Cleaning Up Your Business
The coronavirus pandemic has rapidly changed nearly all aspects of our daily lives, and businesses are feeling those same effects. With social distancing orders in place through the end of April, many business owners have been forced to make difficult decisions. The outlook may look grim; but it’s important to remember, “this too shall pass.” If there is one good thing that has come out of this, it’s the gift of time. As we navigate through these challenging times, be proactive and look for ways to prepare your business for a faster recovery once this is over. Work on all of those projects that have been on the backburner and finally cross everything off your to-do list.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are some great things to do for your business right now.
Work on Your Strategic Plan
This is a good time to revisit your business plan and update your strategy. The goals you set at the beginning of the year may no longer make sense. During this pause, really look at your business and find opportunities for improvement. Evaluate your processes and procedures and figure out what’s working and what is not. Start by doing a SWOT analysis with your team (via video conference) to identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Even if you have done a SWOT analysis before, it may be helpful to look at your business with fresh eyes given the new circumstances. SWOT has been around for more than 50 years, and it’s a proven tool in the strategic planning process.
Once you have a clear picture of where your business stands, update your strategic plan. It’s very likely the coronavirus pandemic has railroaded your plans for the next month or two, at minimum. It’s important to develop a plan for recovery, but it’s also important for business owners to be forward thinking and develop more long-term for the future. If you determine your current business model isn’t working, now is the time to hit reset.
Deal with Digital Clutter
Many of us have used these quarantine days to do some spring cleaning and organizing in our homes, but digital clutter can be just as problematic as physical clutter. Organize your files, delete or archive old documents, and make sure you have a good folder structure that makes sense. Apply those same methods to your inbox. Try a service like Unroll.me to remove unwanted e-mail subscriptions from your inbox. If you need to delete a lot of e-mails (ahem, you know who you are), search your mailbox for the word “unsubscribe” and you’ll be able to see all of your subscription e-mails and delete them in bulk.
Once you’ve cleaned up your data, work on decluttering your computer and phone. Get rid of programs or apps you no longer need. Organize your desktop or home screen. Do those system or software updates you’ve been putting off because you didn’t have time.
Update your Logo
Everything in life changes with time – fashion trends, hairstyles, technology – and your logo should evolve, too. Even if you once loved your logo, over time it can feel dated or no longer relevant. Click here to see how some of the major brands of the world have changed their logos over the years.
Take a closer look at your logo and solicit unbiased advice to determine whether changes are needed to make your brand more modern or professional. Think beyond the actual design, and start by determining if your business name is still working for you. You may have a clever business name, but is it clear? If it doesn’t clearly identify the services or products you provide, it may be necessary to modify your actual business name.
When looking at the design of your logo, make sure it appeals to your target audience. For example, if you sell luxury goods, does your design appeal to an upscale audience? If your mission or services have changed or expanded since you first started, it may be time to update your logo to reflect those changes. An example of this would be Dunkin Donuts which changed its logo to Dunkin’ after expanding food and beverage offerings beyond coffee and donuts.
Evaluate Your Website
Take a good look through your website. Is everything up to date? Do you have all of the information on there that you want to? Make sure all of your links are working properly. Read over ALL of the content to check for typos or out-dated information. Then take a look at your competitors’ websites. How does your website compare? If you need a website redesign, this is a great time to do it.
Enhance your Social Media Presence
If your business isn’t on social media, now is the time to fix that! Make sure you are using the social media platforms that make sense for your business. Tik Tok and Twitter aren’t for everyone. Engage on social media platforms that your customers are using. If you already have a good social media foundation, expand on it. Make sure your profile is filled out completely and includes the right keywords for your business to show up in a search. In addition to keywords, start using hashtags. Hashtags help new followers find your business. Look to see what social media influencers in your industry are using, and consider creating your own branded hashtag. Here are some tips on hashtags.
Social media is challenging for many businesses right now. It’s ok (and in some cases, advisable) to slow down on posting, but it’s important to remain active. Many consumers believe a company has gone out of business if their social media pages aren’t current. Look through the content you have shared. Update photo albums, delete photos, pins, Instagram highlights or anything else that may be outdated. While you’re cleaning up your business accounts, make sure your personal accounts are up-to-date as well, especially LinkedIn. Check your privacy settings and make sure you are sharing your personal information with the people you want to see it.
Try Something New
Use this time to enhance your skills or work on a new project. Most of us have a list of ideas we haven’t had time to work on...now is your chance! Here are some suggestions:
Start a blog (Blogs are great for SEO)
Try a new social media platform like Pinterest or YouTube
Make a video (72% of people prefer to watch a video over reading text)
Reach out to social media influencers you would like to collaborate with
Learn new skills - participate in webinars, sign up for an online training, read, listen to podcasts