Have you ever thought about how decluttering your business can start your new year strong and successful?
It’s a new year, and it’s time to firm up our plans for the months ahead. To start strong in the new year, you should get ready now. One of the best things you can do to prepare is a year-end business inventory and declutter. If you’re not familiar with this, here’s how to declutter your business for a strong start next year.
Just for the record, this isn’t something you have to wait until the new year to do. You can choose any time to be the start of your “business year” and declutter your business and plan for that. In some businesses, December and January may be far too busy for planning and decluttering. In others, it’s the perfect time.
When I had a photography studio, I worked way too many hours in December to think about anything beyond getting orders out, so I generally chose January as my declutter, organize, and plan month. If another month works better for you, bookmark this post to reread at your “new year” time.
How to Declutter Your Business
Organize your records. Make sure you have everything ready for tax time. Check to make sure your records are complete and ready to hand off to your bookkeeper, accountant, or tax professional. Doing it now ensures you won’t have a mad scramble in April. And your financial professionals will thank you for it.
Check your licenses and certifications. Are there licenses or certifications that need renewing for your business? This includes things like business licenses, name registration, sales tax licenses, etc. Letting any of these lapse could mean closing down your business. If you haven’t already, put reminders on your calendar at least 30 days out for each renewal so you don’t miss anything.
Review your pricing. Is your pricing still appropriate? Does anything need changing? Do you need to increase prices or decrease prices? You may need both depending on the product or service.
Review your subscriptions, both paid and free. This includes subscriptions to physical magazines and newsletters as well as e-mail newsletters. Review products, apps, and plugins you use in your business and pay for on a subscription basis. It’s easy to forget what you’re paying for automatically, whether monthly or yearly. Some of the things to look at are website themes, plugins, reference sites, training courses, support sites, or ongoing group coaching.
Are you making use of them or are they just taking up space in your inbox or in your bank account? Do some need upgrading or downgrading? Do you want to review others to see if there is a better alternative?
Review your product line. Whether you offer physical products, digital products, or services they all need reviewing. What were your best sellers? What were the duds? Do some of your products need updating? Do some need to be replaced entirely?
Pull out those financial records and see what brought in the most income? And what brought in the least income? It may be tough to separate yourself from a favorite product or service, but looking objectively at the numbers can help you make the decision to declutter it from your business to make it stronger.
After you’ve completed your product/service analysis, are there any new products you want to add to your business? You don’t have to add them immediately, but draw up a plan for the changes you want to make.
Review your vendors and suppliers. Are they meeting your needs and expectations? Are they still the right suppliers for your business? If you are making changes in your product line-up, do you also need to change some vendors? This can often be one of the most difficult parts of decluttering your business. When you have a vendor or supplier with whom you have a good relationship, it can be hard to let go.
Before you discontinue a good vendor relationship because of business changes, reach out to discover if they can meet your new needs, or perhaps have some recommendations for you. The best suppliers can be almost like a silent business partner, offering you help and ideas to grow your business. And sometimes they have ideas for how to declutter your business offerings that are no longer working as well. Plus, they know what your competitors are up to and may be able to give you a heads up.
When was the last time you thought about decluttering your computer? A digital declutter can help speed up your computer, and make it easier to find files. You can learn more about doing a digital declutter here. And while you’re at it, I recommend adding a cloud backup service like Backblaze so you won’t have to worry about losing any critical business files.
Education and Training
Review this year’s training and education. How did it go? Did you achieve your educational goals this year? What might you do differently next year to improve?
Do you have skills you need or want to upgrade or refresh? What new things do you want to learn in the coming year? Do you have continuing education requirements for your industry?
Now is a good time to make a list of courses, and if you can, take advantage of year-end sales and discounts. Otherwise, set your budget and timetable for training programs, CE, classes, conferences, and conventions in the coming year.
Evaluate your workspace. Is it working for you? Is it large enough, or too large? Do you need to consider a new space? Are there things that would make your existing space more comfortable and functional? Are there changes that could help you feel more productive in this space?
These changes could include physical decluttering and organizing, deep cleaning, new artwork, a different desk/workstation or chair, better lighting, upgraded computer monitors, or better storage. Perhaps what your space needs is a physical declutter and reorganization to return to top functionality.
You may not be able to make all the changes at once, but make a list, prioritize what you want changed, calculate the cost and time involved, and plan it out.
Once you get started on your business decluttering journey, you may well think of additional things to add. This is a basic list of how to declutter your business. If you want to grow your business next year, but are feeling overwhelmed, let’s talk. I can help you know how to declutter your business for a strong start—or a revamp. Click here now for a free, no-obligation, consultation.