The Benefits Of Spring Cleaning Your Small Business
Spring is in the air, and hopefully a more optimistic end to the year is in order for small businesses after what has been a tumultuous year for many.
Just as giving your home a spring-time spruce up sets you on the path for a fresh start in the new season, the same principals can be applied to your small business.
No matter what industry, every small business can benefit from extra attention and organisation as we approach Christmas. It's also not just about a thriving business, but the importance of wellbeing for staff which is vital in what has been a tough year for everyone.
Angl Korp Chairman, Adem Karafili; Director of HotHouse Media & Events, John Flower; and commentator Melissa Hoyer have shared their tips to maintain a healthy and more efficient business across the board, especially as we all learn to live life after a pandemic.
TIDY UP YOUR WEBSITE
With retail closures and more people working from home, Adem Karafili believes this is the time to get your online presence just right.
"Online is everything at the moment," he says. "It's the primary way in which we can keep in touch with our customers and consumers as well as being a sales channel that has just accelerated in the lockdown.
"I think Covid-19 has brought forward the online trend two to three years.
“It's forced demographics that would normally prefer bricks and mortar shopping to online."
CLEANOUT YOUR INBOX AND SOCIAL MEDIA
30,000 emails in your inbox? It can certainly make you anxious. Email organisation is a personal thing, but it's important to do an inbox cleanout so things don't spiral out of control. Melissa Hoyer says she prefers to keep her emails and do a spring clean as they mount up.
"Instead of being incredibly efficient and deleting straight away, I do tend to leave it for a while and then do one mighty big cull," she says.
"When I do that it does feel cleansing, cathartic and incredibly good."
To prevent emails mounting up and regain control of your inbox, Hoyer also recommends turning off social media notifications and going unsubscribe from mailing lists to limit the amount of emails you get.
A long winter in lockdown really can test anyone. So as spring comes, it's vital to keep motivated.
John Flower says it's important to continue the regular routine, and have a constant communication — not just about work.
"I have an amazing team and we've continued to have our internal WIP (work in progress) meeting every Monday on Zoom where we all start by talking about our interest across TV, Podcasts, food, online articles, books music and favourite anything," he said.
"We also devote time to looking for and researching anything."
CLEARING THE MIND
As Flower has suggested, successful business is not all about work, it's about a work/life balance. This is something many of us can improve on as we look at improving business practises. Covid-19 has forced some of us to take a step back and just realise how important our own mental health is, and how important it is to focus on family and friends and not just work, work, work. Also if you are feeling down, you are not alone.
"It's important to stay positive but I also believe you have to acknowledge that you are going to have some bad days and not allow guilt from that to overwhelm you," Flower says.
Karafili also believes taking breaks during the day and doing something simple is a way to maintain a healthy mind.
"I would also definitely encourage taking the opportunity to go for a walk each day and get some fresh air," he says.
For Hoyer, not always being on top of the news or those sometimes dreaded Covid-19 updates is a good start.
"Take time out from always looking at the screen, checking news updates and if any more emails have come in," she says.
REFRESH YOUR MARKETING AND BUSINESS PLANS
Sometimes you create a marketing or business plan and it just sits in a draw to gather dust. But especially with Covid-19, it's important to have a clear strategy as we move forward.
"Having a constantly updated business plan is so important and becomes critical when we go through shocks like Covid," Karafili says.
"It's always important to have clear priorities even though they may continually change.
“The marketing plan should be a key part of your business plan along with your sales plan.
"Having these elements together should have the business best placed for success."
POLISH UP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA
Any spring clean of a business should include a review of social media strategy.
"I think there is such a huge opportunity for many small businesses to take advantage of social media," Hoyer says.
"It can be time-consuming as you need to be aware of your competition and what they are doing but by using social media properly – whether that’s the right hashtags and handles and interacting with the right people - it will pay off."
ABOUT THE WRITER
Media and journalism has been in Luke Dennehy's blood ever since he started at the Herald Sun in Melbourne as an editorial assistant at 19 years of age. Luke worked for nearly 20 years at the Herald Sun reporting entertainment and lifestyle news before leaving in 2017 to pursue freelance opportunities. He also had many regular spots on radio and TV over the years, most recently on Melbourne radio station 3AW. A passionate advocate for Australian music, food, entertainment and business, he is excited to share some of those inspiring stories along the way.