Business review? How to start spring cleaning your business
With Spring almost upon us, thoughts might be on spring cleaning your home or getting the garden tidied up. Instead, have you thought about spring cleaning your business by carrying out a business review?
Running a business isn’t just time consuming, it’s life consuming. So, putting time aside to tidy and clean might seem like a waste, but there’s more to it than that.
A tidy desk and a place for everything
They say a tidy desk, a tidy mind. I’m not sure if that’s true, but it’s a good idea to remove anything that you don’t need on a regular basis. It will clear some workspace and refresh your mind a bit.
Sort out your filing system and make sure you know exactly where everything is so you don’t spend hours looking for the right notebook.Go through your folders and anywhere else you keep loose paperwork. Get rid of the bits you no longer need and make sure the ones you keep are all in the right folders.
Also, remember to back-up important documents in case things go wrong and you lose data that you need to run your business.
Clean up your inbox
If I saw hundreds of emails in my inbox it would cause me to hyperventilate, but for some people that’s just how it is. It can be time consuming, but as part of your spring clean, go through your emails. Make sure you’ve replied to everyone for a start, and then turn your attention to deleting old emails and filing the rest.
Streamline your invoicing and expenses in your business review
If you’re not already using a digital invoicing service then now is a great time to look into it. There are lots of different providers out there, so take some time to shop around. Having all your invoices managed online means it’s quicker to invoice and keep track of your profits.
You can also add your expenses digitally too, so when it comes to your tax return, everything is in one place. It’s important to keep a proper record of how much you’re spending.
Collect old debts
If you have invoices that you haven’t been paid for yet, make sure you follow up with clients. Most accounting software will be able to show you a list of the outstanding invoices and the ones who have gone over your payment terms. With some accounting software, you can even set up automatic reminders to go out to clients.
Say good bye to bad clients as part of your business review
Some late payments will be a genuine oversight, but some clients will always need chasing. If you have one or two like that, then now is the time to decide if you want to continue working for them? Don’t feel bad about dropping a client, just be polite when you do so to avoid burning bridges. Just make sure you have more client opportunities to plug the gap.
Refresh your contract
If your contract is a few years old, chances are it’s not relevant now, so take some time to refresh it.
- it outlines your payment terms,
- it explains your policy on returns or refunds if necessary,
- it’s clear the client needs to pay for the work you’ve produced or service you’ve provided even if they don’t use it, and
- it states who owns the rights to your work.
Check your website
Take a look at your website and see if you can improve its functionality, search engine optimisation (SEO) or layout. Maybe your copy could use an update to keep it fresh or more relevant. Is everything on there still correct? Do you have a blog but no recent entries?
Your website is often the first thing people see so it needs to make you shine.
Could you give your customers the chance to buy via your website and or pay you via your website?
Time to grow
Maybe it’s time to make your first hire or grow from a small team to something bigger. There are lots of things to consider including; payroll, office space, IT expenditure, the hiring process and of course, people management.
If you don’t want to hire a permanent member of staff, perhaps you need a virtual assistant to help with all the admin work or a freelancer for one-off projects.
Working 9 to 5
If you’d like to change your working week or hours then there’s no time like the present. Could you run your business from home part or full time? Would you like to reduce your hours, increase your hours? We all want to find the right balance between work and home life, so find out if a few changes could make a difference.
Catch up with your accountant too for your business review
Your accountant can advise you on a full business review, offer tax advice and help you find ways to grow your business.
About Mark Boulter
Mark Boulter is responsible for the efficient running of the firm’s infrastructure, and ensuring that THP delivers the best client service. Promoting the vision and culture across all branches, people are the key: “I like people who have a fresh approach and I’m happy for them to run with their ideas,” he says.
Communication across departments is crucial and Mark pioneers this. He ensure that people and departments not only talk to each other, but that they share ideas– whether they’re about marketing, finance, sales, strategy or any other topic that can result in us offering a better service. “I think helping to develop the next generation of THP people is essential to our success,” Mark adds. “We’ve a lot of talented people and our way of doing things increasingly attracts ambitious newcomers who are looking for a fresh approach. That’s good for us and even better news for our clients.”