years, but check first with us if you need help).
Consolidate your superannuation and check your life/TPD/income protection insurance plans are what you need. It’s also a good idea to set up an automatic payment into your super. It’s a “set-and-forget” way to ensure you won’t be caught short later in life. While we’re talking about super, you might also like to consider the environmental and ethical impacts of your fund, as well as fees and financial returns. It’s not hard to switch to an alternative fund if the one you’re currently with doesn’t align with your values or have a great performance record.
Rethink your relationships
While it’s important to meet new people to grow your business, you don’t have to be part of every networking community, Facebook group or membership platform out there. Choose a few that really align with your needs and take a step back from the rest. With networking, it’s far better to build a smaller number of meaningful relationships, who are more likely to recommend your business and give you the support you need, than to have loads of connections that barely know you.
You might also like to consider your portfolio of clients. Are you enjoying working with them? Is the work interesting AND profitable? If not, it may be time to move them on.
Spring clean your calendar
We were all in such a rush to return to “normal” after the pandemic, that you may now find that your schedule is full to the brim again. It doesn’t have to be this way.
As small business owners, we do love to maximise our income from our working hours, but it’s really important to invest in our wellbeing too. Block out a regular time during your working week simply for “white space”. This gives you permission to spend time thinking, creating, learning or just sitting back and letting the back-burner brain do its thing. Also, if your work involves a lot of meetings or consultations, allow at least 15 minutes between each appointment to take a quick breather.
Outside of work, look at your family’s activities and commitments as a whole. What brings each of you the most joy? Where are the stresses? While it’s great for our kids to learn new things and be involved in extra-curricular activities, if it’s causing you to feel rushed or over-stretched, it might not be worth it. To put things in perspective… they have a whole lifetime ahead!
Remember, you don’t have to do it all! Implementing just one or two of these ideas over the next few weeks will help you tap into Spring’s energy and deliver a renewed sense of purpose and joy to your business.
So dust off those Winter cobwebs and Spring into action!
Source: Flying Solo September 2023
This article by CATH CONNELL is reproduced with the permission of Flying Solo - Australia's micro business community. Find out more and join over 100K others https://www.flyingsolo.com.au/join.
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