Does Your Small Business Need a Spring Cleaning?

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It finally happened. We've kicked Old Man Winter to the curb and ushered in a brand new spring. But as we shake off the winter months and prepare for warmer days ahead, have you stopped to consider that maybe your business needs a good spring cleaning as well? Here are some small business spring cleaning tips for you.

Weed Out Your Customer List

No matter how much diligence you put into collecting the data, even the best customer list will grow stale.  People move, email providers change, and other life events can invalidate your customer data. Spring is a great time to tidy up your list and make sure your marketing efforts are going to the right place.

You can use the National Change of Address (NCOA) database to see if your customers have moved since you last heard from them. If so, be sure to update your information for the customer since they have probably been a proven source of business in the past. 

Your customer list may even contain duplicate entries from keying errors and address changes. By cleaning up the duplicates, you save the extra effort on your part while stopping excessive intrusion on theirs.

How good are your customer email addresses? If it has been a while since collection, check to see if you have newer correspondence with the person and update if necessary. You may be able to check your mailer process and see if you are getting bounce backs. Many times a simple keying error can be fixed to restore customer communication.

Ask Your Customers

Spring is a great time to reach out and connect with your customer base. Now that you have your customer list in great shape consider sending out a customer satisfaction survey. The direct customer feedback is an invaluable tool to gauge your company's performance in the eyes of the consumer.

Since it is spring, collecting this information early and making any needed corrections can help set the course for the rest of the year.

Shake the Cobwebs Out of Your Expenses

Part of your small business spring cleaning should involve your expenses. Those cobwebs can collect quickly, smothering your business in a web of cost. Go over any expenses you usually incur, such as utilities, shipping, etc. and see if they can be done better AND cheaper. You may be surprised at what you can find.

Be sure to go the source when checking for expenses. By looking at costs from the spending account used, you may discover some zombie charges that just keep costing you without providing any benefit. 

Ask Your Employees

Many times employees will see a side of the business that you may not. This spring take the time to ask your employees about what works and what is broken. Explain to them that this is a fact-finding mission, and there is no such thing as bad news, just missing information.

Encourage your employees to open up so that you can start the warmer weather addressing any issues and laying the groundwork for a successful year. Once you have basic operations dusted off, the wheels of progress can turn freely.

Scope Out the Competition

Spring is in the air and the grass is growing. Be sure to check and see how your competitors are blossoming. Are you still competitive?  Are there any tweaks to products and services you can do to give you the edge?

A careful analysis of your competitors can help leverage your advantages for both you and your customers. Remember that many times price is not the most critical element to consider when it comes to being competitive.

Springtime is a lot easier with the right tools in your shed. This is also true for your business. Try Act! for free today!