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It's spring here in Australia, the perfect time to clean things out and do a proper spring clean around the house and with your personal life. But it's also a great time to clean up your freelancing business.
Even if it's not spring where you are, this time of the year is always a great time to step back and take a look at where your business is at and what changes you need to make.
You should aim to do this every quarter, although for me, I generally never get around to it more than twice a year. Do as I say, not as I do, right?! 😉
I aim to ‘spring clean' during the slower periods in my business, which typically tend to coincide with summer in North America and Nov/Dec over the holiday period.
You will face slow periods, it's just the nature of working for yourself and freelancing in general, but if you know when those come around, you can take the opportunity to either spring clean your business or focus on some projects you've put off because of client work.
I don't know about you, but going through a slow period is so demotivating, which is why you'll never find me sitting still for long, even on the weekends I need to have a plan (which drives my husband nuts!), or be working towards an outcome, I am not a fan of wasting time.
Don't get me wrong, I know how to relax, whether it's reading a book or watching a movie or my fave television show, but I need to have those things planned in.
So, if you want to keep yourself busy during a slow period, here's some ways you can ‘spring clean' your business.
Tips For Spring Cleaning Your Side Business
#1: Review your current skill base
So you've been thinking about upskilling and expanding your freelance skill base, but haven't had the time to do anything about it. Guess what? Now is the perfect time to do just that. There are tons of courses on Udemy that will allow you to upskill quickly and for next to no monetary investment.
#2: Review your website and social media profiles
How long has it been since you updated your website? Does it need a facelift? Now's the time to do it. Update your website with information that is helpful to your end customer. What information do they need to know that you're not providing?
Update your social media profiles as well, particularly if you do option 1 and upskill. Get those skills onto those social media profiles as quickly as you can and start letting people know that you now offer more.
#3: Review your work processes
This is probably my fave item on the list. I'm definitely a processes kinda gal and I love optimising my time as much as possible. So you can bet I'm always looking for ways to streamline a process or outsource something that I no longer need to be touching on a daily basis.
I use www.sweetprocess.com to keep track of all my processes and I share these with my VA. We update them and add to them as we need to and if something is no longer needed, we just delete it.
I use Todoist to keep track of my own to-do's and Freedcamp to keep track of client projects. I know my workflow is pretty streamlined now, but it took me a good 18 months to get to that point. Keep trying different tools until you find the right fit for you and your business.
#4: Archive old stuff
Do you have files and folders on your computer that you haven't accessed in over 2 years? Time to archive! This means either deleting or saving to a service like Dropbox, so that if you need to access at a later date, you can.
It's also a good time to archive emails as well. I like to keep all emails between myself and a client, but you can also simply create an archive folder on Dropbox for that client and pop the emails in there, either by copying and pasting into a plain text file or creating a Word doc. Whatever your preference. Again, only remove emails that are 2+ years old.
#5: Finish personal projects
If you're anything like me, you put client work before any of your own projects. Well, guess what? When you don't have client work, focus on your own projects! Especially if you're creating a course or product to sell that will increase your revenue.
Identify your downtimes and schedule your own projects in during this time, it is by far the quickest way to build your brand and build your bottom line.
It feels great to spring clean your business. Particularly if you can focus on projects of your own and streamline processes.
If you haven't even reviewed your business, now would be the perfect time to do so, particularly as 2015 draws to a close. Get yourself into the right headspace and gear you and your business up for a great end to the year.
Do you have any tips or ideas you'd like to share about how you spring clean your business? Share them in the comments below!
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