“What is a Business Spring Clean?” I hear you ask.
Well, it is setting some time aside from normal business activities to review, and update, parts of your business that often don’t get refreshed.
Too many business owners avoid clean-ups; those that are better than average do a budget once a year, then stick it in the bottom draw never to see the light of day again… (for more info on budgeting see 8 Budget Traps and Tips to Avoid them)
Spring Cleaning your Business is just like spring cleaning your house, you start by having a look at what is there, you work out if things needs a dust, a wash, some repairs, and what really needs to be thrown out or recycled! Once you have assessed everything you then work through from top to bottom getting each area in order until your whole house is clean and tidy.
4 Business Spring Cleaning Tips to get you Started
1. Review your Clients
- When was the last time you check which clients were least profitable, and got rid of the poor performers, the ones that expect everything for free and quibble about every charge?
- Are some clients consistent late-payers, always taking advantage of your cash-flow to benefit theirs instead?
- Do you have a clients or two whom you just hate to deal with, they are rude, or unreasonable?
Probably between 5% – 20% of your clients hurt your business more than helping it be profitable, so fire them!
OK so perhaps you don’t want to be that harsh, but be aware of who these “baddies” are, and either tailor your interactions or their prices accordingly.
e.g. ” Jo, you always pay us three months late, we are a small business and this is hurting our cashflow, so from now on we will be charging you an extra 8% upfront that will cover our finance costs, and we are also happy to discount this should you pay on time.” I recommend you be fair about this and set the interest rate at the standard mortgage rate for your region.
Remember, you are in Business to make profits – not every customer is going to be the right fit for you. Those that are a poor fit will be better if they go elsewhere, so gently encourage them to do so.
On the flip side know who your top clients are, those that make you the most profit, those that send the most referrals, those that make you feel good. Again, tailor your interactions and their prices accordingly.
e.g. “Jan, you always pay us on time, and we appreciate the referral you gave us last week, so from now on we will be giving you a 5% discount whenever you pay on time to show our appreciation .”