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 a couple of book cases, filing cabinets and my inbox.
As I was busy indoors, my husband cleared 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-clean?
What’s even better is how good you feel inside! It’s like you’re making space for a fresh beginning.
That’s how you can feel in your business too —lighter with renewed energy, a clearer focus and space for new opportunities!
The lean thinking that simplifies and boosts your business
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 are not achieving results or that make things unnecessarily complicated.
Anything that drains your time, energy or money (even negative people) can weigh you down and make you feel unproductive and stressed.
Unless you deal with it, you may find that your thinking gets muddled and you’re not able to make any positive changes — you’re effectively stuck!
I know from personal experience how frustrating and de-energising that can feel. In contrast, having clarity and a simplified approach in your business makes you feel great.
If you like the idea of a lean business and having a bit of 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 well organised and helping you or cluttered and blocking your productivity?
What needs to change? Maybe it just needs a quick tidy or clean? Or some pretty flowers on your desk to cheer you up?
2. Your processes and technology
Computers, security, email management, customer on-boarding, newsletters (both the ones you write and subscribe to).
What’s missing/ overwhelming/ inefficient that needs to be improved? What is too time-consuming?
The simpler your business is to operate behind the scenes, the more you will feel in control. And the more this allows you to focus on what you’re best at!
Where are you overspending or wasting money — for example, services you subscribe to that don’t deliver any more or have cheaper alternatives?
Are you charging your worth? Could it be time to review your fees?
Do you have suppliers who are not fulfilling your expectations?
In other words, what should you invest more or less in?
Always remember that time is money too, so it’s a good idea check the return on investment with everything you spend time, energy or money on.
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?
A strong mindset will help you to be resilient when you hit the inevitable roadblocks that can so easily trip up a small business owner.
5. Marketing and getting clients
What isn’t working? Has anything changed recently?
Is your website cluttered or out of date? What about your networking, is it getting the desired results? Are your blogging and social media activities bringing in leads?
Are you spreading yourself a little too thin?
It’s so easy to miss subtle changes around you and a spring-clean here may simply mean reviewing your marketing plan and your messages.
Don’t just do what you’ve always done!
Where best to start?
Whilst I can think of lots of areas to spring-clean as a way to boost your business, it is not a good idea to tackle lots of big areas at once. 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 tidying the garden.
Always start in one small area and finish it first before you move to the next one.
Pick the area of your business that concerns you most and get started.
Try to keep things simple. Set aside an hour a day, or a few hours every week, until you can see the first fruits of your labour.
If necessary, get someone to help you, to save time. Maybe this would be the perfect time to get some advice from a marketing consultant, business coach, accountant or virtual assistant? Or could you partner with a colleague and help each other?
Don’t ever be tempted to stand still and do nothing — if you do, there is a danger that unnecessary waste, energy blocks, 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 stand out from the crowd and their businesses to thrive.
Take your small venture from good to great with my free “Passion to Profit ebook.
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