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Spring Cleaning Checklist for Your Small Business

Spring is a time of year when many people prioritize tasks to improve the comfort and quality of their homes and offices. Do you love the feeling of opening the windows and pulling the junk out of the back corner of the closets? It is common for stuff to collect throughout the year, resulting in the need to declutter and make space. Letting go of the clutter is an effective way to decrease your stress levels. This year, look for ways that you can think outside the box when you are putting together your spring cleaning checklist.

As a small business owner or entrepreneur, there are often items that fall to the backburner. You are juggling many priorities throughout the year, and many people feel like their schedules are so full… making it impossible to keep up with other tasks that need to be addressed. If you can’t keep up with everything throughout the year, then it might be time to set aside a few weeks to clean up your systems and practices in your business. Spring cleaning is a great way to create a fresh start and improve the results that you can achieve through the rest of the year.

Here are a few business spring cleaning tasks that should be added to your to-do list:

Drawers, Cabinets, and Office Clutter

How often do you shove papers in the back of the filing cabinet or push old office supplies into a storage closet? Even though your office looks good when people come in to see your desk, it can be stressful and burdensome to know that there are loads of things that need to be fixed in your closet, drawers, and other storage spaces.

If you have a personal office, then it is time to sort through the shelves and see what items are no longer used. It is common for small businesses to get rid of many office supplies when they make a transition to digital accounting. For example, you might be able to get rid of the bulky filing cabinet and folders if you are keeping all of the documents online.

Throw away expired cleaning supplies, outdated training materials, or anything else that is sitting in the closet unused. Even though it might seem like a good idea to hold onto things in case you need them in the future, you are making a mistake by hanging onto every item. Consider the mental burden that it causes when you know that things are piled up. Plus, you also need to think about the increased costs that you are spending on storage space or a larger office so that you have enough room for all of the stuff.

Digital File Cleanup

Not only do you need to get rid of the physical clutter, but it is also important to sort through the digital clutter as well. Going digital is a great way to reduce the clutter in your office, but it is common for the computer files to build up with nonsense as well. Just because things are stored digitally, doesn’t mean that you need to hold onto everything forever.

Put together an effective filing system so that you know when old folders and files need to be deleted. When you have a good archive system, you can move old invoices and receipts out of the way so that you don’t have to sift through those folders every time you are looking for a current document.

If you are always searching for the files that you need right now, then you could be wasting hours of your workweek on the cluttered storage drive. Instead of letting yourself get caught up in the distraction, set a goal to clear these files right now so that you can open up space and simplify daily processes.

Another thing to consider with digital storage is the amount of storage space that is available. If you are storing Word documents and .pdf files, then it isn’t likely that you will run out of space in the future. But, photos and video files can take up a lot of room on your storage drive. As a result, you could be facing the problem of a lack of space, causing increased costs for more room on your storage drive.

Backing Up Digital Storage

Any time the information is stored digitally; you need to be sure that you are using a solution that implements backup systems. If the storage service fails, will you lose all of your customer information and financial records? These details are important to keep on file for several years. For example, you will need to refer to the paperwork if you are ever audited by the IRS. So, make sure that you have a good backup system in place.

It is better to store your files on a secured cloud-storage service instead of keeping everything on your computer. If the computer hard-drive fails, then you will lose all of the information. There are options to back up your computer with services such as Carbonite. Pay the money for the peace of mind to know that you won’t lose your information if something goes wrong with your computer.

Most cloud storage solutions make it easy to access your files from any computer. You can work on the computer as normal, with access to all of the important information that you need. If the computer is damaged, you can access your files using another computer as necessary. Plus, you have access to this information through a smartphone app as well.

Another benefit of a cloud-based system is that you can share file information and access with your accounting team. Hiring outsourced accounting specialists is a great way to free up your time and improve your financial strategy. There’s no reason to have an accountant in your office when all of the information can be shared through digital files and software solutions.

Inventory Assessment

Inventory is another topic that should be addressed with your business spring cleaning checklist. Are there any old products in your inventory that aren’t selling very well? Consider running a flash sale to clear the inventory so that you can make space for new products that are coming later this year.

You also need to think about the trends that are happening in the industry. Evaluating your inventory can help you identify the popular products. Then, you can make adjustments to your sales strategy to offer the products and services that your customers want to buy. A few small adjustments can go a long way to ensure the long-term success of your business.

As you evaluate your inventory, you can see if there is anything that needs to be reordered. Keeping the popular products in-stock ensures that you have the option to sell these items when customers are ready to buy. It is common for business owners to need to plan several months in advance to maintain inventory.

For example, you need to consider upcoming sales and demand during different times of the year. Then, the products need to be ordered with plenty of lead-time for the manufacturing to be completed before the busy season. Missing the order date by a month or two could leave you in a situation where you don’t have products to sell when the customers are ready to buy. Then, you could be stuck with too much inventory because you missed the peak time to sell those products. Strategy matters, which is why you need to think ahead regarding the times and quantities that you order for your stock.

Systems, Contractors, and Employees

The final to-do item on your spring cleaning checklist is the effectiveness of your current systems. Do you have the right software programs and systems to optimize your results and minimize busywork? Are your employees meeting the requirements that are needed to help customers and keep up with daily tasks? It might be time to make a few changes in the way things are done, to ensure optimal performance of your team.

It is easy to get stuck in a rut and continue using systems that have always been implemented. Just because something seems to be working fine, doesn’t mean that there isn’t a better way to improve efficiency. Look to industry experts for insights about the ways that you can improve your internal systems.

When you are having a hard time keeping up with the workflow, then it might seem obvious that you need to hire another employee or two. But, consider the advantage of bringing in an outsourced contractor instead. You can tap into the skillset that is needed without carrying the burden of insurance and overhead costs for employee management. Outsourced accounting and other services can save you thousands of dollars a year while improving your business systems at the same time.

At Easier Accounting, we are here to help with your small business spring cleaning goals. Contact us to see how we can help with your financial tracking and accounting services. We know the best ways to implement effective accounting systems for small businesses and entrepreneurs: (888) 620-0770