Technically it might be a bit early for spring-cleaning, but I’ve always thought the new year is a great time to tidy up small business…in the broadest sense of the word.
Finance is a good place to start. Delve in a little deeper into how your business performed over the last six months. If you have accounting software it will make this task a lot easier, but even without it your regular records should be enough.
First, list your clients or customer groups by sales and profit. A big issue for small businesses is relying too heavily on one or two key clients – putting all the eggs in one basket – which can turn pear shaped when a customer drops away.
However, this exercise is even better for highlighting the amount of revenue gained from particular markets, in relation to the amount of time and resources spent on them. It can be a bit of a revelation to realise that some time-consuming customers don’t actually stack up in terms of profit.
Next, take a look at revenue on a monthly basis and see if there are any trends. Can they or can’t they be explained? Importantly, are they likely to be repeated this year? This financial analysis of your business cycle can help you figure out if and when money should be spent on targeted marketing campaigns to ensure steady revenue growth throughout the year.
While your “cleaning up”, spend some time on what’s most likely one of your most important business tools-your computer.