‘Spring cleaning’ your business is not just dusting and decluttering. It means evaluating all areas of your business to find out where to make improvements and ticking off pre-Christmas tasks before the rush.
We’ve put together a quick read at some of the top areas to look at in your business before the end of the year:
Look over your inventory
Poor inventory management is a serious issue within small businesses. It is the fourth largest factor affecting the closure of small to medium enterprises.
At this time of the year, it is common to accumulate old inventory that is costing your business money. It is unlikely this inventory will be saleable at full price, but it is beneficial to recover some of the cost before storing expenses add up.
Clearance sales are a great way to do this. Prices at or even bellow cost, will sell quickly and recuperate some of your initial investment.
Retailers inventory records are only accurate 63% of the time. It’s no surprise that one-third of businesses miss a shipment deadline because they’ve sold an item that wasn’t in stock. This reflects poorly on your business and can cost you money and sales.
Organising your inventory will drastically reduce inventory-based mistakes. There are several ways you can improve inventory management within your business.
The first step, categorising and labelling inventory. This creates a system to easily locate and monitor inventory movement and quantity.
If you want to take it one step further, automated inventory control systems are a great way to digitalise your inventory management system and minimise manual processes. Cin7, Vend and simPRO offer inventory management that integrates the online and offline aspects of your business. At The Small Business Lounge, we make sure that our clients are set up on the right software to help streamline their business processes. Choosing the right inventory system is easy with the help of an add-on expert.
With the new year tasks out of the way, your staffing requirements may need a ‘spring clean’ before business activities pick up again.
Whether you have just come out of a busy period with lots of employees or you’re preparing for an upcoming rush, your current staff may be excessive or inadequate for the future.
Or you may need to restructure.
Instead of hiring or letting go of employees last minute, assess whether you can shuffle your current workforce around to meet your needs.
Hiring temporary or casual workers may be a good solution to meet your business requirements. They are often hired with the intention that they move on at the end of the season. A seasonal staff system may save you letting other valuable employees go when things get quiet.
Part-time employees are often eager to move to full-time. Before you invest in hiring a new employee ask if any of your current part-time employees want to increase their workload or transition to full-time employment. Hiring someone already immersed in your culture is a great benefit.
This can go both ways. While unfortunately letting people go is a part of business, some employees may be happy to reduce to part-time work while the business slows down, rather than leave.
Your greatest source of talent is often found within your organisation. It can be beneficial to hire internally or provide promotions. This can push employees to manage greater responsibility and spread the increased workload across your existing workforce, without hiring new employees.
Business growth requires the organisation to adapt and shift, this means bringing in new processes. Now is the perfect time to evaluate these processes and see if you can be doing them better.
The best way to do this is by asking what processes are taking time away from you and your business? To answer this, analyse the daily activities of you and your team.
Pinpoint where you spend the most time to determine where you can cut time and streamline processes.
Things like printing documents and unnecessary meetings add up.
Moving to digital and automated processes will reduce input time, paper and printing costs and can improve accuracy. You can automate almost any area within your business . This includes bookkeeping, customer support, marketing and any paper processes.
Getting Ready for Christmas
It’s not Christmas rush just yet, but now is a good time to check small tasks off your list to prepare for the holiday season.
If your customers are purchasing gifts from you, unfortunately, you must prepare for refunds. Not everybody gets what they want and returning presents is now a common part of Christmas shopping.
Keeping digital receipts can reduce errors but it is also necessary to check your payment devices refund limits before the rush.
With the influx of customers, Christmas data can provide helpful insights into consumer behaviour. Going over last years data can help you create a marketing plan for this season. If you didn’t collect data last year make sure your systems are designed to collect useful information this year.
You can implement buying habits into your marketing as you find them and save the data for next year.
‘Spring cleaning’ your business is a good way to get on top of areas that have fallen behind and get ahead of the coming busy periods. For help with managing your workload, optimising processes or preparing for Christmas, get in contact with our team.
And of course, don’t forget real spring cleaning!