Spring is a terrific time to reflect on where your business is at, and where you’d like it to be. Assess what’s not working, declutter and freshen up. Follow these spring cleaning tips to improve your brand, operations and bottom line.
Put the brakes on what’s not working
We’ve all tried something that didn’t work. Not every product or marketing promotion is a super seller. If something isn't working, it’s time to drop it and try something else.
- Menu: Do you carry menu items that are not popular? Do you know which items provide the greatest margin? Doing a biannual analysis of your menu and your profit per dish is always a good idea. If some menu items are not moving, lower their price or remove them altogether. Consider replacing them with seasonal dishes to increase sales and set your restaurant apart.
- Inventory: Every business has inventory that’s not selling. It’s time to replace stagnant and out of season products with new ones to remain fresh. Unless you sell wine, your inventory won’t get better with age. The longer you delay disposing of things sitting on shelves or in a warehouse, the more it costs you. Instead discount these items, bundle them with popular items, or use them as giveaways to make room for new merchandise.
- Marketing strategy: Don’t keep throwing money at a marketing strategy that isn’t working. A new season means new marketing tactics. First, make sure you are targeting the right people in the right way. Unless you know exactly why your marketing isn’t working, you can’t do anything to change it. Secondly, experiment with marketing tactics. For example, if your top goal is acquiring new customers, add promotions or special deals for first-time buyers.
Declutter your workspace
Things can pile up when you’re busy running a business. The more decluttered your physical and digital surroundings are, the more productive your work environment is.
- Old equipment: It’s time to get rid of old equipment lying around, getting in the way, and taking up space. It’s also essential to have technology that runs smoothly, efficiently and dependably. The transition period between the busy holiday season and spring shopping is the perfect time to evaluate and upgrade your point of sale (POS). A hard-to-use, slow POS creates extra work for employees and longer lines for consumers. The speedier your sales are, the more sales you’re likely to make.
- Payroll records: Poor record keeping and data entry mistakes can result in overpaying or underpaying payroll taxes. It’s a good time to make sure that your employee files are 100% accurate, with emergency numbers and addresses. Also, be sure that you have completed required I-9 employment eligibility verifications for individuals you’ve hired.
- Email marketing lists: Are you using email to market your business? Take this time to scrub your email lists and add new addresses from opt-in customers collected on your POS, mobile app and online website. Remove inactive email addresses, and delete contacts that repeatedly bounce. These steps keep your email list fresh and enhance your marketing success rate.
Keep it fresh with makeovers
Freshness is key to getting found by potential customers. Sprucing up content attracts potential customers and reminds loyal customers why they love your business.
- Online profiles: Thoroughly review your profile on every social media platform you use to ensure your business information is accurate. Incorrect address, phone number and hours can cost you sales. The last thing you want is customers hitting up the wrong address, calling the wrong number or showing up when you’re closed. Make sure your profile link sends visitors to the right landing page on your website. Similarly, do a Google search of your business to see what consumers find when researching your business.
- Website: Your website creates first impressions. If the last thing you posted on your site was “Merry Christmas”, you’re past due for an update. Add spring imagery, an events calendar, and a deal related to spring to revive its appearance. Ask brutally honest friends or customers to look at your site with fresh eyes and to offer feedback about their experience. Check to make sure new products, menu items and services are listed on your website, and those that have been discontinued have been removed.
- Promotions: Spring provides ample selling opportunities with Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, Super Bowl and March Madness and graduations. Put your business’s seasonal spin on these occasions by hosting events, posting special deals, and running contests. Get customers to visit your store with an offer of a free gift, or run online contests and reward winners with a bundle of spring themed prizes. Use these promotions to collect new contacts for your email database.
By cleaning up your physical and digital business spaces, you will also free up your mind to clearly focus on what you want your business to accomplish.