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May 20, 2016
Growth  |  6 min read

5 Things You Need to Read: The Spring Cleaning Edition

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Ben Snedeker

It’s that time of year again. Spring is here, and it’s time to roll up your sleeves, put on some music, and deep clean all those spaces you’ve been overlooking (like under the bed, the back of the closet, and dare I say “garage?”).

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Your small business could use a spring cleaning, too. The tidying I’m talking about has more to do with professional evaluation than it does vacuuming. Spring is a great time to step back and look at your business. The burst of activity from June through August leaves a small business owner’s head spinning, so now is a great time to evaluate before the blur of summer sets in.

This week we’ve rounded up five great articles that address areas of your business that could benefit from a deep spring cleaning.

This Entrepreneur Built His Business Through Social Media (You Can Too) (via @Forbes)

Given your social media strategy any thought lately? Now’s a fantastic time to give it your attention. You still have more than half of the year in front of you, which means you have time to refine your strategy and make it support your business even more than it already does. 

In this article, Richie Norton explains how social media is the center of his business success. “It used to be that if you had a message, you tried to bring the people to you. That’s incredible if you can do it. But far more likely, you’ll need to go to them, where they are. When you do, you can invite and bring them back to you. And this is where the magic begins.” Between user behavior, platform algorithm updates, and new forms of social appearing on the scene, the social media environment seems to change all the time. The best thing you can do for your business is to keep up. 

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Spring Small Business Tax Tips (via @WilliamsKunkel)

Not too long ago, you were probably agonizing about submitting your taxes. Remember when you promised yourself that next year would be different? You’d be much more organized with your receipts? You’d track your expenses much better, or you wouldn’t wait until the last minute to start working on them?

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Well, tax day came and went and your business kept on humming. Have you had a chance to circle back and make those little tweaks to your process to help you next year? This article will jog your memory about the pain of tax day, and offers some common tweaks small businesses should make right now. 

Achieve a Leaner Inbox With These 3 Fit Tips (via @Entrepreneur

Some of us thrive with 1,500 unread emails in our inbox. They can navigate a flood of email traffic and keep track of it all. But most of us get bogged down with a crowded inbox. The more crowded our inbox gets, the more likely we will lose track of important correspondence, waste time, or even increase our stress load.

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From the article: “…It takes the average person four minutes to recover and get back on track after a distraction. With an average person getting about 100 to 180 emails a day, even if you are distracted by only 15 of them, that’s one hour of lost time. Little by little, it adds up”

As it turns out, your email inbox could be one of the most important aspects of your business that you can tidy up.

9 Tips To Creating A Mobile-Friendly Website (via @hootsuite)

Is your website optimized for mobile? Can you accept payments via mobile? If you can’t confidently say yes, then you could be in trouble.

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Mobile-optimized sites make it easier for people to visit the website from a smartphone or tablet. The best-case scenario would enable mobile users to have a complete, uninterrupted experience on your site, including purchasing, viewing demos, and smooth navigation. If your users can’t sit on their couch on their iPad and make a purchase from you without overcoming annoying design issues, then you could be losing opportunities to make a sale.

3 Updates Your E-commerce Business Plan Needs Now (via @HuffPostBiz)

You have a business plan, and it’s been guiding your work. The work has been intense, and you’ve been adapting along the way. That’s what makes you a survivor. But have your adaptations changed your business enough that your business plan should be updated? On the other hand, have you stuck so tightly to a business plan that you’re missing opportunities to grow? “Since the strategy outlined in your model has a great impact on your business,” the author of this article writes, “it’s key that you regularly re-evaluate your business plan, ensuring that it changes and evolves as your company does.” 

When you take the time to look closely at your business plan, you can discover insights into how you’ve changed since the last time you updated it. You’ll see how you’re adapting, and you can keep your company on course. 

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