Guest Post by Megan Totka, Chief Editor at ChamberofCommerce.com.
Now is the time of year to reassess your business and marketing goals and priorities to see what improvements you can make going into 2013. Maybe it is time to take another look at your email marketing campaign, or examine any vendor contracts that may be close to expiration. A thorough “cleaning” of anything business and marketing-related has the potential to bring big dividends in the way of efficiency and profit.
So what simple steps can entrepreneurs, business owners and marketers take to streamline business practices and ensure efficiency? Here’s a three-step process you can take.
1. Clean your digital desk
Just as you operate more efficiently with an organized desk space, a computer or tablet devoid of “clutter” means more efficiency. Get rid of old downloads saved to your desktop and create folder icons for the items that you want to keep. Take an hour (or two or three…) to go through your email inbox. Trash the items that you do not need and move the others to appropriate categories. This is also a great way to determine if there are any emails that you have never adequately responded to and serves as a reminder for upcoming events or project due dates.
2. Examine the bills
Every business owner and marketer approaches a new expense with scrutiny. Questions about the need for the service, and corresponding add-ons, are asked, along with whether the value is worth the expense. After paying the bill over a certain amount of time, however, you can become indifferent to it. Sit down with a stack of bills, or spend some time logging into online accounts, and analyze where your money is going. Are there any places you can make cuts? Have there been changes to your account resulting in a higher cost that you never noticed? Are you actually utilizing each service to its full extent? Chances are that you will find at least a few ways to save some money, and over time even minor savings add up.
3. Look ahead
It is so easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day routine of a business and lose sight of your long-term goals. Take the time to step back from the hustle and bustle of your business and develop some future plans. Maybe you already have a one-year, five-year and ten-year plan in place. Open up those files and update them based on any changes in direction your company or marketing team has made since they were drafted. Looking ahead brings a new sense of motivation, allowing you to move forward with renewed enthusiasm.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com, where she writes on local news and issues. With more than 40,000 active small business members, ChamberofCommerce.com is the largest chamber of commerce online.