By Susan Payton
‘Tis the season for cleaning out garages and taking boxes of unwanted items to the local thrift store. But spring cleaning isn’t just for your home; it can also be beneficial for your business. Small business spring cleaning means taking time to clean out the clutter to get organized and it makes you a better business owner, so let’s look at easy ways you can do just that.
1. Go Through Your Computer Files
When’s the last time you sorted through what’s on your computer? I’m willing to bet it’s been a while. We have a tendency to save files we only need temporarily, and then they pile up, creating digital clutter.
Take an hour or so and go through each file on your computer. Delete any files you no longer need, and spend time organizing files into folders so that they’re easy to use. I organize my files by client and I know exactly where those folders are.
Bonus Tip: For any files you only need temporarily, save the in your Downloads folder, then delete them once a week when you no longer need them.
2. Move Those Files to the Cloud
It’s no longer necessary to buy a computer with a ton of memory because cloud computing has taken the business world by storm. This is a great time to transition from housing all your files on your computer to putting them in the cloud. It’s also a fantastic way to back up your data so that if your computer ever crashes (that never happens, right??) you don’t lose important documents.
Bonus Tip: I use DropBox, and am able to put a shortcut to my folders in my computer folder directory. So I can save files directly to DropBox without having to log into the website.
3. Look at Your Desk with a Scrutinizing Eye
As I write this, I’m rather ashamed at the mess on my desk. I have mail, a camera, a book, and lots of bits of paper floating around. It’s not very conducive for productivity. Yours probably isn’t either.
Toss anything you don’t need, and keep an Inbox bin to organize papers you still need to tackle. Plan to review what’s left at the end of each day so things don’t pile up and get forgotten.
Bonus Tip: Put it on your calendar to do a deep desk clean once a month. You’d be surprised how dusty your desk, computer, and keyboard can get!
4. Spring Clean Your Clients
Sometimes you get so busy you forget to check on clients you haven’t heard from in a while. Take a few days to review everyone you’ve worked with over the past year, and send an email to anyone you haven’t heard from. Sometimes simply reaching out will result in new business!
Bonus Tip: Before you email, look at each client’s website and social media profile to glean what they’re up to. The more you know, the better you may be able to make suggestions for how your company can help.
None of these tasks take long, and I guarantee you’ll feel more productive after you check them off of your list!