December 9, 2016
I realize that looking outside the window, we are far from Spring, but with the new year coming quickly now is a great time to spring clean your business and get it ready to head into 2017 with focus and energy. Granted, I know that this time of year has many of us running around like crazy between trying to keep up with business orders and personal commitments as well so I’m not suggesting you find a big block of time to do all of the following. Instead, when you find yourself with 5 or 10 minutes here and there, start working on some of these bullet points. This is the type of thing that doesn’t take a ton of focus and a little bit really does go a long way.
Some ideas of things you can do now that will help get your business ready for 2017:
- Delete old emails that you don’t need. This includes newsletters you meant to get to but never did and promotions from other businesses. If there are some emails you feel are necessary to keep on file, put them into a file folder within your email system so they will be easy to access down the road. Cleaning out your inbox is one of those little things that can drop your stress level substantially. Just think how you’ll feel when your email tells you that you only have a few unread messages versus hundred (or, in my case, thousands!)
- While you’re at it with regards to your email inbox, now’s the time to also unsubscribe or otherwise filter into folders the things that are just cluttering up space in your inbox. If it’s not getting read on a regular basis then it’s time to move it out of your main sight line.
- Moving onto to more old-fashioned pen and paper, is your current organizational system working for you in terms of being able to store and easily retrieve, as needed, the paper portion of your business? If not, now’s the time to start figuring out a new organizational system. And if what you have is working for you, have you managed to get everything filed away or are there a few things that still need to find a home. Now’s a great time to put those odds and ends away.
- Have you clipped out articles or other resources during the year and stored them to look at again later? Pull them back out and see if they still resonate with you. If not, don’t be afraid to recycle those. Your business and your marketplace are constantly evolving so once your business has moved past a certain point, don’t waste time looking back or holding onto information that’s no longer relevant.
- While this doesn’t fall into the ‘quick 5-10 minutes to achieve’ bucket, if you haven’t done so already, you should also start thinking about what your business goals for next year are going to be and begin drafting out your business plan. This can be as simple as a one page business plan as long as it will clearly outline where it is you want your business to go and what steps you need to take in order to achieve that. Post this somewhere you can see it on regular basis to make sure you’re staying on track.
- Lastly, and again this falls into the ‘takes more time’ category, if you don’t have time now then schedule time in your calendar for doing a deep clean of your kitchen. You’ve been using it all year and even if you’ve been cleaning along the way, there’s bound to be some things that haven’t gotten cleaned as well as they should have as you’ve been busy building your business. If you work in a shared or incubator kitchen, you may not be able to clean the entire space, but give your work space, equipment and storage some serious elbow grease. Not only will it help you feel better about where you’re producing your food, it also makes for a more hygienic environment.