Spring cleaning tips

Spring has sprung! An unusually soggy late March and early April has finally given way to mild temperatures, and everything is in bloom.

white spring tree blossomsBut what about your business? Is it blooming? If it isn’t, here are a few ways to help it flower.

  • Clear out the clutter. Yes, physical — when was the last time you and your people thoroughly cleaned off desks, inside that nasty fridge, behind bookcases and cabinets? But we’re talking about business activities, too. Which no longer add value to your organization? If certain products or services have outlived market demand, it might be time to sweep them away. Clearing clutter and focusing energy on what’s hot and what’s not might be difficult now but will likely be beneficial in the long run.
  • Get engaged. What, matrimony? Yes, of a sort — a union between your firm and engaged, energetic employees. Are your people disengaged? If you don’t know, it’s probably a good idea to look into it. Disengaged employees are bored, apathetic, focused on inadequacies, unwilling to take on new assignments and generally unhappy. Engaged staff¬†are energetic, eager to take on new challenges, personally invested in success and have a sense of purpose. Which type of employee would you rather have?
  • Look at your garden. Things not blooming for a while now? It could be the industry itself. See this MERIC report on which industries are expected to grow and which to slow by 2024. For example, nonstore retailers are expected to grow by more than 33 percent, e-shopping and mail-order houses more than 48 percent; home healthcare, nearly 44 percent; scientific R&D, nearly 36 percent. Industry in general is expected to grow only about 6 percent but animal production more than 17 percent.
  • Look up at the cloud. Just as you might have to shift your industry focus, this might be a good time to shift your sales efforts, too, to online if you have not already done so. Studies vary enormously, but all point to the undeniable and growing trend of online shopping. Some studies say up to 80 percent of all shopping will be online in a decade or so. Reluctant to establish an online store? Establishing a viable online presence might sound intimidating, but the BDP can help with a step-by-step, commonsense plan.
  • Repurpose. Martha Stewart reportedly first made a living turning old hats into centerpieces and broken chairs into plant holders. Apply this type of thinking to your business. What’s being wasted in terms of material and people? Which folks might be more useful doing something entirely different?
  • Plant some bulbs. College graduation is right around the corner. If you are among the Missouri businesses hiring, think about how to make your company more appealing to the best young job seekers. Many of these individuals, particularly millennials, are invested in social causes and seek socially minded employers. Don’t have a social cause? Yes, you do. You just might not be verbalizing it. Every individual has at least one. Just make sure it’s a cause that unites, not divides.
  • Clean those books. Your head might be swimming with taxes right about now — tax day is today, April 18. How’d it go (or still going?) Was it a nightmare, or was it smooth sailing? If the former, you might want to whip your accounting practices into shape. The BDP has many accounting, bookkeeping and other financial sessions and seminars to help, probably at a location close to you.
  • Look ahead. What, to the holidays? Yes. Mother’s Day, graduation and Father’s Day are right around the corner; summer follows in swift succession; then comes Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday and Christmas. Do you have a plan for these holidays? Here are some year-round tips.