Need some motivation to start spring cleaning at your business? How about this: some small productivity, organizing, and cleaning tweaks can actually help you save or make more money.
Start seeing dollar signs with these eight tips.
1. Streamline Your Small Business Invoicing System to Get Paid Faster
- Manage time and projects.
- Make invoices.
- Track payments.
(Find more handy apps here: "14 Essential Time Management Resources for Freelancers.")
Incentive: An all-in-one app can help you not only manage projects, but you also save time when creating and sending invoices. The quicker you get your invoice out, the faster you can get paid.
2. Set Up Automatic Bill Payments to Dodge Late Fees
Got a bill? Most companies have options for automatic payments that you can set up on a scheduled basis.
Incentive: Scheduling and automating payments can help you budget better, and it can also cut down on those pesky late-payment fees.
3. Manage Your Business's Credit Score for Lower Premiums
Did you know your credit card use and balance are some of the most important factors in your credit score? That's not permission to go on a spending spree – we're trying to help you save money here – but it's worth keeping in mind when making business purchases. It might not be a bad idea to pay for smaller items with your credit card to build up your score.
CreditKarma.com offers free tools to help you optimize your credit card use. The site reminds us that lenders don't like high utilization rates, so try to keep your credit card utilization under 30 percent of your limit to improve your score.
Incentive: Good credit may help you save money on your small business insurance premiums. Insurers consider your credit score (in addition to other factors) when calculating your rates.
4. Tame Your Inbox to Save Time
According to Newsweek, most American waste 55 minutes a day (about 12 days a year) looking for things they own but can’t find. Those wasted minutes are probably significantly higher if we're talking emails.
Justin Lavelle, communications director at online background check company BeenVerified.com (@BeenVerified), reminds small businesses to spring clean the inbox. "Delete emails you no longer need, unsubscribe from newsletters you never read, and categorize emails you need to keep," he recommends. "Make folders so these emails are easy to find."
Incentive: Organizing your inbox can help you keep track of communication with clients and improve customer service response times. Plus, the time you save hunting for emails is better spent on growing your business – which actually translates into more revenue.
5. Clean to Reduce General Liability Claims
Matthew Mercuri, digital marketing manager for steam cleaner retailer Dupray (@Dupraysteam), reminds us that cleanliness is a big factor in how customers perceive a business. If your office is cluttered and chaotic, customers may get the wrong impression about how you run things and mistrust that you can handle their needs.
Mercuri notes the public often sees areas like lobbies, boardrooms, and restrooms, and those are the places where cleanliness will face the most scrutiny. "The deep cleaning should happen in those areas," he adds.
Incentive: Clean, uncluttered public areas improve your business's aesthetic appeal, which can lead to repeat business. Moreover, it reduces the chance of a client getting hurt on your property and suing you over medical expenses.
While it's true your General Liability Insurance can cover legal expenses associated with these claims, lawsuits are a headache you want to avoid if you can help it.
6. Clean to Boost Productivity and Manage Workers' Comp Costs
Jason Stalnecker, president of Whistle Building Maintenance (@whistlecleaning), points us to some enlightening stats from an infographic by cleaning industry trade association ISSA: employee absences cause a 54 percent decrease in productivity and a 39 percent drop in sales / customer service.
Incentive: Properly cleaning can reduce employee sick days by 46 percent. That's a significant chunk when you consider sick days cost companies $225.8 billion a year, according to ISSA.
A tidy office can also reduce employee work injuries (e.g., tripping over computer cords) and cut down on Workers' Comp Insurance claims that can increase your premiums down the road.
7. Cut Down on Clutter to Reduce Distractions
Looking at clutter literally overloads your brain, according to research published in the Journal of Neuroscience. Turns out your brain can only handle a certain amount of stimuli at once, so clutter can impede your ability to process information.
Rashelle Isip, organization, time management, productivity consultant, and founder of The Order Expert (@theorderexpert) offers a clutter-busting tip: wrangle your documents. "Files should have a permanent storage location in a filing cabinet when not in use," she says. "If files are active, they should be properly stored on a desk file holder."
Incentive: Less clutter improves your focus and your ability to get work done quickly. That saved time may be the difference between taking on another project and passing it over.