The Small Business Avenger's Guide to Spring Cleaning

Spring provides great motivation to clean out, organize, and upgrade our small business systems. Here are some practical tips for your small business as you maximize your productivity by organizing this spring.

Create digital files.

The only way to find data when you need it is to create a systematic digital filing system, and then stick with it! The consistency of creating files and organizing them in a systematic fashion will help you retrieve needed data for years to come. If you file everything where it belongs, then everything will have a place and everything will be in its place for future reference. It is worth the effort to organize files and stick with the plan daily. It takes discipline, but it is worth it and will save time in the long run.

Organize contacts.

Every small business owner has contacts to keep track of. Names and contact information for sales leads, vendors, customers, business owners, and people you meet at conferences all need to be categorized and saved systematically so you can easily connect in the future. A customer relationship management system (CRM) like Salesforce works well for multiple contacts, or a simple system like your Contacts app may suffice for a startup business.

Update your project management.

Project management can save you time and money over the long run. Utilize Wrike or Asana to create fabulous comprehensive project management solutions. Track your team’s work, and get results! These amazing tools help you document the journey each project takes, including all the files, collaboration, input from others, and deadlines—all in one place.

Back up your computer.

You have options as to how to back up your computer, but the main thing is that you do it! An external hard drive works well, or you can use a Cloud-based data backup service like CrashPlan which is surprisingly easy and reasonably priced. It’s best to set up automatic backups so you don’t have to think about backing up data on a daily basis. The security of knowing your data is safely stored through automatic backups will give you peace of mind.

Reconsider productivity tools and apps.

Rethink your use of productivity tools and apps. Are they meeting your needs appropriately and currently, or did they simply work as a place to start when you established your business? There’s no need to use something because everyone else is using it, or because “you’ve always used it.” Rather, use it because it is the best solution for the current and future needs of your company.

Update your software.

Check for updates at least bimonthly unless your system automatically installs updates. As you spring clean your office, take inventory of the software you use and verify if you need to upgrade or not. When we take an objective look at our software, we see the best way to utilize our resources and know whether a change is in order.

Track travel expenses efficiently.

Expensify helps track travel expenses once you are on the road. Expensify automates every step of the expense reporting process and simplifies your tracking from receipt scanning to reimbursement. Recording all expenses once a trip is over is critical, and Expensify will help the process go smoothly.

Establish new goals.

Evaluate the state of your small business and set realistic goals for the remainder of the year. Be honest with where you have been and specific about where you are headed as you document your business goals and objectives. Set targets to increase revenue for the remainder of the year.

Organize and facilitate meetings.

Consider using Zoom for video conferencing and web conferencing services. Look into Zoom for your meeting invitations, service, and execution of visual or audio meetings. There are ways to make the meeting process more organized, particularly if the individuals attending the meeting or conference are in different locations, and Zoom is a great solution to your meeting organization and facilitation.

Social media.

Hootsuite and Buffer are timesavers when it comes to utilizing social media for small businesses. Rather than daily manual input on multiple social media platforms, create posts for a full quarter of the year and let Hootsuite or Buffer post them on your platforms at designated times and days. In the long run, you will save time creating all your social media statements quarterly. They also help track the performance of your content and manage all your accounts in one place.

Shockley Bookkeeping & Taxes provides detailed bookkeeping for small businesses in Broken Arrow and the Tulsa area. For a free quote and consultation, contact Shockley Bookkeeping today at 918-615-8380.