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spring-cleaning It’s the second quarter and SPRING is about to bloom!  Time to throw out the old, tidy up your area and breathe new life into your business!  Here are 10 ways you can spring clean your business that will surprisingly increase your profits, this week:

1.)  Website Check-up  Bring your website up without being logged in as the Admin, and scour it, page by page, line by line.  Make sure your contact info is easily found, on every page (if possible); that your portfolio is up-to-date with fresh, current images (think about what’s trending now and showcase that, along with classic, timeless images); click on every single link and make sure they work!  Freshen up the content (google likes it when your website content changes; they know you are an active business this way).  Believe it or not, this WILL increase your leads/sales!  I hate to admit this, but we had neglected our flower shop’s main website for about six months.  We did some MAJOR work to it–and instantly our sales increased by 20%.  IT WORKS!

2.)  Clean-up your Email  Do you like to subscribe to emails (like this one)?  Have a dedicated email address just for your subscriptions.  This way, you won’t clutter up your inbox and miss an all-important email from a bride wanting to hire you.  Delete old emails (once a wedding is done, about two months afterwards I delete all their archived emails).  Create folders if you do not have them already and store ANY AND ALL emails from brides, even ones sent just to say hello.

3.)  Run a Survey   No news is good news, right?  Most of the time.  Twice a year, I email brides who married in the previous six months and I ask them a series of questions (usually 5–keep it short so they are more willing to fill it out) about their experience with my company/services.  If it’s anonymous, you will be surprised at the results.  This will give you a true glimpse into your business; what you are doing right and what you need to improve.  I use the free version of Survey Monkey.  Then I dissect the results and create an action plan on how I can better my products/services.

4.)  Take a Break  Ever wondered why it’s called, “SPRING BREAK?!”  You have been grinding it hard for the past three months (In past three months, I have booked 25 MORE weddings than I had on the books this time last year), you need to step back for a short stint and relax.  Wedding season is starting, so if you don’t do it now it will be the end of autumn before you can!  I took 10 days off last month, came back and booked every bride I met.  I was refreshed and energized.  If you can’t take 10 days off, take a long weekend and vow to NOT do one single business thing–not ONE.

5.)  Get Rid of All the Paper  If you are still doing things the old fashioned way (guilty as charged!  So this is on my list), invest in a scanner and Cloud technology (I use Dropbox) and put everything on the cloud.  Yes, in our line of work, physical signatures are required to make the agreement legal, but a scanned copy is legal, too.  I do suggest keeping the hard copy in a file, just to be safe, but the Cloud will also allow you to create a folder for your bride where you can store all her emails, inspiration boards, pictures and your notes, all in one handy place–where you cannot lose it!

6.)  Do Some Actual Cleaning Open the windows and air your studio out!  Get out the Murphy’s oil and scrub your floors.  Call the carpet cleaner and deep clean your carpets.  Grab a Mr. CLean Sponge and wipe down your walls.  Oh, and please, make sure your bathroom is ALWAYS clean!  That’s how I judge how detailed a company is that I visit–I go to their bathroom.  If it’s dirty, I won’t do business with them.  So you may be loosing business over a dirty bathroom!  Make sure it’s spotless-always!

7.)  Review your Vendors  Are you paying too much for shipping?  Shop around.  Are you getting the best price on sugar?  Compare prices.  Could you source out a part of the assembly that would then free you up for additional projects?  Research and see.  Do your wholesalers negotiate?  Ask–I bet they will.  There is hidden money right here–and lots of it!  You just have to do a little work to uncover it.

8.)  Spruce Up Your Consultation Area  Initially yes, this will cost you money…BUT in the long run, it will net you money.  Having an inviting, warm, homey, cozy, yet functional meeting area to sit with your brides is a must.  Bookcases get old and worn, as do desks and chairs, and their look becomes dated (which is a bad image for you to convey).  Replace them with fresh, new pieces (Ikea is a great place to go!) and liven up the room with a new coat of paint.  I’m even going as far as to remove the carpet and have high-end laminate put down for a more sophisticated and luxury look (to attract higher-end brides).

9.)  Plan Ahead  If you haven’t already, create a plan for second and even third and forth quarters.  How many leads do you want?  How many consultations will you schedule from those leads?  How many bookings will transpire from those consultations?  Set your goals, then write down what you are going to do to get there (If you were a part of the Business ShapeUp! 2016 group, you have the tools–use them!!).

10.)  Be Grateful You were put on this Earth to do great things.  You have a real passion for your craft, and a talent worth sharing with the world!  Celebrate this, everyday, and be grateful you are here and get the opportunity to do so.  Life is precious; enjoy the ride.

**What ways do you “Spring Clean” your business?  Please share in the comments below!