During the first quarter of the year, businesses often start to notice what’s been working and what hasn’t, what goals have been accomplished and which haven’t quite yet. Maybe an initiative started in the first few weeks of the year still hasn’t gotten off the ground or a campaign launched at the end of January didn’t show the results you expected.
Whatever the case, now is the perfect time for your business to do some “spring cleaning.” Whether it’s a full reworking of your business plan or reviewing your SOPs, these steps and more could be great ways to refresh your business moving into the next portion of the year.
Below, 10 Young Entrepreneur Council members shared what they recommend you do to “spring clean” your operations and the impact it’ll have on the rest of your year.
1. Test The Efficacy Of Automated Processes
Review all of your monthly expenditures and eliminate any that are no longer necessary or aren’t driving adequate value. Also, review automated processes to ensure they’re still working effectively. This includes operational processes, marketing automation, sales automation and more. Every broken process could lead to lost time and/or money, so test all automations once a year at a minimum. – Jonathan Prichard, MattressInsider.com
2. Set Up Your Accounting Categories
Businesses should take the time to set up their accounting categories to better determine which cost and profit centers line up and drive the most margin. I spent the first week of the year making sure that our new service lines and new service cost centers had a matching section for revenue, salary cost categories and cost of goods sold, such as software to automate our tasks. – Kaitlyn Witman, Rainfactory
3. Conduct A Review Of Your SOPs And Training Materials
There’s been a massive evolution in the workplace. It only makes sense that you should regularly update company-wide training too. By fine-tuning your company’s training policies, you’re readjusting your team’s protocols to manage upcoming tasks and putting practices in place that can help make it easier to adapt to the current job climate. – Emily Stallings, Casely, Inc.
4. Reevaluate Vendor Relationships
Companies often waste resources on renewals and fee increases with vendors who don’t always have their best interests in mind. Each year, you should evaluate your vendor partnerships to determine which ones to keep, which ones to terminate and which ones to renegotiate. – Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep Mattress
5. Cancel Your Credit Card
You may be overpaying for services you don’t need anymore. Canceling your credit card will make you really think about which services you need to continue to pay for that you can transfer your new card details to. This makes you think through your operations and processes more so you can be more effective. – Bryan Citrin, Chiropractic Advertising
6. Ask Yourself Five Key Questions
When you’re a business owner, a lot can go stale—your goals, standards, operations, employee motivation and agency, customer relationships, marketing and product ideas and more. So ask yourself: Did I meet the goals set for the previous year? Am I on track to meet my intermediate and long-term goals? How valuable are these goals I’ve set? How do I set them? How do I execute them? – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS
7. Review And Communicate KPIs
Proper management of your team is an essential element to success. Many business owners fail to fire, hire and promote using KPIs, or even set and track them in the first place. I suggest starting a spring clean by evaluating the current work of staff members and then associating their role and duties with a quantifiable metric. Make sure this is clearly communicated, documented and tracked. – Libby Rothschild, Dietitian Boss
8. Organize Your Books To See Where You Can Save
Every business should do a deep scrub into their books. Take time to organize your books, review your accounts and digitize what you can. Make sure your personal accounts are separate from your business. Identify where you overspend. Also, look for areas where you can invest in growing your business. Work with tax and financial advisors to identify areas where you can save. – Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.
9. Get Rid Of Unused Subscriptions
You can prepare your business for the year ahead by getting rid of subscriptions you’re not using and consolidating your SaaS products where it’s possible. There are usually several opportunities to streamline your workflows through this process. You’ll find that taking this step will likely save you time and money, as well as improve productivity. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC
10. Review Your Client List
Every business, especially professional service companies, need to take time each year to review their clients. This review should look at the profitability of each client, but also look at clients and make sure they match your values and are part of your strategic goals. If the client is not matching on one of these three high-level topics, you should consider moving on from them. – Zane Stevens, Protea Financial