We are well and truly deep into Spring in the UK, and while the weather may not always reflect it, the urge to clear and clean our spaces is deeply rooted in our psyche for this time of year.

It’s not just about pulling out the fridge and cleaning behind there either, but giving your business a little Spring Clean is also a great idea as well. A little audit of where you started at the beginning of the year, where you are now, and where it's going allows you to streamline your efficiency, and make sure you are on track for your goals.

So, if you want to give your work a bit of a spruce, check out our top five tips to clear the decks this Spring.

1. Create A To-Do List

While we are sure you have a neverending to-do list already (don’t we all!) start by doing a big brain dump of everything you have on your plate right now. It doesn’t need to just be your business either, this can be all elements of your life. From that invoice you need to chase, to that social media campaign you wanted to launch, write it all down on a big piece of paper.

You may be concerned that the list will be overwhelming but the very act of putting it on paper can give you an enormous sense of mental clarity.

Once you have it all down, begin to organise these tasks. There are many ways to do this but some popular ones are the Eisenhower Matrix, which gets you to Do, Defer, Delegate or Drop items, and the Action Priority Matrix, which helps you categorise into four sections by Effort and Impact.

And if you’re not sure if it’s something that you will find valuable, in his well-known book “Eat The Frog”, Brian Tracey states that 10-12 minutes of planning your day can actually save at least 2 hours a day.

2. Work Out Your Deliverables

A lot of time we can get bogged down by our business because everything we need to do is so abstract. Rather than working on your marketing through a channel such as LinkedIn, or rearranging your financial filing system based on chronology, you’ll simply call it “Sort finances” or “Do some marketing”. This vagueness can make it hard to know where to start.

Sometimes it can be hard to know where to begin though. Speaking with someone else such as a mentor, or even having a Virtual Assistant that can help you to clarify what needs doing, can be a massive help. Alternatively there are YouTube videos and how-to guides online to get you started.

The hardest part is always the first step.

3. Assess Your Outgoings

Income and expenditure are critical for business, and with inflation and the changes to the price of many items, what was a good deal a year ago may not be the case now.

If you have suppliers, can you speak to them about either renegotiating their terms, or seeing if they can offer more value for loyalty? If you use a particular software package or mobile phone contract, are you on the best rate possible? Is it worth switching to another supplier?

Intermittently, taking a look to make sure that your business is being financially efficient is a great way to maximise your profits and ensure you are getting the best return on investments.

Remember the golden rule though! Just because it’s cheaper doesn’t necessarily mean it will be as good. It can be worth weighing up your options carefully on a number of different factors including, but not limited to, price.

4. Clear Out Your Workspace

It can be hard to concentrate if you are surrounded by clutter, and even the tidiest of minimalists probably has a few extra items on their desk than necessary. Whilst we’re not suggesting that you go entirely minimalist and throw everything away, going through any drawers, notepads, your desktop, and even your computer and phone, to have a clear up can feel life changing.

Once you have worked out what to keep and what to get rid of, make sure that everything has its own home, and then clean the inside of your drawers and your laptop screen. When you’re finished, return everything to its rightful place and enjoy a nice calm space to undertake your work in.

Whether you are someone who finds calm and clarity with a whiteboard and stick note-covered walls, or you’re more the cleaner, minimalist type, it’s safe to say we all have our own styles and preferences for what works. There is no right or wrong answer here, just personal preference.

5. Assess Your Technology

Our final tip is to take a look at all your gadgets and gizmos to work out if they are in good shape or could use an upgrade. In our increasingly connected world your laptop, tablets, mobile phones and more are critical, and if you’re finding that the battery isn’t lasting as long, or your computer is sluggish, it could be time for a new model.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to spend a lot of money either. Many retailers offer refurbished laptops for a lower price, and there are plenty of applications and tools that can help you to speed up your devices. There is also the option to do a bit of good by donating older devices to others through various charitable schemes.

Whatever you do, it’s a good idea to keep records and inform your accountant of any significant changes that could impact your financial situation and amount of tax you owe.

Additionally, if you do decide to clear out and upgrade your technology be sure to recycle or dispose of it in a thoughtful and sustainable way.

It Doesn’t Need To Be Spring Either!

While Spring is typically when people have a little bit of a tidy up, it doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be done at that time of year. Regularly reviewing your business operations, whether it's reassessing your administration, subscriptions, or even your own working hours, allows you to make gradual changes flexibly and efficiently.

Refreshing your professional and personal setup from time to time will help you feel on top of things as a small business owner or founder. When you take the time to step back, it's often easier to identify where improvements can be made and new ideas can benefit your year ahead

If you are looking for someone to help out and support you in your entrepreneurial endeavours, and maybe even take on some of the day-to-day admin then reach out and chat to us about hiring a Virtual Assistant.

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