You work hard to run your business — sometimes, the back end gets put on the back burner because you’re busy serving clients. I mean, who can blame you, serving clients is what puts sushi platters on the dinner table.
Spring cleaning our businesses can feel like a drag, so we put it off. But when we do, it’s like going on a long weekend road trip without checking our tires, the fuel gauge or the check engine light. Hopefully, nothing happens, but the trip is infinitely more fun when we have the peace of mind of at least knowing that our vehicle is in tip-top shape.
Use this 5-point checklist to organize your business spring cleaning day (yup, totally doable in a day… half a day even!) so you don’t miss important details.
👇 In a rush & want to save this post for later? Don’t forget to click here or scroll down for the infographic version of this post to make your spring quarterly review easy, breezy, detailed.
☐ Get your financial books in order
Call your bookkeeper and get copies of all the summary reports of what you’ve spent & what you’ve made (i.e. your profit-loss statements). Make sure your books are balanced and that all the money going in and out of your business is accounted for.
DIY-ing this? No sweat. This catch-up bookkeeping guide by Bryce Warnes from Bench takes you step-by-step through the process.
☐ Review your business model
A business model is just a fancy way of saying “how you do business”.
Now that your books are in order, you’ll be able to get a good picture of which of your offerings are profitable. Are you happy with your profit margins? If not, are there ways to cut your production expenses while maintaining your quality and sticking to your business’s core values? Is it time to increase your prices?
Write all the tasks you’re doing in your business. Are there tasks there that are major time & energy sucks? If so, consider if there are any processes you can systematize or delegate to others so you can spend more time on the money-making activities.
How is your branding strategy? Take a look at your favourite clients and customers from the past quarter. How did they find you? Are you directing your resources to cultivate wherever your best leads are coming from? For example, if you’re a wedding photographer and most of your favourite clients are coming from other vendors, are you cultivating those vendor relationships? If you’re an e-commerce business, does your website reflect the experience you want to give your customers?
☐ Review your annual business goals
Do they still make sense for where you want your business to be headed?
Do any goals need to be postponed to fit your current season?
Do any goals need to be scrapped because it’s no longer a good fit for your vision for your life?
Do any goals need to be crossed off because you’ve accomplished them ahead of schedule (whoo! Go you!)?
And then, after you’ve done your review, choose a goal or two (try not to choose more than three to prevent overwhelm!) that’ll make the biggest impact in your business and that you’ll be dedicating your focus on for the next quarter. Make this your 90-day challenge. Write it down on a post-it note that you won’t help but notice every workday.
☐ Review your contracts & policies
Gather all the contracts and policies that you have in your business. Service agreements, privacy policies, vendor agreements, your lease… the whole gamut.
Check to see if you’re agreeing to do anything you’d rather not. Double-check to make sure they’re all still legally valid. Triple-check to make sure they’re in line with your business goals.
Don’t forget to make note of upcoming renewal dates. Block time in your calendar to renew, cancel, or even negotiate better terms.
After working on the internal workings of your business, it’s now time to work on where the magic of your work happens.
Channel your inner Marie Kondo. Does your physical workspace spark joy?
I’m a person who likes seeing what I’m working on laid out in front of me. As much as I love minimalist home interiors, for me, out of sight is out-of-mind. So, for my workspace, that just means I have to be intentional about what I keep on my work table… and what gets hidden in file folders at the end of the workday.
Don’t forget your digital workspace too!
While memory storage is cheap, a decluttered digital folder makes it easier to find things later on when we need them. Delete duplicates, archive files you no longer need, organize what’s left in a file organizing system that makes sense for you.
Our inboxes can get quite full too. Personally, I’m a fan of Mike Vardy of Lifehack’s take on Inbox Zero. That is… treat our inbox as a processing zone. Once we read a letter, we decide what to do with it:
- Is this something I want for my info to read later? If yes, archive it.
- Can I deal with this letter in 2 minutes? If yes, deal with it.
- Do I need more than 2 minutes to deal with this letter? Put it on my to-do-list.
Now that you have this checklist, spring cleaning your business will be a breeze. And maybe, dare I say it, fun? Quarterly reviews help us celebrate all the successes our business has had so far, and usher us into the next few months with a game plan. Ready to conquer the next three months? Let’s do this!
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