Spring is almost here! The change of the seasons has people itching to tidy up their rooms, clean out their closets and bring a breath of fresh air into their homes. But spring cleaning isn’t only a good idea for where you live. Small business owners can also benefit from doing a little spring cleaning of their own.
Aside from the physical aspects of cleaning, business owners should engage in some “tidying up” of their plans and financials. Because spring falls at the end of Q1, now is the perfect time to get organized and make sure you’re on track for the year ahead.
Review your goals
The first step in every spring cleaning journey is to take stock of where you are and where you want to go. In business, your business plan holds all these answers!
Take a close look at your business plan to determine whether your business is on track to meet your monthly, quarterly, yearly and overall goals. Are you ahead or behind? In what areas might you be falling short? Does the business plan need to be updated to align with a new vision?
Identify problem areas and make a strategic plan to get back on track. Use these goals to inform the rest of your “spring cleaning” decisions.
Tidy up your budget
Small business budgets are an unfortunate source of mess! If you’re not paying close attention to your budget, things can quickly spiral out of control.
Make sure your projected revenue is in line with your Q1 sales data. If it’s not, make adjustments for the rest of the year. Then, go over your fixed expenses and make sure everything is being paid in full and on time. After that, review your variable and discretionary expenses and find costs you might be able to cut.
The last step should be checking on your cash reserves pool and evaluating cash flow to ensure your capital will be stable heading into Q2. Once all these steps are complete, clean up your books. Digitize and save receipts, documents and financial files so everything is organized.
Freshen up your marketing plan
Marketing plans can get stale if they’re not consistently reviewed and updated. Take a comprehensive look at all your marketing efforts—physical advertisements, direct mail, social media, Google Ads and more.
Determine the return on investment for each marketing element. This will show you which marketing channels are helping your business thrive and which aren’t doing much. Consider cutting the budget for channels that aren’t producing results, or tweaking the processes you’re using to improve their performance.
Also take the time to freshen up your digital channels. Websites and social media profiles can quickly become outdated. Revamping your content will ensure you’re putting your best foot forward to new customers.
Take stock of and clear out inventory
Cleaning up your inventory is something you should be doing at least once a quarter, but it makes a great spring cleaning step! Take a look at what you have on hand. Determine the items you need to operate your business smoothly—do you have enough of everything for Q2?
Then, look for potentially old or outdated inventory. As you prepare for Q2 sales, what could you get rid of to make space for new items? Now might be the great time for a spring sale to recoup your investment and start the new season fresh.
Make way for the new
One of the best parts of spring cleaning is getting rid of the old to make way for the new. With your books balanced, your inventory sorted and your business vision re-aligned, you can take a look at new investments.
Spring is a great time to invest in new technologies that streamline your operational processes, like automated marketing programs or accounting software. It’s also good to evaluate whether you’re in need of extra help. Hiring and training new employees now will ensure you’re properly staffed for the remainder of the year.
Of course, investing in new things requires capital. If your small business is in need of funding to take the next step forward, Tenet Financial Group can help. Contact us to learn about our financial products, including ROBS retirement plan funding, SBA loans and lines of credit.