Ask SCORE: Spring cleaning for your small business

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Small business owners have a multitude of responsibilities to tend to every day.

Naturally, as they focus on what’s most important in the moment, some tasks will either fall through the cracks or pile up. Over time, this can cause distraction, and hurt a business’s efficiency and effectiveness.

If you’re discovering that what’s left undone is thwarting your productivity, why not commit to fitting time into your schedule to do a little “spring cleaning” for your business.

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Here are several suggestions to help you give your business a breath of fresh air this spring. Most are small changes, but they can make a big difference in your ability to focus clearly:

• Free up space on your computer’s hard drive by deleting files/documents you no longer need. Pay particular attention to your “downloads” folder. If you need to maintain files and documents within it, save them to other folders that are appropriate for them.

• Reduce clutter at your workstation by doing two things: First, review the pile of business cards you’ve collected at networking events, and connect with those people on LinkedIn. Then dispose of the cards in the trash. Second, if you have vendors’ brochures and the other marketing literature laying around for future reference, consider bookmarking their website addresses instead so you can learn more about them later — and then throw away the paper collateral.

• Purge your email inbox and folders of messages you’ve already responded to or that are no longer relevant

• Create a Word document or Excel spreadsheet to store all the blog topic ideas that have popped into your head. That way, you’ll have a central place where you can capture your creativity and pull topics from when you need them.

• Consider backing up all of your files with an automated cloud-based file storage solution. There’s nothing like peace of mind to help improve focus.

Also, take a fresh look at your business plan and update anything that’s no longer accurate or relevant. This may take more time than the other suggestions, but it’s something every entrepreneur should do regularly in good times and bad.

Likewise, review your marketing strategy to assess what’s working and what isn’t.

A little spring cleaning now can help you maintain focus on managing your business more effectively in all seasons.

For more guidance on navigating the many demands of entrepreneurship, reach out to your local SCORE chapter to talk with mentors knowledgeable in all aspects of starting and growing a business.

If you would like help with this process, or other aspects of your established or start-up business, the volunteers at SCORE are available to help. SCORE is a nationwide network of over 13,000 experienced volunteer executives offering free assistance to small businesses looking for mentoring, counseling, tools and workshops. 

You can read about SCORE at The Polk County Branch of SCORE can be reached at 828-351-9003 or via email at