Tired of the cold? Feeling sluggish? In a winter slump? In our personal life, after the dark, cold months of winter we start thinking about getting back to the gym, cleaning out the garage or planning a new vacation. Warmer temps and long days are a great excuse to get active again and the activity has positive results on our health and attitude. Businesses need to get active after a long, slow winter, too. If your business, or career, has been stuck in hibernation, here are some simple steps to get yourself and your business moving.
Seven tips to spring into action:
1. Clear out and clean up. All kinds of businesses and sales organizations can use a little spring cleaning. Along with dusting off the shelves and cleaning out the storage cabinets, expand your spring cleaning definition to include dumping outdated policies, repetitive procedures or ancient equipment. Whether you're part of busy corporate office environment or work independently from home, taking the time at least once a year to remove clutter, toss old notes and organize paperwork can save your business time in the long run.
2. Let the light in. Really, open up the curtains and take a good look. A fresh perspective may show off areas you've neglected in your business or career. Focus on brightening your physical space and move things around to get the creative juices flowing.
3. Get organized. Does this sound familiar? In the months leading up to tax season we vow to be more organized and prepared next year. Often once we've dropped the files off with the accountant we forget about our promise and do nothing. Instead, start now while the need is fresh and top-of-mind, and put in the proper software or online systems to track sales and expenses, improve record keeping and identify cash flow drains.
4. Dig in the dirt. Work a little dull? Revisit what it was that made you excited about what you do - get back to the basics. Gardeners love to dig... all that dirt is potential, a blank canvas with so much opportunity. Remember that same feeling when you started your business? Bring it back and have some fun. Get rejuvenated. Now's a great time to do that.
5. Plant now for future rewards. Get active now to see results in the future. For example, invest in some education or join an association or networking group (seeds), have patience, nurture and practice what you've learned, then reap the benefits as new skills, clients or resources start to emerge.
6. Encourage growth. Your business won't grow on its own. All businesses lose clients, but healthy businesses add more clients than they lose. Make a plan to increase business, set specific goals and then set up doable steps to make this happen. That may mean making additional phone calls each day, setting up an email campaign, increasing your hours of operation, redesigning your website or extending your product line.
7. Give back to get back. Inject some energy into your work place by getting active and involved in the community. Pick a favorite cause, or let your employees choose one, and donate a little time or some resources. Community involvement is a great way to gain some visibility for your business and provide personal and employee satisfaction. Businesses that support volunteer opportunities for their employees often have happier staff and higher retention. Helping out with a race or organizing a charity auction can give your team members a chance to gain new leaderships skills that can be utilized at work, too.
What are your tips to rejuvenate your business and spring into action?