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What is Small Business Spring Cleaning?
Ah yes! It’s getting warmer outside, plant life is beginning to grow again and your allergies may be beginning to go crazy. For many, depending on where you live, these are some of the signs of an emerging spring season. Spring is a time of renewal, with many observing the season as an opportunity to deep clean their homes, put away winter clothing and open windows to let the fresh air in.
If you are reading this, you may be very familiar with what spring cleaning consists of, as you probably have been participating in this ritual since you were a young person. However, if you are a small business owner, you may be thinking, what does it mean to spring clean your business? In this post, I will offer three steps to spring clean your small business to ensure it is running as efficiently as possible.
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A Little About Me
Before founding Sentimental Moodz, a greeting cards company in 2018. I mostly worked with other small businesses/ organizations to help them with a wide array of operational and organizational tasks. As an MBA, my focus has squarely been on organizational management (OM). While earning that degree, I chose OM as I felt it allowed me to incorporate all of my various career experience (teaching, event planning, customer service, analytical work, etc.) under one umbrella. When working with small businesses on organizational management, my main objective is to understand their company culture and to help them connect their culture into everything that they do.
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What is Company Culture?
What is company culture you ask? It is best described as the behavior those who operate under your business exhibit. These behaviors are grown from your business’s mission, vision and core values. Sometimes unwanted behaviors exhibit in your business also, but through your company’s sub-culture, but I digress. A deep dive into company culture is a topic for another day. Back to the point of this post, giving your small business a good spring clean!
Revisit your Mission & Vision
Let me tell you how to spring clean your business in three easy steps. Step #1, revisit your mission & vision statements. Sentimental Moodz mission statement is: to create high quality art, greeting cards and gifts that are artistic, creative and evoke a sentimental mood.
If you don’t have a mission or vision statement, there are many resources available online. A mission statement represents your brand’s external goal. While a vision statement is a goal more for the owner and its employees. Answer the questions below to assess your mission and vision statements:
Mission & Vision Statement Assessment
- Is your mission statement short and concise?
Tip– A good length for a mission statement is between one to three sentences.
- Does your mission motivate employees and communicate to the public what your brand is about?
Tip– Consider a stranger reading your mission statement, is it clear what your brand is?
- Does your mission clearly state your business’s culture and values?
Tip– Identify the words in your mission statement that represent your culture and values.
- How is your mission different from your vision?
Tip– The mission statement is a statement more for the public and the vision statement is more of a goal for the company.
Get to the Core
Step #2, take a look at your business’ core values. The core values are essentially intrinsic, but they are also what attracts both employees and customers to your brand. For example, core values are what separate consumers who prefer Wal-Mart over Target. Both brands are leading retailers, but they each tend to attract a different type of consumer. Answer the questions below to evaluate your business’s core values.
- What are three values that your business currently believes in? For example, does your business believe in being honest with your customers regardless of the results?
- How does your business currently act in relation to what you believe? For example, do you honor your employees by paying them a fair wage and benefits?
- What do you want your business to represent in the future? For example, you want to be viewed as the leader in customer service in your industry.
S.W.O.T. it Out!
Step #3, complete a slimmed down (or expansive) S.W.O.T. analysis. A S.W.O.T. is a tool to assess your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. If you have never done an expanded S.W.O.T., can you think of a better time than spring! Like the other steps, there are a ton of resources online that go in greater depth on completing a S.W.O.T. analysis. I personally like to do a slimmed down S.W.O.T. annually as business is constantly changing. Use the table below to guide you in completing a slimmed down S.W.O.T.
List your top 3 business’ strengths:
List your top 3 business’ weaknesses:
List 3 opportunities for your business:
List 3 direct threats to your business:
Putting it All Together
Now that you have completed the three steps, let’s get that business spring clean! Essentially now you will process what you uncovered from the exercises and make any adjustments as a result. As far as the S.W.O.T. analysis goes, you will use the results as a springboard (pun intended) to set some goals. Obvious areas for goal setting are the weaknesses and the opportunities.
In summation, I hope that you benefited from this post: Spring Clean Your Business in Three Steps. My intent for writing it was to create an opportunity for small business owners to get back in touch with the foundation of their business and or to take a moment to begin building one. I strongly believe in good organization being key to a successful business. I hope I proved my point. If this post helped you and or you have feedback or questions, I would love to hear them in the comment section. Until next time…
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