Spring cleaning is a great tradition for organizing your home and getting rid of clutter — especially things that have been ignored all winter. (Anyone else just put the Christmas lights back in the closet? 🙋🏻♀️ No shame.)
Spring cleaning isn’t just for your home, though. I also love it as a reminder to get my professional life in order. I usually set aside the first Tuesday of each quarter to review my checklists and go through my CRM. However, if you’re a small business owner like me, you know it’s not always that simple.
I often find myself doing five things at once (one of which may or may not be looking for the impossibly-small Lego Star Wars guns my four-year-old is constantly losing), so it’s easy to push off my check-ins and procrastinate on the things on my to-do list.
If I take the time now to comb through some things that fell to the wayside, future Brittany will be thanking me! Future you will thank you, too, if you do the same. So, here’s an invitation to join me in organizing and following-up on important tasks before the craziness of summer sneaks up on us.
1. Check In With Your Employees
If you’ve got a team of people working for you, you should have a system in place for collecting consistent employee feedback. If you haven’t done so yet in 2023, consider sending out a survey before the midpoint of the year.
If you’re running a small business and don’t have the budget to use an experience management platform, you can simply have one-on-one conversations with your employees to ask them how they’re feeling.
By asking employees for their insight, you’re showing them that you care about their wellbeing. Plus, you can identify any bubbling issues right away and implement necessary changes before your employees become disengaged.
2. Check In With Your Customers
Similarly, you should take the time to reach out to your current customers! It can cost anywhere between 5 to 25 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. When you show your customers that you care about them without any strings attached, they’ll be more likely to stay in business with you.
Springtime is a great opportunity to check in with your customers. Do they have children that are approaching high school or college graduations? Are they planning summer vacations, and could you offer a recommendation for a restaurant in their destination? Reaching out to your customers will help keep you top of mind and will thus increase your chances of getting referrals.
You never want that first time you reach out to someone in a while to be for a favor or a sales pitch. You’ll thank yourself later if you can do a few friendly catch-up sessions this Spring.
3. Update Your CRM
We’ve all chatted with someone over email and told ourselves that we’d add them to our CRM later. It can be a time-consuming task, but you HAVE to do it! I always like to say that CRM is like birth control. It’s unbelievably effective at what it was designed to do — but only if you use it the right way, every time! Like birth control, the biggest problem with CRMs is human error. People think, “Oh, I don’t need to use my CRM this time! Not with this person!” And then, a month or so later… trouble!
I challenge you to comb through your inbox and make sure everyone you’ve been communicating with is added to your CRM. But don’t stop there! What are some details that you can update for your most important clients? Can you send them a survey to ensure you have their most up-to-date information?
I highly recommend blocking off a few hours one day and dedicating it all to updating your CRM. It’s one of the most important and profitable tools at your disposal, so it’s critically important to keep up with it.
4. Prepare “Handwritten” Cards
I love sending out cards to prospects and clients throughout the year. If you rely on the holidays as your only opportunity to show gratitude to your customers, you’ll be competing with a zillion other people. However, if you let your customers know that you’re thinking of them on St. Patrick’s Day or National Taco Day, you’ll set yourself apart and make a greater impact.
I recently started using Postable which lets you send out mass mailings and even pre-program personalized cards for later in the year. Do you have an anniversary with a client coming up in a few months? Schedule a card NOW so you won’t forget it. Again, your future self will thank you for it… your customers just might, too!
What about your clients’ birthdays? Can you block off a few hours and schedule out everyone’s birthday cards at once? When you do that, you’ll also notice whose addresses need to be updated, which will save you from panicking two days before their birthday.
Running a business can be stressful, especially when you feel like you can never stay ahead of your to-do list. However, if you can just time-block a few hours this month to update your systems and check-in with your customers, you’ll be more productive and efficient in the long run.
What are some other tasks you’ll be doing to “spring clean” your business? Give me some suggestions!