98 Spring cleaning your business Spring cleaning your business is an essential process to go through at the end of each year. It’s an opportunity to take a step back, look at your business with fresh eyes and identify any improvements to be made. As each business is totally different, this informal audit will also be totally unique to you − but here are some tips that I’ve found helpful to keep everything ship shape and running smoothly. So, get ready to roll up your sleeves and do some spring cleaning! • Brush up your business plan: After all that time spent perfecting and setting out your business plan, in all the hustle and bustle of everyday work (and life!), it can often be set aside for more pressing matters. This plan forms the foundations of your business so find some time to revisit it, reflect on the past year and check your progress. Have you hit your goals, what changes have you seen, how are your longer-term plans shaping up? Your aims and goals could have shifted over the last 12 months and you may need to update your plan to reflect this. Remember, businesses are flexible creatures − constantly developing and changing and your business plan should be ever-changing as well. Now you have your priorities and can plan for the year ahead! • Perfect those processes: It can be so easy to slide into work processes that function ‘for now’ and never find time to improve or streamline. Now’s your chance to analyse the data, assess what’s working and what’s not and restructure your processes to make them more efficient. Just a few minutes spent focussing on key processes such as project management, onboarding or time management can make a big difference! • Declutter your desktop: Tidying your physical workspace can be a real gamechanger and help you feel refreshed and organised. The same can also be said for sprucing up your digital desktop! It only takes 10 minutes to clear through that maze of files on your desktop and arrange them into relevant folders, safely stored and ready to find when you need them. • Look ahead: Look, I’m not suggesting you take part in the latest social media craze if that’s not your thing − but there’s nothing to be lost in keeping an ear to the ground for new trends. Do a little research, look into what’s popular and what people are interested in − it might just lead you towards a totally new direction and demographic. • Get your inbox into shape: If you’re terrified of the ever-increasing number that flashes up on your email inbox − this is for you. Sort through everything in your inbox, file important emails in marked folders and delete any that are no longer relevant. It’s a job you can get done in half an hour and it will leave you feeling clear-headed and refreshed. And that 0 on the inbox is so satisfying to see! Decluttering, organising and analysing your business clears space for new ideas and inspiration. It leaves you feeling ready for the challenges and rewards of the next 12 months. So take some time to spring clean your business this month! Spring is here and, as they often say, it’s the perfect time of year for a bit of cleaning. But why restrict yourself to your house − it’s also a great time to spruce up your business! Sara Davies MBE is founder of Crafter’s Companion.