Spring is the season of renewal. It's time to shake off winter heaviness and breathe new life into things—from your front yard to your small business.
Set new goals
This spring, take a serious look at your business and how you want it to grow. Decide what you'd like to achieve by season's end or even the year's end. Don't worry about other goals or deadlines for yourself that you didn't meet. Start fresh.
It's best to set those goals with the excitement you had at the very beginning of the business, says Pam Lawhorne, an online business mentor and serial entrepreneur.
"In order to really give the business a jump-start, it needs an infusion of 'moving forward' energy," says Lawhorne. "Can you remember a time when you were very excited about this business? Can you remember when you used to dream about its success and what it would be like? Can you remember how excited you felt to set goals for this business? It's time to get back in to that state of mind."
Finish the unfinished
While you're working on those new goals, you'll remember ideas that you've had before. Some needed more thought. Others needed more research. Others just got lost in the shuffle.
Don't let the next great idea languish in an unmarked file folder. Review the new ones and the ones you filed on your hard drive, too. In the new light of spring you may be inspired to get that idea moving again.
Refresh your online presence
Spring is a great time to freshen up your online look. If the newest posting dates back to October or the business's website design hasn't changed in three years, update it. Don't lose a potential client who might assume you're old and tired like your website.
Take the time to run through your LinkedIn contacts. Renew the business connections you've already established and keep an eye out for the potential connections you're missing.
If you are using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, it's time to embrace them or not use them at all. Fresh and meaningful content can grab the eye of a potential customer.
Lawhorne advises business owners to do more than just promote products or services through social media. Remember, the first word is social.
"Make it a habit to interact with others, and don't always focus on just your business," Lawhorne said. "You want users to know what is new with your business, but you also want them to get an insight into you as a person, too."
Evaluate the dollars and cents
Business finances and expenses come to the forefront every year around April 15. Tax season is a good time to evaluate what's coming in and what's going out.
- Are you renting a brick-and-mortar location?
- Would you be better served by buying space with interest rates still low?
- Is it time for an energy audit to see if you can trim utility costs?
- Do you still pay quarterly for a postage machine when you can print your own stamps online?
Look at your income statement and your taxes line by line and make sure you understand what's there. If you use a tax-preparation professional, ask if your tax liability or expenses seem out of line.
Enjoy the season
April has been designated Stress Awareness Month by The Health Resource Network. For those who carry the weight of a small business, it's a reminder to stop and relax and admire the daffodils. Then translate that calming and positive energy into new customers, new business and a healthier bottom line.
Carla Turchetti is a veteran print and broadcast journalist who likes to break a topic down and keep her copy tight. That's why this bio is brief. Carla blogs for Contently.
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