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Ask SCORE: Time to do some spring cleaning for your small business

By SCORE
April 15. 2018 10:00PM




With spring upon us, rather than the usual Q&A, this month we’d like to offer some spring cleaning tips for your small business.

Small business owners have a multitude of responsibilities to tend to every day. Naturally, as they focus on what’s most important in the moment, some tasks will either fall through the cracks or pile up. Over time, that can cause distraction and hurt a business’ efficiency and effectiveness.

If you’re discovering that what’s left undone is thwarting your productivity, why not commit to fitting time into your April schedule to do a little “spring cleaning” for your business?

Here are some suggestions to help you give your business a breath of fresh air this spring. Most are small changes, but they can make a big difference in your ability to focus clearly.

• Free up space on your computer’s hard drive by deleting files/documents you no longer need. Pay particular attention to your “downloads” folder. If you need to maintain files and documents within it, save them to other folders that are appropriate for them.

• Reduce clutter at your workstation by doing two things: Review the pile of business cards you’ve collected at networking events, and connect with those people on LinkedIn. Then dispose of the cards in the trash.

• If you have vendors’ brochures and the other marketing literature laying around for future reference, consider bookmarking their website addresses instead so you can learn more about them later — and then throw away the paper collateral.

• Purge your email inbox and folders of messages you’ve already responded to or that are no longer relevant.

• Create a Word document or Excel spreadsheet to store all the blog topic ideas that have popped into your head. That way you’ll have a central place where you can capture your creativity and pull topics from when you need them.

• Consider backing up all of your files with an automated cloud-based file storage solution. There’s nothing like peace of mind to help improve focus.

• Also take a fresh look at your business plan and update anything that’s no longer accurate or relevant. This may take more time than the other suggestions, but it’s something every entrepreneur should do regularly in good times and bad. Likewise, review your marketing strategy to assess what’s working and what isn’t.

A little spring cleaning now can help you maintain focus on managing your business more effectively in all seasons. For more guidance on navigating the many demands of entrepreneurship, reach out to your local SCORE chapter to talk with mentors knowledgeable in all aspects of starting and growing a business.

This column is brought to you by the Merrimack Valley Chapter of SCORE, with nearly 55 current and former business executives available to provide free, confidential, one-on-one business mentoring and training workshops for area businesses. Call (603) 666-7561 or visit merrimackvalley.score.org for information on mentoring, upcoming workshops and volunteer opportunities. SCORE is a national, nonprofit organization and a resource partner of the U. S. Small Business Administration.



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