Small Business Reading Room

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Spring Cleaning Your Business

Spring is in the air with blooming flowers and warm showers. Spring is the time to open your office windows to allow fresh air to come in. Don’t forget, your business should get that breath of fresh air also. Simple things can be done to refresh and tidy up your company. Why not start with the technology? There are technological improvements that may well pay for themselves in speed and efficiency.

Technology is continually evolving, allowing for more choices to upgrade both your current software and hardware. All security and protection programs should be continually updated in your office so that each desktop is running the latest version. It is very easy to adjust the setting on these programs to enable them to automatically update. This is manageable, time saving protection for your office computers. Additionally, file backup is a lifesaver for most businesses when it would seem that all is lost.

Update your backup program and hardware as often as you update operating systems so that they are able to work in sync. Backups allow for an extra measure of safety and allow for less space to be occupied on your hard drive. With less space used on your hard drive you may be able to shift your focus to cleaning up and organizing your files.

The quicker you actually work on organizing your files, the less time you will have to spend in the future to do this. If it has been almost a decade since you have done a cleanup, or even looked at any of the files on your computer, the cleanup will take awhile. Start reorganizing files, as soon as possible, and save yourself the mess to clean up later on. Have you taken a look at your printer lately? A really hard look?

A printer is one of the items on your desk, most taken advantage of, because its care is not your primary focus, as are other parts of your desktop.  Consistent maintenance is the key to keep your printer working, not crossing your fingers. Clean out the paper trays, make sure everything in the printer is moving smoothly and check for software updates.   These are basic steps to keep your printer working well. So you have cleaned up electronically, how about taking some time for cleaning your physical workspace? Get some compressed air and cloths and clean off your whole desktop, from keyboard to screen, to make sure that they stay functioning. Now that you have spent money to spring clean, about taking some time to save some cash.

            In order to run a business, there will always be expenses.   When was the last time that you thought of ways to get rid of expenses? That does not mean to throw out all expenses, but rather to lose those expenses that are of no use to your company. You can first eliminate any expenses that you can’t defend; whether it is to your customers or your stockholders. As the old saying goes “money does not grow on trees”.  So when your overall costs exceed your profit, your plan cannot be to go to your nearest garden and pick off some extra hundred dollar bills. A working plan is to look at your daily tasks, to see which tasks you can eliminate to save time and money.

Why not take some time to make a list of all the activities in which you’re engaged, and put the activities up to a cost benefit analysis to see which items are:
  • Actually bringing in a profit (new customers, new leads, or new products)
  • Necessary to keep you in business.
  •  And needed by your customers
When was the last time you examined your business from top to bottom, physical presence vs. virtual presence? Is it up to the standards listed above?

It may be hard to evaluate yourself and your business which you have built and nurtured. Here a few tips to help with the spring cleaning:
  • Evaluate your business from the eyes of your customer; what items would be high points and what items would be low points? If you are unsure, ask them personally to see their opinion of your website, brand, stores, and customer service. Also you may have to look through their eyes in respect to your business’ current partnerships.
  • There is no point in having professional partnerships which do not help your business. Do not just throw away all of your partnerships to make a buck.   Look at what you bring to the table in each partnership and compare it to what your partners bring. Look to see if it is worth saving the relationship, or if you should quit while you are ahead.  If not ahead, is it time to cut your losses?  If it is worth saving, find the things that need to be changed in order for the partnership to work more profitably.
  •  Organize and make room. Our business has a goal of clearing out the filing cabinets to make more office space.   We have, slowly, worked on this process.  Progress has been, and is being, made.

There is no need to try and spring clean everything this spring, but gather some ideas of what you can accomplish and how you can move forward, when time allows. With all of these cleaning possibilities, do not forget that you are not a machine.  Make a conscious decision to disconnect for a while and clear your mind by walking away, so that when you come back you will have the stamina and a clear head that is needed to complete your spring cleaning list.

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Delaware Intercorp, Inc.
113 Barksdale Professional center
Newark, DE 19711-3258

"For all the best reasons to incorporate,the best place
is Delaware and the best incorporator is
Delaware Intercorp!"

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