The spring clean that simplifies and boosts your business
For the last week I’ve been spring-cleaning and reorganising my wardrobes. Now my clothes have been streamlined (my favourite charity shop should be happy!) and the colours are brighter too. I’ve also reorganised book cases, filing cabinets, my inbox and my business plan.
As I was busy indoors, my husband started to clear up some areas in our garden, which desperately needed some TLC.
Isn’t it great when you can visibly see the results of your spring-cleaning? What I find even better though is how good it makes you feel — as if you are creating a fresh beginning.
Similarly, the attention you give your business will give it renewed energy and clearer focus.
Have you heard of the Japanese concept of ‘lean business’? It’s a term that originated in car manufacturing.
I like the idea of ‘lean thinking’ in business — an approach that simplifies how you do things and is essentially achieved by eliminating waste.
For me, eliminating waste means removing or improving processes and projects that don’t help you to run your business.
Anything that drains your time, energy or money (even negative people) can weigh you down and make you feel inefficient, unproductive and stressed.
Unless you find ways to deal with it, you may find that your thinking stays cluttered and that somehow you don’t seem to be able to make any positive changes — you’re stuck.
I know from personal experience how frustrating and de-energising that can feel. In contrast, having clarity in your business makes you feel good.
If you like the idea of a lean business and having a spring-clean, then there are several areas worth looking at:
1. Your physical space
Anything to do with your workspace, your desk or the room you work in. Is it helping you or blocking your productivity? What needs to go or change?
2. Your processes and technology
Computers, security, email management, newsletters (both the ones you write and subscribe to), social media, blogging. What’s missing/ overwhelming/ inefficient that needs to be improved or let go?
Where are you overspending or wasting money — for example, services you subscribe to that don’t deliver any more? Or do you have suppliers or joint-venture partners who are inefficient or unreliable?
In other words, what should you invest more in or let go of?
Check the return on investment with all your outgoings!
4. Your mindset
What motivates you? What drains you?
What do you need to do more — or less — of to maintain the confident mindset of a small-business owner who feels in control?
5. Marketing and getting clients
What isn’t working? Has anything changed? Are your customers unsure what’s unique about you or do they take the results they achieve with your help for granted?
Has one of your loyal clients moved to a new competitor?
So all in all, what’s bothering you? What drains your time, energy or money that needs changing or fixing?
I can think of more areas to spring-clean, but I don’t believe in tackling too much at once, as this can be counter-productive. Planning to do too much and then not getting it done, can lead to procrastination and feeling guilty.
So I recommend you tread gently, just as you might do when you’re reorganising a room or the garden. Always start in one small area and finish it first before you move to the next one.
Pick one area of your business that concerns you and get started.
Don’t ever be tempted to stand still and do nothing — if you do, there is a danger that unnecessary waste, energy blocks, and time and money drains will keep you stuck in a rut.
Business doesn’t ever stand still and neither should you.
About the author:
Hi, my name is Ute and I’m an experienced business mentor, trainer and blogger who helps passionate midlife women to stay focused, work smarter and stand out from the crowd.
Take your small venture from good to great with my free “Passion to Profit ebook.
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