Business owners should find time in spring to clean up their processes and review their company's performance over the last year.
Business owners must always consider several factors when prioritizing their spring-cleaning effort. Some of the most important tasks include reviewing the company's financial records, updating the software used in day-to-day operations and assessing the performance of the employees.
Read below for the best tips for clearing out the dust on your business this spring.
- Keep your technology up-to-date
- Review employee performances
- Clean up your books.
1. Keep your technology up-to-date
A cluttered hard drive slows down computers and exposes them to external threats. Individuals typically ignore going through data and clearing out documents or applications that are no longer useful. However, removing outdated and old software systems more regularly reduces the risk of a security breach or fraud.
Moreover, you should use this time to update the software used by yourself and your employees to ensure that your business performs at maximum capacity. For a business operating in the retail industry, a software update is an essential annual task in order to ensure that day-to-day operations are uninhibited.
After clearing out old data and ensuring that your software is operating correctly, you should consider providing attention to your company's website. Perhaps your organization needs a new design for its logo to reflect the company's current status, or the website might need to remove outdated information. Either way, businesses should consider a website facelift as a critical element of their technology update process during their annual spring-cleaning.
Consider these items when planning reorganization and cleaning up of your website.
- Social media
- Responsive web design
- Reevaluate your CMS
- Get product involved.
- SEO. The SEO industry is growing rapidly and if you're not properly optimizing your site, you're behind. Make sure you're working with a well-seasoned SEO to optimize your site for overall user experience and organic performance. Driving organic traffic to your site is the most cost-effective way to grow your business online.
- Social media. A well-groomed social media presence is very important to your business's online presence. You'll want to make sure you're posting interesting and interactive content regularly, informing users of the latest on your business, promoting special events, products or services and more. Make sure you're also linking your website to your social media and your social media back to your website.
- Responsive web design. When considering responsive web design, you'll want to fully understand what users on your site are experiencing when landing on your pages. Is the site loading quickly? Are images and videos appearing and are they clear? Does every part of your site click when clicked on? Is your site sending 404 errors to users? Does your site shrink to a mobile or tablet size when using those devices?
- Reevaluate your CMS. Most businesses, unless very new, have pretty outdated websites. If your website was developed in the 1990s or early 2000s, it's 100% plausible your site needs a redesign. Consider which CMS you're using now, what new CMS software is readily available to you now and which would be more useful for your site, products and services.
- Get product involved. When considering the redesign or removal of your site, make sure to include your product team in the process. If everything breaks, there will be nothing to clean.
2. Review employee performances
As spring starts, business owners should not procrastinate in assessing their employees' performance. A business owner can conduct an employee performance review by looking closer at their effectiveness with clients and day-to-day operations. You should consider consulting with employee supervisors to receive a third-party view of the employee's performance over the last year.
In addition, managers or the owner may contact clients to receive feedback to determine the individual's value to the organization. Suppose the client feedback is mostly positive, and the employee has a repeated history of meeting deadlines while submitting quality work. In that case, business owners should consider these employees the most essential members of their team, which may be rewarded with a promotion or salary increase.
However, if some employees receive negative feedback, business owners should work with them to resolve issues and improve their work performance.
For employees, in order to maximize the time it takes to perform a self-evaluation and receive an evaluation from your manager, you should consider the following prior to review time.
- Review your goals and accomplishments
- Prepare examples of your value, backed by facts and figures
- Consider asking for a raise
- Be ready for negative feedback.
- Review your goals and accomplishments. Consider within the last year all the tasks you successfully completed that were both in your job description and outside of it. Did you go above and beyond to complete your work? We're you willing to accept duties outside what's under your specific job description? Were you on time with work and did you meet all deadlines? What wins did you present to your team?
- Prepare examples of your value, backed by facts and figures. It's easy to say you did a great job, but it's more impactful when you have the proof to back it up. Collect data and insights into your work and where you were successful. This is your time to remind your managers of the great work you do.
- Consider asking for a raise. While most companies include a standard yearly raise when evaluations come around, you might feel you deserve a little more or there may not be an annual raise available at your company. Asking politely and explaining why you feel a raise is deserved can do no wrong. Be prepared for any answer, though.
- Be ready for negative feedback. Like the above, you need to be prepared for any type of feedback that comes your way. While you may feel you've gone above and beyond, or your numbers are great, there may not be enough data to prove it. Or, you may have some developing to work on as an employee. Whatever the case may be, be open to it. There's no harm in learning more in the next year than you did last year.
3. Clean up your books
Every successful business has a well-organized account book that keeps a record of all business-related costs and financial transactions throughout the year. A functioning account record will help your business make smart financial decisions and investments down the line, but it requires you to keep track of your books.
Therefore, business owners should find some time during the spring to review their accounting records by organizing them, filing receipts and reviewing other files. This advice goes hand in hand with keeping updated software systems that may assist business owners with digitizing their accounting records and past-years data.
Failure to keep track of your financial records and receipts will cause many headaches down the road with the Internal Revenue Service.