Do you ever get to the end of the week, and wonder when you are ever going to get enough time to do those pesky little tasks that could make or break your business? This happens to me all the time. And that’s why I have found magic in setting aside time at the end of every month to spring-clean my business.
Your wardrobe is not the only thing that needs regular decluttering. You will realize that those pesky tasks eventually need to get done. Guess what? Scheduling them into a spring-cleaning day is one of the best ways to tackle them.
So where do you start?
I have listed down 11 ways to spring clean your business every month. And the good news is that you only need 2 hours a month to do this exercise. The better news is that the first two or three times might take longer than 2 hours. However, once you have a system in place, you will find yourself speeding through these tasks even before spring cleaning day. And remember, this list is not exhaustive.
1. Review your goals
Are your goals still aligned to your overall vision? Are you still crazy about your goals? Do they make you feel like you want to jump out of bed the second your alarm goes off, and start working towards them? Reviewing your goals is detrimental for your business and sets the pace for spring cleaning your business.
Now is a good time to check whether your goals still matter to you. If they don’t, there is no shame in changing or removing them. What’s important is that you are motivated to hit your goals, because without motivation, you’ll struggle to make progress. You can check this post or this post, or even this post to get hot tips on how to review & make your goals happen!
2. Revisit your priorities
Do you know what your priorities are? Are you practicing the ‘power of 3?’- my method to help you know your top 3 priorities and stick to them like glue!
We often have an idea of what our priorities should be. But more often than not, our daily activities do not align to our priorities. A quick way of doing a self-check is to time audit yourself for a week. How much time did you spend on your priorities? How much time did you spend on non-priorities?
This is a good way to make sure that you are giving yourself enough time to focus on your priorities, and to make meaningful progress each week.
3. Check your finances
This is one of the most important but neglected areas when it comes to solopreneurs. I totally understand that looking at your finances is not the most comfortable thing to do. So let’s simplify it. Start by looking at your expenses. Especially those subscriptions. Are you making use of them? Can you make do with a cheaper package that still gives you all the features that you need?
Let’s look at your income? Are all your incomes coming through as expected? Are there any payment declines that you need to look into?
Once you start doing this consistently, it will get easier and less uncomfortable to look at your numbers. You can outsource the rest to an accountant, but do take a look at your numbers every now and then as the CEO of your business.
4. Declutter your digital workspace
You know that downloads folder that has 153628 files? When was the last time you cleaned it up? Chances are, you probably don’t need over 50% of what’s in that folder so the best way to get started is to clear it all off completely. Ok, if that makes you nervous, then move everything into one folder and label it “to clean up”. Take your time on each spring-cleaning exercise to move the files in that folder to where they should be, or to delete them if you don’t need them.
As a rule of thumb, I delete and file in my downloads folder that I haven’t touched in the last 3-6 months.
5. Tidy your physical workspace
This is probably what came to your mind when you read the title of this post. Tidying your physical workspace is as important as tidying up your digital workspace. You want to work in an environment that makes you feel at ease and more productive, not one that gives you anxiety because of all the papers and notebooks that are lying around.
Remove any paper that you aren’t going to use and scan the ones that you are going to use. Put them in a file and pack the file away.
Clear off old unusable tools – you know those pens that you keep as memoirs of the conference you attended 5 years ago? Unless it’s a sentimental item, I would suggest that you declutter and move on.
This is also a good time to restock on the stationery that you use quite often, and give away any stationery that you haven’t touched in the last 3-6 months.
6. Inbox Cleanup
In order to get to inbox zero, just mark all your current emails as read and start afresh. I used to keep so many emails unread, thinking that I would get to them one day and read all of them in a go. That day never came, and I don’t think it ever will.
If you really want to get back to emails at a future stage:
- Mark the important emails and move them to a “read later” folder
- Move the unimportant emails to a “read someday” folder
It feels so much better when you have a “0 unread emails” inbox than when you have thousands of unread emails, which you probably won’t read anyway.
You can also build up on your mailbox organization by creating filters and labels for all income email. I have created rules for incoming emails which will automatically move emails to specific folders depending on their title or the sender’s name. Pro tip: Don’t overdo the filtering, because you don’t want to mark important emails as “read” automatically and then miss out on seeing an email.
7. Clean up your mailing lists
While I don’t advocate for cleaning up dormant subscribers (unless their emails are bouncing or they have actually unsubscribed from your list), I certainly advocate for segmenting your email list. People have signed up to your email list for various reasons, so it’s important not to clog their inboxes with emails that don’t necessarily interest them.
My favourite way of segmenting my email list is based on the reason they subscribed in the first place, for example:
- Signing up for a freebie
- Signing up for a waitlist for a new service
- Registering for a challenge
- Signing up for mom-specific content (and not all the other topics I talk about)
This way, you can drill down and increase your open rates by sending relevant emails, without getting on your subscribers’ nerves.
If you’re struggling to do all this with your email system, or you don’t have one yet, check out my current email system Flodesk, it’s the best ever! And here’s a coupon REBECCAKAY to get your subscription at 50% off the normal price, forever!
7. Refresh your social
When was the last time you refreshed your social media bio and profile photo? Now would be a good time to do a sense check: does your bio still align to what your business looks like today? Does your profile photo represent the brand you are trying to build?
You could also use this opportunity to make sure that your bio and profile is consistent across all your social media profiles. Make sure any links on your social media profiles (e.g. the infamous link in bio on Instagram) are working and are not leading to dead ends…
You could also take the time to take stock of your content bank and organize any missing files (or start from scratch if you don’t have a content bank).
8. Refresh your website
Did you know that you lose SEO points for every broken link on your website? If you haven’t done this in a while, this is your chance to dust the cobwebs on your website and make sure that all your links lead your website traffic to the right places.
You could also create a page that redirects your website traffic to an offer or a page about your services, or your popular blog posts, if they happen to click on a broken link from your website. That way, at least they don’t feel like your website is suspicious.
9. Check your analytics
If you want to get the most out of spring cleaning your business, then you need to check your analytics. Any data that you come across that could help you make better decisions on a day-to-day basis, needs to be stored and organized properly.
Think about what’s top of mind right now. Maybe you are trying to grow your website traffic. Or you are trying to get more organic sales from email marketing.
Then you want to take some time to check the analytics that are relevant to these goals. You could also create spreadsheets and populate them on a weekly basis. Then spend time during your decluttering session to have a deeper look at the numbers and make sense of what they mean.
You can use your analytics to check:
- What’s working and what isn’t?
- What can be improved?
- What can be minimized and what can be emphasized to create more income and impact?
10. Streamline your systems
I could talk about systems all day. This is definitely one area that business owners tend to leave until it’s too late. So if you don’t have the time to look at those systems (and I would strongly suggest that you start making the time), then now is a good time to
- Update your workflows
- Clean up any systems
- Automate any manual tasks
- Use tools to link your apps or processes (IFTTT or Zapier)
- Be open to trying out new apps only if existing software does not give a solution
Add any task that you have been neglecting in your business to your spring cleaning list, and remember to be consistent in this exercise.
What’s the first thing you are going to do the next time you spring clean your business? Drop it in the comments section below!