Spring is a time of renewal. While the season often prompts people to organize and freshen around the house, it can also serve as a reminder to businesses to take stock of activities and processes that may need updating. Here are seven things small business owners can do today that will pay dividends for the rest of the year.

  1. Revisit the business plan. A business plan is a major part of every entrepreneurial effort. Even if the plan now seems outdated, there is value in seeing how the business has evolved and considering what is working and what isn’t. 
  2. Experience the customer’s journey. One of the best ways to improve the customer experience is to become a customer. Purchase a product, search for information, or sign up for service the same way a customer would. Look for ways to simplify and improve the experience.
  3. Evaluate productivity tools. While it seems like there is an app for everything, the one you’ve been using may not be the ideal one for your needs. Find the right tools for your business, even if that means letting go of some that you’re using out of habit.
  4. Assess cybersecurity. Changing privacy laws, including the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), mean that your data protection policies probably need to be updated. Review your system backup and recovery processes to ensure that critical business and customer data is accessible in case of an attack.
  5. Look at the big picture. Step back from the day-to-day details and consider how efforts are progressing towards your ultimate goals. Consider how you can align more parts of your day with actions that further your progress.
  6. Evaluate cash flow. For small business owners, it’s easy to get lost in the weekly details of cash flow. Look at the timing of income and expenses on a larger scale to identify gaps and create a plan to cover them.
  7. Analyze meetings. Weigh the time and effort of gathering participants against the objectives of the meeting. Are there standing meetings that can be shortened or eliminated? Look for efficiencies and consider other channels for sharing information.