Just as spring brings nature back to life, spring can also be a time to renew your business. Spring-cleaning your company can mean less clutter, more clients, and more time to interview prospective employees.
But unlike your home, spring-cleaning your business isn’t as simple as throwing things in the dumpster. Here’s how to be strategic about it:
1. Give your brand a fresh look.
You know the saying: If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. Although this applies in certain contexts, your company’s brand is not one of them.
Ask yourself: Is our website outdated? Does our motto still ring true? Does our product’s packaging attract attention? If you’re second guessing the success of something, chances are it should be changed.
According to Forbes contributor Jessica Kleinman, there are five words to live by during the rebranding process: research, input, goals, support and process.
Rebranding brings drastic changes, so you must be prepared before making any decisions. Start by meeting with your team to talk about the pros and cons of your company’s brand. Compile the feedback, and then make the final call about what’s in your budget to improve.
When announcing your plans, explain how you expect the company to benefit from the brand changes. Support is key: If your team isn’t behind the changes, make tweaks until you all agree. Build all those details into a brand style guide.
2. Get organized.
Spring means it’s time to kiss the office clutter goodbye.
Start by throwing away anything that you no longer need. This means no more stacks of papers, capless pens, and broken staplers sitting on your desk. Next, find an organizing strategy that works for you. Try out color coding, filing documents chronologically, or digitizing old records.
Once your physical space is decluttered to your liking, shift your sights to your schedule. This is the work of becoming a better time manager: Create a master list of the tasks on your calendar, decide on what’s important, and adopt a prioritization method.
Just like the organization of your desk, how you shift your schedule requires you to decide on a system that works for you. You could use the chunking method (blocking out specific times for uninterrupted work) or the ABCDE method (assigning a letter to a task depending on importance), for example.
3. Reflect on old goals and create new ones.
This business to-do is similar to a New Year’s resolution — except that the chances of success are hopefully greater.
Whether you’re assessing personal or team goals, it’s important to think about previous ones. Did you achieve them, or did you forget about them? Can they be altered and improved?
Whatever the answer, one helpful approach to goal reflection or setting is the SMART method. Pin down what your goal is and then follow the break down.
A SMART goal should be:
- Specific: Achieve specificity by using the 6 Ws: who, what, when, where, which and why? If the goal doesn’t answer these, narrow it more. For example, would you rather “get more clients” or “increase your account volume by 50% in eight months”?
- Measurable: From minutes spent on the phone to dollar amounts, use measurable parameters to anchor your goal.
- Attainable: Your goals should be within your reach. It’s important to challenge yourself, but be realistic and recognize your limitations.
- Relevant: Any goals set should align with the company’s mission.
- Timely: Create a clear timeline with action items to work toward goal achievement.
A goal with these five components has a greater chance of becoming a reality than one without them. And when your employees understand what, exactly, you want to achieve, they’ll be more likely to buy in.
4. Plan a getaway.
All work and no play isn’t sustainable. If you’ve been working hard, it’s time to reward yourself with that long-awaited vacation.
To avoid inconveniencing yourself or coworkers, avoid overlapping out-of-office periods. Also, do any work you can ahead of time. Write down deadlines or delegate tasks for anything you can’t finish before taking off.
Do your best to minimize the amount of work you’ll have to do when you get back. Vacations are a time to kick back and relax. They give you time to clear your head in order to hit the ground running once you return. Increased productivity, less stress, and better mental health lie on the other side of your trip.
If you’re a city person, why not spend a few days in New York City or Chicago? For seclusion, opt for a backpacking trip through the wilderness or a yoga retreat.
Don’t let spring pass you by before planting seeds for a stronger year. Plan ahead, focus on business needs, and don’t forget to take care of yourself as a person, too.