Spring cleaning might seem like an odd concept. After all, shouldn’t we keep our spaces clean all year around? Yet the concept has enduring significance for both symbolic and practical reasons. Symbolically, springtime is a season of melting snows and cleansing rains that wash away the debris of winter and bring waters vital to life and also a season of fresh air, warmth, sunshine and renewed growth. These images serve as reminders that periodically we need to clear things out, clean things up, refresh and embrace growth – both personally and in business. With that in mind, here are a few tips for doing a spring cleaning for your business and also a gentle reminder that “spring” cleaning really should be done more than once a year.
Make sure that your place of business looks, feels and smells clean. When is the last time that you cleaned the windows, washed or dusted the walls, changed the air filters, sanitized the refrigerator? How does your business look from the outside? How do your signage and light fixtures look? What about the sidewalks and landscape? While you are at it, spring cleaning is also a great time to make sure that your tools and equipment are clean and ready for use.
It is a good idea to keep your computer and devices free of junk that slows them down – and also of clutter that slows down your productivity. Do your programs run slowly or crash frequently? Is it time for an IT checkup? What do you see when you turn on your computer and look at the desktop? Is it well organized or a field of chaos? What about when you look at your emails? Are there dozens (or thousands!) of emails that you really don’t need to save and will probably never look at? Check out this article for tips on cleaning up your digital life.
Social media spruce up
Take this time to look through the social media platforms you use for your business. This is a good time to decide which platforms work and which ones don’t. If you find that you have a social media account that is not gaining much traction and doesn’t reach your target audience, it might be time to consider deleting that account. Also take this time to go through the account(s) you want to keep and make sure your information is current and up-to-date. Haven’t updated your business’s bio in a while? Had that same cover photo/profile picture for a year? Use this opportunity to change up your business’s social media profiles and give them a fresh look.
Do you have files and piles of paper that you’ve gotten so used to seeing that you don’t notice them and never look at what is in them, have no need to save, and yet there they sit? Assess which ones you really need to keep, make sure that those are stored in a manner that makes sought after materials easy to find and that you are following proper procedures for industry compliance and information security. As for the other stuff, do you really want to keep all of those papers around?
Detoxify and De-stress
One of the most important things you can do for your business is to take care of yourself. Do you have toxic routines such as eating poorly, forgetting to exercise, and failing to make time for relaxation? It’s easy for small business owners to focus all of their energy on their business, and in doing so, end up neglecting themselves. Get rid of toxic routines and remember that taking good care of your health – both physical and mental – can have an enormous impact on your life, your personal relationships, and business. Check out this article on managing your mental well-being as an entrepreneur or visit http://www.nami.org/ for information on mental health resources.
Plant Something New
Add some new easy to care for landscaping. Buy a plant or some flowers for the office. Bring in inspiring colors. Plant the seeds – literally and or metaphorically – for new growth. Let the symbolism of spring into your business and into your workplace.
We hope this post motivates you to embrace the season and do some spring cleaning around your business and that you feel inspired by your results!
Laurie Pieper, Ph.D. & Mindy Lee
Business Advisor/Social Media Marketing Coordinator & Advisor
America’s SBDC Kansas