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Summer is the best time to take a good, hard look at how your small business is doing. It’s the halfway point of the year, and the perfect time to see what progress you’re making toward your goals, and what action you need to take to finish the year with a bang. During summer, there is still plenty of time to get organized, create new systems, and develop new strategies to meet your goals before the end of the year. Here are three ways to revamp your workspace and prepare your small business for your best fall season ever.
1. Clean Your Office
Summer is the slow season for many small businesses, which makes it a great time to finally get to that spring cleaning you meant to do in April. If paper clutter has accumulated, scan the documents or toss them into a Shoeboxed Magic Envelope. Look for items you can donate or remove - since you’ve gone paperless, you don’t really need that enormous filing cabinet anymore, do you? Make sure each item that you do hang onto has a “home” - a place in the office where it belongs. This way, you’ll never be caught wasting 20 minutes trying to find the stapler.
2. Do Your Taxes
Flashback to a few months ago: there’s you, stressed out, on the phone with your tax preparer right up until the stroke of midnight on April 15th. In order to prevent that from happening next year, start now. You already have a good six month’s worth of expenses to categorize and track, not to mention receipts that need to be organized. Commit to spending 15 minutes per day this summer starting your taxes. You’ll be amazed at how much you get done. Maybe 2015 will be the year you finally file your taxes in February like all the rest of those organized people!
3. Create New Systems
Summer is a great time to reexamine your systems and find ways to streamline productivity. Write down all of the main actions you regularly take to promote your business Next, write down the specific steps you take to complete each action. For example, if your action is sending out an email blast, your steps might be:Write email copyWrite subject lineInsert links and photos into the emailSchedule the email Track results Look at your list. Which steps can be delegated to another team member or virtual assistant? Which steps can be combined to save time? If you send three email blasts per week, it might save you time to prep and schedule them all at once instead of thrice throughout the week. Complete a general “state of the union” for your business. Is your marketing working? Where is most of your website traffic coming from? If you’re pouring money into Facebook ads and not seeing a strong ROI, maybe it’s time to look for different opportunities.
During the low summer season, take advantage of the lull by pressing pause, getting organized, and taking a good, hard look at your systems. Your September-self will be glad you did!