How To Spring Clean For Business Innovation by Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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Spring has always represented a time for renewal and fresh starts. The birds sing, the sun beckons, and flowers pop. Is it any wonder that this season of change spurs business leaders to clean everything from data to drawers?

Most people already know about the emotional and physiological advantages of spring on the human heart and mind. As folks ditch stale air for fresh breezes, they tend to adopt more positive outlooks. Whether this general feeling comes from increased exposure to sunlight or a sense that the earth is coming back from hibernation doesn’t matter. What matters is that those positive sensations can be a springboard for innovation.

From a business perspective, this flood of spring-related positivity often makes team members more willing to embrace new directions and ideas. But they won’t happen on their own. Set the stage for a time of workplace renewal by spring cleaning your office in five key areas.

1. Weed out unnecessary tech processes and infrastructure.

Unless your tech equipment and protocols are practically new, they might be bogging down your operations. For instance, a laptop that’s several years old has lost its efficiency. Systematically scour each tech tool and platform you use, looking for opportunities for upgrades or replacements. Have to pitch electronics? Look for safe, eco-friendly e-waste management solutions.

To streamline tech processes and free up literal and figurative space, Robin Hau, founder and CEO of SimplyClouds, predicts that “more small businesses will abandon on-premise installations for their cloud-based versions.” For instance, Hau said, one restaurant franchise moved its disjointed legacy operations into the cloud and was able to automate workflows and import POS system data into a new accounting system. Cloud-based options are certainly worth a look during spring cleaning.

2. Fine-tune your online presence.

While you get a handle on your IT-related protocols, turn your attention to the online face of your brand — beginning with your website. After all, your website is where customers take action: purchase your product, sign up for your newsletter, etc. “These types of direct actions (aka the outright sales pitch) are going to take place on your website. So you need to think of your website as the last, and most important, step in closing the sale or driving whatever type of action you’re after,” says Nellie Akalp, CEO of Though you might not be able to afford a total redesign, you can freshen up your content and swap out old photos for modern ones.

And the blog you never quite mastered? Now is the perfect time to recommit to maintaining an editorial calendar. After giving your website the Windex treatment, tend to your social profiles on Facebook and other platforms. Are they aligned with your brand image? Do they offer up-to-date information? If your searches reveal you’re grappling with online reputation problems, address them quickly with the help of an expert.

3. Spruce up your inventory.

Do you store products as part of your business? Some goods will no doubt be expired, obsolete, or damaged. Identify and separate those items from viable merchandise. Instead of trashing out-of-date products, however, consider ways to make them work in your favor.

While you can’t sell expired food products, other items could just be out of season and still hold potential. For example, you might have a client who would buy product at a discounted rate. Should you decide to donate extra merchandise, ask your accounting professional about any tax write-off possibilities.

According to a report from Wasp Barcode Technologies, 46 percent of organizations have antiquated inventory management processes. Make sure you never fall into those ranks again by consolidating records using a cloud-based system or by instituting a drop-ship delivery structure. This will enable you to fulfill client orders directly from a wholesaler instead of holding on to the merchandise yourself, ending up with surplus stock.

4. Scrub your client lists until they squeak.

Go through your directory listings, and scrub away. Customer lists change whenever people move, switch emails, etc. Task team members with getting a handle on the health of your lists.

First, find a one-stop place for your data to live. Even without a sophisticated CRM system, you’ll be far ahead of the 20 percent of companies that never collect client data. Next, flesh out all the missing data you can. Do you only have a few emails and names remaining after you eliminate duplicates and remove emails that hard-bounced or unsubscribed? Take heart: You can always revitalize a flagging customer list by reseeding.

5. Green clean your whole space.

Of all the locations in your office, research indicates that the average desk harbors about 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. And that phone on your desk? You don’t want to know what lurks there.

While you can’t simply trash this stuff, you can take a serious bite out of the bacteria threatening to make staff sick. Head to your nearest office supply source to purchase eco-conscious disinfecting products. Once you’ve stocked up, organize a teamwide scrub-down of your entire office.

Encourage coffee drinkers to take home the 4 million mugs they never use. Have a paper hoarder on your hands? Help him tame his desire to keep unwanted clutter. Send your toughest scrubbers to attack the science experiments lurking inside your break room’s refrigerator.

Consider adding some greenery to improve your air quality. Peace lilies, English ivy plants, and potted mums are easy to maintain. In return, they help care for your entire team by filtering out airborne germs and microparticles.

Trimming away the various things eating up your business’s time and money will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world. Who knows? A bit of spring cleaning could provide the psychological boost your team needs to make bold moves.

Don’t let what’s accumulated all winter hamper your springtime innovation.

April 30, 2019 at 05:08AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs