After the long winter months, the mornings are starting to get light again. Its almost spring again, the ideal time to give your business processes a bit of a spruce up and clean up. A chance to do an informal audit to see where you are. Plus, more importantly, make sure you have everything in place for the months to come.
Giving your business systems a spring-clean is an opportunity to build on successful procedures. However, it is also a chance to recognise areas which aren’t working as well as you’d like, and take steps to improve them.
One of the best places to start is your computer. So grab yourself a coffee, lock yourself away in your office and let’s get to it!
Spring Clean Your Computer
Are you one of those individuals that have loads and loads of folders on your desktop?
If so, you’ll notice two things:
- Your computer system is likely to be running slower than it previously did
- It can take you ages to locate the folder you’re trying to find
Clear Your Desktop
It would be best if you were honest with yourself here. How many of the files on your desktop do you actually need there? All of them? Really!
Shortcuts on your desktop computer are much easier for your computer to deal with than large files of data. So, move all those documents to your local drive (usually your C drive).
Now arrange the files right into relevant folders. For an example; ‘Accounts’, ‘Projects’, ‘Calls’, etc. There are no hard and fast rules about how you should structure your files. Use whatever filing system works for you and your business, as long as it can be understood and is effective.
Finally, create a shortcut for the folder, which can now sit on your desktop. (to create a short cut click on the file and then ‘create shortcut), now cut and paste this file to your desktop)
The documents are now safely saved on your local drive; however, you can still go straight to them with a click on the shortcut button. Additionally, your PC will be functioning faster because it does not have extensive data files on its desktop. Plus, your files are now arranged in folders, so you can find what you need much quicker – win/win/win.
Run Updates And Scans
You may already have set your computer to update its operating system automatically – which is fantastic. However, they won’t always install a new update without your confirmation. Hence, it is worth checking that you have all the current updates installed.
Do precisely the same with your Internet browser and any type of software applications you use for your company. It is advisable to do these updates regularly, not just at spring-clean time.
Refraining from doing this might leave your computer system prone to a cyber attack. Having an unconfident computer system can be a catastrophe for your business. If you hold customer details on your PC, a cyber attack could compromise that and end with a GDPR data breach.
As soon as you’ve updated your system, use your anti-virus program to scan for any viruses and performance concerns. There are great deals on anti-virus, so do your research and find one that works for you.
Once installed, make sure you are scanning your PC regularly. Not only to safeguard your data but also to ensure your computer works at peak performance– so you can too!
Back-up is so easy to do, but also so easy to forget to do.
Anybody that’s ever created a lengthy email then lost it or put together a business report only to forget to press save before closing – will understand the pain of losing work.
Many programs have options to save files automatically. There are also software application choices available that can back your work up as you go.
Additionally, I strongly recommend backing up everything somewhere other than your main computer. There are many choices for backing your develop on The Cloud, e.g. google drive, dropbox or one drive. Alternatively, you can buy an external hard-drive.
Clear Out Your Email Inbox
Similar to all of these topics– there’s no right or wrong way to organise your inbox. It would be best if you did it the way that suits you and works for your business.
However, it is usual to set-up sub-folders within your mailbox, e.g. folders such as ‘Invoices Paid’, ‘Invoices to Pay’, ‘Inquiries’, ‘Testimonies’, etc., to help organise your emails.
Does your inbox fill up with subscribed emails from web sites you signed up to years ago? If you never read these and automatically delete then why no unsubscribe from them?
Do you have the notifications set to appear every time a new email comes hits your inbox? These can often be distracting and sidetrack you from your focus? Why not switch them off and instead set up reminders to check emails at set times.
If you’re a solopreneur or even a small business owner, it’s impractical for your customers to expect an instantaneously reply. However, make sure you do respond promptly to maintain the customer relationship!
For more tips on clearing out your inbox check out this blog- Are Your Emails Out Of Control?
Spring-Clean Your website
If you built your web site– make sure that all the software and widgets are updated. Like your computer system, your website’s smooth and secure running depends on you keeping everything up to date.
To ensure continued google ranking, regularly updating your web content is advisable. This could be by updating your store, adding blogs or updating your page content.
Spruce Up Your Social Media
Analyse the performance of your Social media feeds.
- Are you obtaining favourable comments from them?
- Are you getting engagement?
- Are they generating leads?
Why not look at what other companies like yours are doing on social platforms — are there any lessons you can learn from them?
Check your bios and services are still relevant and update headers or photos to get yourself noticed.
If posting on social media is beginning to use up too much of your time, or you can’t seem to make time to post, consider a social media scheduling program. There are plenty out there – Hootsuite, Buffer, Planoly, which enable you to post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn all from one place.
The spring is a great time to take the time – to review, simplify and streamline how you are working electronically. Having a spring clean to refocus your efforts and to revitalise your enthusiasm for your business.