When you think of spring cleaning, what comes to mind? Shaking out those rugs, cleaning those dust bunnies? What about spring cleaning your business? Which activities are necessary to maintain and clean, lean, efficient business?First, why is this even important?
Health is the major reason. Health of your business, of your body and your life.
As the sun is in the sky for a longer period throughout the day, we are more determined and driven to make changes and work longer, according to The National Institutes of Health. This could be why some of us work longer in those months with more daylight: May - August.
When we are exposed to more sunlight during the day, this affects the hypothalamus; the primary hormone-producing structure of the brain, controlling body temperature, sleep, circadian rhythm, moods, sex drive, thirst, hunger, and the release of other hormones.
As the days become longer, and the desire to work more and longer hours creeps in, efficiency becomes even more important to maintain balance in life. This can easily result in overworking and double working on things that do not produce results. For the physical space, spring cleaning may lead to a more efficient work style.
I interviewed Meg Gamble, Chief Organizer of Space Matters, which provides professional organizing services to businesses and individuals in Marin County and San Francisco, California. Meg had a great analogy and some wonderful recommendations on staying sane and cleaning up for spring.
“Our business is like a garden: dormant in winter and as spring comes along, we awaken and lay the groundwork for the next season. We plant the new seeds in methodical rows which allows them plenty of space to grow a new crop of vegetables.”
Meg recommends a few easy items in preparation for a new season:
1. PrioritizeIdentify what you need to run your business. Benefits if you only do this once per year, its great to assess your progress and where you'd like to go. This ensures you're heading in the right direction in the most efficient manner. Questions to ask yourself:
- What are the essential tasks to reach your goals in your business?
- Of those, which are critical for you, the business owner to perform?
- Which are the tasks that you don't have enough time/desire to be involved with?
- What are the things that are performed repeatedly that can be automated?
- Which are the tasks that you can outsource?
Now that you've identified the tasks that are critical to your businesses' success in addition to the tasks that are critical for you to do, the remaining tasks can be segmented those into those that can be outsourced or automated. Benefits are accountability and execution of your ideas that relate to your goals. Plus, motivation for those tasks that are difficult or not possible to do by yourself.
Let's decide on those helpful people that you can add to your team. Some suggestions below:
- Flow: professional organizer to rearrange your office space or home.
- Cleaning: Cleaner to take care of cleaning the office or home
- Tasks: Administrative assistant to handle the administrative tasks
- Money: Bookkeeper, payroll service provider, accountant, tax specialist, etc.
- Marketing: copy-writer, web developer, marketing consultant social media specialist
One part that everyone must be involved in is cleaning out the physical space. The goal is an efficient, clear and useful space that holds what you need to accomplish the goals for your business. Benefits include a new physical workspace that creates motivation rather than avoidance. When you know where you've filed something, its easier to find it creating efficiencies. Questions to ask yourself:
- Office Space: What is it now? What do you envision your space to look like?
- Paper Files: Setting up files in a quarterly system. Review each quarter, shred those that aren't necessary.
- Financial documents/Records: talk to your CPA before tossing any document. 7 years is rule of thumb but may be different for your industry.
- Old client files: will they serve you in the future? If not, shred. Or, if so, you can scan the files, then shred them.
- Educational material from conferences/workshops: has action been taken on those files since you've attended the workshop? Have you revisited after you took the course? If not, you will likely not revisit again. Save business card of the speaker and recycle the rest.
- Passwords: do you spend minutes each day trying to remember your passwords or resetting passwords? Try a physical solution: a black book or an online solution like: LastPass
Meg explained the story of a recent client who has owned a retail store for 10year. Her business was profitable, however, she was at a place where she wanted to sell her business. Her employees were complaining about the inability to properly inventory their merchandise, not having enough space to move in their back general discomfort in their back room. The owner hadn’t taken the time to evaluate the flow, however, after working with Meg and evaluating using some of the steps above, she decided to keep the store, she has implemented systems to hold people accountable, which has made the business more efficient and has made the staff happy. She is now on track to double her sales this year!
Spring cleaning not only helps your mind, but your business and your bottom line!
If you need help with organizing your physical space, reach out to Meg Gamble, Space Matters. 415.846.1773 | http://www.spacematters.biz/