Spring has sprung, and that means it's time for some spring cleaning. I'm not sure where the tradition started, but it seems to be fairly universal in homes across the globe. But businesses can also benefit from periodic fixing up, just a precision equipment might need occasional adjustments to remain in perfect working order. Have you allowed some slack to creep into the mechanism? Have small inefficiencies or inconsistencies snowballed into large problems over the course of the year? Allow me to suggest a few areas you might want to check for cobwebs.
Time management. Do you have a firm grip on your schedule as a business owner? Can you focus on the daily activities that actually earn you money, or do you waste time passively reacting to every emergency that decides to have its way with you? Stop and examine your schedule for "time thieves" that sap your productivity and earning power. For instance, are you still writing your own marketing content, even though that's not really what you should be doing with your billable time? Some strategic outsourcing to a skilled, experienced freelance copywriter just might solve that problem....
Money management. This area obviously relates directly to time management, but it also merits attention on its own. Has your business expanded beyond the capacity of your current money management system? Have small extra expenditures here and there drained money from your coffers in ways you never noticed? Now's the time to notice and respond. It may also be time to determine where your business needs deeper investment in specific areas so it can grow properly. Are you marketing your brand effectively? Many businesses make the mistake of trimming their marketing budget first when things get tight -- even though it's the only part of their budget that exists solely to generate revenue! If you want to bring in more money, maybe you need to spend more money on your marketing efforts.
Strategy management. Sometimes a business must make a major change in its target market, operations, products, services, or strategies. For instance, I've shifted more toward working with marketing agencies as opposed to end users, even though I'm still happy to take requests from both target audiences. I've also introduced a monthly retainer option for clients who just want to have me "on call" for any mix of writing, editing, and proofreading. You may find that your own company needs to make a transition of some sort, including a new or different approach to your marketing. Whatever changes you face, don't let fear, fatigue, or complacency sabotage your future success -- whip out that broom, and start sweeping!