Has your company's storage room turned into a black hole? Is your desk drawer overflowing with business cards from forgotten contacts? A chaotic storage closet and cluttered office desk are more than just eyesores. They could also be financial black holes, filling up with business supplies you don't need (but keep re-ordering) or represent a stack of great business leads just waiting for your email.
These tips may help you spring clean your office- and maybe even uncover some hidden financial savings or new business leads in the process.
Are you holding on to printers or computers you never use? Depending on the equipment's age and condition, you may be able to donate this equipment to a local nonprofit and receive a tax deduction. Next, organize your supply cabinet. Do you have stacks of printer paper or boxes of pens that aren't being used? Take an inventory of everything you currently have and save it as a shared document everyone can access. Ask employees to check this document before ordering any new supplies in the future!
Does your company still print and file hard copies of every document? Now may be the time to say goodbye to those clunky metal filing cabinets and make an enterprise-wide move to electronic storage. Doing so can help eliminate much of the paperwork associated with accounting, budgeting, and HR. Plus, you'll have real-time access to important data, streamlining workflow.
Open up those desk drawers and consolidate all your business cards into a single pile. Next, start a master spreadsheet with lead contact information such as name, email, phone number and important details. Maybe you jotted down a few notes on the back of your lead's business card after you met at a networking event earlier this year; be sure those details make it into the spreadsheet. Next, use this list to guide outreach. Identify five people to meet for lunch or coffee over the next month and send an outreach email now while it's fresh in your mind.
Digital clutter can be just as distracting as physical clutter. The Radicati Group estimates more than 205 billion emails are sent each day. Keeping up with the constant deluge can feel like a Sisyphean task! But falling behind can also mean that important messages get buried in the chaos. If your inbox is filled with old email blasts and industry newsletters, set aside time to permanently delete or archive this information. Finally, scan any emails you've flagged for follow-up over the last few months. Do you still need to take action or has the issue been resolved? If so, send a quick message now. Your inbox may never be empty, but at least your follow-up list can get down to zero.
When you run a small business, it's hard enough tackling your to-do list each day, much less finding time to keep the office orderly and organized. Sure, clearing out the storage closet or eliminating your inbox clutter is important, but finding time to actually get those tasks done may seem impossible. Break these spring cleaning tasks down into smaller, manageable action items and then block time on the calendar for each. Set aside 20 minutes to tackle your inbox or 30 minutes to inventory the supply closet. The entire task may not get completed in that time frame, but you'll at least make a solid start. Just don't forget to book a "follow up" appointment to finish the job!