By: Catherine Perry
It’s Spring Cleaning time – 4 tips To help you “clean”, update and organize your online business this Spring!
Spring is here! For many of us, this past winter wasn’t so bad…there was less snow and fewer days of bitter cold than “normal.” And, even though there were many spring-like days this year in January and February, we are still delighted spring has arrived because the days are getting longer, there’s more daylight in the late afternoon hours (thanks to Daylight Saving Time), birds are returning with their songs, and the grass is getting greener!
OK, now that the excitement of the spring season has been expressed, what else happens this time of year that may or may not excite you, well, you’ve got it…..it’s time for “Spring Cleaning”. According to an article in Martha Stewart Living written in 2007, “There are few rites of spring more satisfying than the annual clean. For many people, however, the pleasure comes only after the work is finished. Your spring cleaning may never become effortless, but you can make the project more manageable–and even enjoyable.”
In the same way we think of cleaning our homes in the spring, as internet business owners we can take this time of year to focus on cleaning our websites. And, just like with spring cleaning your house, taking the time to clean up your website may seem like the last thing you want to do, but we promise that you will feel SO MUCH better after it’s done!
Here are 4 tips to help you when spring cleaning your online business.
Tip #1: Make a Plan
As with so many things we need or want to do, if we don’t make a plan it just won’t happen. Plan several days on your calendar to do your spring cleaning. It will take more time than you think, so plan for it. If you block out more time than you need, you’ll feel satisfied that it took less. Keep in mind you need to set up a seasonal plan for updating your website by working on your SEO, updating and adding new vendors/products, as well as, your creating a marketing/sales plan for the new season. It may sound like a lot now – If you sit down, make a plan and set a timeline to implement it, it will all be done before you know it!
Tip #2: Work on Your Home Page
Just as you might clean the windows of your home to let more sunshine in, or you might clean the windows and the window display of a brick-and-mortar business, you need to clean up your home page too.
Your home page is the “window” for your online business. By spending some time to clean up the home page of your site, you give visitors and customers a refreshed look at what you are offering. Sometimes things just get stale when they stay the same. So, even though you may not want to change things to the extent that your faithful customers have to learn a totally new way to navigate, giving the home page a fresh look keeps people interested.
Here are some things you can do to get a fresh new look on the home page:
Update the Colors and Design for the Layout: You will want to keep your brand colors while incorporating the colors of the season. This brings a fresh new look to your website, which is pleasing to current and new customers.
Change the Featured Products: Highlight new products that reflect the season. Whether it is colors or styles, show off the products that are great to be used in the current season.
Update the Banner Ads: Use wording that calls attention to that particular time of year or upcoming holiday. For instance, “Spring to it…”, “Hop on in for….”, “New Products are Blooming here at….” and so on. It’s fun to play with new wording to see what your customers respond to!
Launch a New Spring Sale: Of course, offering a new sale gets your customers excited. It is fun to incorporate a theme sale based on the season. Again, mix it up and include exciting words that will entice your customers to shop.
Update the Slideshow to Reflect the New Season: This is always a great idea as it brings a freshness to your home page. Be creative and always use images that combine the current season with your target market.
Create “Buzz” with your Home Page Wording: It’s always a great idea to give your home page wording an update at least with the change of the seasons, if not more often. This is not only good for your SEO, but it can help draw your customers in by using new buzzwords that correlate with the current season.
Tip #3: Work on the Administration/Backend
Again, not to change things too much, but now is a great time to work on the backend of your site. Customers like to see that things are being updated. Assess your site from an administrative point of view. See if there are areas you can clean up that will add some newness to the business. Here are some areas you might look at:
Updating Inventory: Are there new products your vendors are offering, but you haven’t loaded?
Organizing categories: Are they still logical? Do they still flow well? Are there new products in which you can create a category to reflect the current season?
Research New Vendors: Are there other great vendors you aren’t using? You should be doing new vendor research each quarter. This will help you continue to offer your customers more of a variety of products.
Implementing a Customer Loyalty Program: Do you have one? Customer Loyalty Programs are very important marketing tools as well as great customer service provisions.
Tip #4: Clean Up Your Office Space
Many times you can neglect your physical work space causing it to become cluttered and overrun, which ends up in you spending much longer to do tasks because you’re constantly digging through papers and looking for stuff. If this is your situation, take a breath, and then take some time to get your work space clean and organized!
Decluttering is a huge trend. Marie Kondo, in her book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,” has brought decluttering and minimalism to the mainstream. And, while we aren’t talking about minimizing per se, we do tout the many benefits of decluttering. At the same time, we recognize that it’s easier said than done. Trust us–you will work more efficiently, be less stressed, and have an overall sense of happiness when you declutter your space!
Organize Your Filing System: Do you have files for important paperwork like orders, accounts payable, learning systems, passwords etc.? Are your files easily accessible?
Assess Your Computer Setup, Desk, and Chair for your Work Space – Are they working for you to promote efficiency? Is your desk organized in a way that facilitates your work? Are they comfortable?
Review Printer and Internet Tools – Is your printer doing the job? Should you look at upgrading your internet speed?
Change Your Passwords: Remember, security first! It is a great idea to update your passwords with each changing season. Just don’t forget to write them down and keep them organized!
We hope these four tips have inspired you to do your spring cleaning. There aren’t many guarantees in life, but we guarantee that you’ll have a sense of accomplishment and feel a huge weight off your shoulders! The hardest thing is to start—don’t procrastinate–get it done and then get on with business!