Spring cleaning is a great habit to have. It helps eliminate clutter and debris that have accumulated over the cold winter months so that we can enjoy spring and nice weather without being weighed down by unnecessary baggage.
This shouldn’t stop with home, though. You should also spring clean your small business, not just for physical clutter, though, but also how you run your business. After doing some tidying up, you will be able to find increased efficiency and productivity by throwing out the clutter that has been in the way of things getting accomplished as smoothly as possible.
Here are five ways to spring clean your small business and increase productivity.
1. Do You Need to Micromanage Everything?
When you run your own small business, it’s understandable that you might want to maintain oversight and some control over just about everything your employees are working on. However, this might not actually be the best plan, and there are times when you need to let go of some of that control.
In fact, there are likely times when your vision and point of view is not the best one for a specific project within your company. Take some time to assess the various duties you have and how much of your company you directly manage. Then ask yourself if any of these responsibilities could or should be delegated to someone else. By cleaning up this aspect of your day to day tasks, you will give yourself more time to focus on the bigger picture, and your entire company will find more productivity thanks to more focused and specific management.
2. Spring Clean Your Work Space, Spring Clean Your Small Business
When was the last time you reorganized and/or rearranged your work space? Is there clutter? Are you holding onto old documents that are now out of date and unnecessary?
It can be extremely easy to grow too comfortable and settled, or even complacent, with the physical space where we work. Think about the things in your work space that distract you, as well as what helps you be more productive. Eliminate things that interrupt your workflow and emphasize those that help you. Don’t be afraid to shake things up and experiment with different set ups.
You should also make sure to open this freedom to your employees and encourage them to come to you with any concerns they have about workplace distractions. Every employee has unique needs and creative processes, and sometimes the needs of different employees can be at odds with each other. What works for some people simply might not work for others. This does not make either more right or wrong than the other, necessarily, and there is likely a solution that will work for everyone involved.
If you or your employees do any amount of work from home, it is especially important that work spaces be designed to eliminate distractions and optimize productivity. In this case, in order to spring clean your small business, you might need to do some actual spring cleaning.
3. Take Another Look at Long-Term Projects
Do you have any long-term projects hanging over your head that never seem to go anywhere? Do smaller day-to-day concerns seem to constantly come up and get in your way of making serious progress on these larger projects?
It can be both extremely frustrating and quite stressful to have things like this constantly on your to-do list but never having enough time to get to them. This also will cut into your productivity, both on these big projects, and other tasks that you could be focusing more time on if you had less on your plate.
As you spring clean your small business, it might be time to take another look at these long-term projects, and make some decisions about how you should handle them moving forward. Ask yourself:
- Is this project important to the company’s overall plans and goals?
- Is timeliness a factor for this project?
- Is there someone better equipped to complete any portion of the project?
By taking an honest look at your long-term projects and asking these questions, you will be able to make better decisions about how you proceed with them. You might realize it would be better to get it finished up and off your to-do list, or you might need to put that project aside for a while to focus elsewhere.
4. Streamline Workflow
What does your company’s overall workflow look like? How many rungs of the ladder must be climbed in order for a question to be answered or a decision to be made? Do projects ever come to a grinding halt between stages? What dams are there in your company’s workflow, and are they actually necessary?
If multiple people or teams at your company are involved in a project, process can get slowed down when one phase must be completed before the next one begins. Sometimes this is truly unavoidable, but even in these instances there are almost always ways to more smoothly hand off the project between phases.
Instead of waiting for one phase to be completed then dropping the project off on the next team, the two sides should communicate leading up to this transition—giving updates on progress and timelines, and preparing for next steps to ease ease this transition. That way, there is no lull in progress while everyone gets up to speed.
5. Reduce Time Spent in Meetings
While keeping your meetings on track and productive should always be a goal for your company, it might be a good time to really take stock of how effective meetings are being. If you find that time is being wasted during them, it is important to figure out what the source for this is. Then, you can decide how to best deal with the issue.
You may not find that time is even being wasted during meetings, necessarily, but that the meeting itself is not worthy of the time being devoted to it. Meetings can cut into productivity, not only just in the amount of time spent in them not being available for other tasks, but also in how they interrupt workflow.
After a meeting, it can be difficult for many employees to immediately jump back into their work at the same pace they were at before the meeting. This is completely understandable, so you should factor it into how you plan and schedule meetings.
Instead of scheduling two short meetings at different times in the day, could it be possible for you to condense these into one slightly longer meeting or schedule them next to each other? That way, any employee required to attend both meetings will only have their day interrupted once.
These are five ways we thought of to spring clean your small business, but there are many others as well! What are some of your favorite ways to get rid of the clutter in your business practices?