Cyber week has ended and Black Friday is behind us, and so are some great deals. This may be the season of gift giving and making year end purchases, but do you know what you actually need?
Have you asked yourself: What do I already have, and do I have too much?
This past Black Friday, instead of playing into the media hype of buy, buy, buy, my wife and I purged our home of excess clutter. We brought over a dozen bags to our local donation center and overfilled our recycle bin.
We also discovered many perfectly good household items hidden in the clutter—it was like Christmas morning—and we realized how we could repurpose our junk room into a functional home office.
Not only can you do this in your home, you can do the same thing with your workplace. Here are five ways you can de-clutter and streamline your business.
1. Use software to organize your customer records
Do you still shuffle papers and hunt through random emails and texts to find information on customers and possible leads?
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can help organize your customer information into an easy-to-search and manage database, which can help track sales performance on the individual customer level.
Gene Marks, a leading customer relationship management consultant, states that most small business owners don’t know how much business they are losing until they utilize CRM software to reach their true customer acquisition and retention potential.
2. Take inventory of your inventory
Have you ever found an extremely expired container of food in your home that you would never serve to your family? It’s a reminder to periodically go through your fridge and pantry to dispose of spoiled food.
Disposing of your company’s outdated inventory also holds value. Do you have stock that is never used or sold in the back of your store or in your warehouse? Go through your inventory to see if you have outdated products or materials that could be purged, so you can gain valuable storage space.
Organizing may be as simple as going through your office closet and donating supplies that are no longer needed. You may have some older stock that you think may be in demand one day, but ask yourself if you truly think it’s worth the time and money it takes to manage it?
If you have not already, take some time to see if you can find the right inventory management software for your business.
3. Determine if your assets need to be replaced
Is that tired printer ready to retire? Is the furniture in your office or store ready to be displayed at a second-hand shop? If so, then start looking at some of your assets that have lost their luster.
Reassess the performance and use of your equipment and other assets because now is the time to replace them with end of year sales coming up soon.
4. Purge outdated promotional materials
Do you still have boxes of posters, flyers, brochures, or coupons with outdated or invalid information?
My wife, a small business owner, recently found stacks of her old business cards and informational packets with outdated information and graphics. Those paper products are now helping to warm our house via our fireplace, instead of taking up an entire drawer in her office and making possible customers frustrated and confused.
Go through your promotional materials to see if you think they are still valid. Ask yourself:
- Is the contact information incorrect?
- Does the logo or image not match my current brand?
- Does it display an organization no longer associated with my company?
- Are any expired dates displayed?
- Is the general design drastically outdated?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then chuck that antiquated piece of promo.
5. Retire your attire
We all have those comfy well-worn pants or trusty old work polos, but when was the last time you breathed new life into your wardrobe?
If you have a top or tie that has not put in an eight hour work day in the last year, maybe it’s time to give it a second life with a new owner.
You may have heard the phrase “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” Well, the same could be said for your business. The image of your industry most likely changed since you started your business and fashion is a reflection of a profession.
You may be an entrepreneur who has been too busy to worry about what you’re wearing. Well luckily, the fashion industry noticed. Earlier this year Banana Republic tailored a fashion line for entrepreneurs and The Limited offers lines of professional clothing just for women.
The clothes you wear to work can set your mood; so, choose the clothes for the mood you want and the message you want to send.
Apply at least two of these tips to your business, then please let us know what differences you see. Enjoy the holiday season!