Every business has a way of turning into a bit of a shitshow. Things get messy, overwhelming, and not so organized. But with spring in the air and the end of Q1 upon us, now is a great time to Spring clean our businesses! In this week’s episode, we’re talking about 15 things you can do to spring clean your business right now and move forward feeling refreshed and renewed!
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- Ways to optimize your email marketing, your business operations, your customer experience, your website and your overall marketing strategy
- When to update your Shopify theme
- Plus a bonus tip on optimizing your mind
Read the Full Episode Transcript
In today’s episode I’m going to run through some different things you can do to Spring clean your business right now!
Once you get into the Spring cleaning groove, check out episode 39 of the podcast where I talk about 5 things you can do to step into your role as CEO. There will be some overlap, but I go deeper into some things in that episode. Also, if you missed the December mini-episodes, now is a great time to go back and listen to them too.
I’ve broken these down into different groups based on the overall topic—email marketing, business operations, customer experience, your website, and overall marketing strategy. Pick out the ones that are relevant to you and be sure to get started on them for Q2.
If you’re not great with the goal setting and knowing when to focus your time on what, listen to episode 41 of the podcast. This is NOT an exhaustive list (because that would make for a really long fucking podcast episode) but it’s a great start.
Spring clean your email marketing
Audit your email automations
Email automations are set it and forget it-ish. You still need to check back periodically to assess their performance, make some tweaks and see if you can optimize them a little more.
Customer behavior changes based on what we’re all going through in our lives, so it’s possible what worked 2 years ago doesn’t work as well now.
Get rid of deadweight subscribers
Identify those people who have been on your list for at least 6 months to a year and have received at least 10-20 emails but haven’t opened any of them—and then unsubscribe them from your list!
Don’t get attached. If they’re not engaging with your emails or buying from you they are just dead weight and not worth your attention.
Start emailing regularly if you’re not already
60% of your Q4 revenue is going to come from customers who engage with you during the first half of the year so start warming them up again! Just the other day someone messaged me on Instagram to say she just emailed her list for the first time in 6 months using my strategy for building a content calendar and immediately made multiple sales! I promise, email works, friend.
Review your business operations
Review your business goals.
Generally, I like to do this earlier in the year, but as retail businesses this can be hard. Coming off Q4 it usually takes us a bit to catch our balance and before we know it, Q1 is over! So don’t be so hard on yourself if you feel you’re behind.
Business goals is a pretty broad term, and what exactly those goals are might be different for each of you. The point of this exercise is to look back on the goals you set for yourself and see where you’re at. Are you on track to hit them? Are you focusing on the right things to get you there? Do you have goals at all?
Assess your team
Do you have the right butts in the right seats? Do you need to hire people, shift them around, promote someone? Make sure you’re talking to your employees, service providers and contractors to get their feedback. Do they feel like they have everything they need to be successful? Do they have ideas they want to try but just haven’t had the resources? Are they drowning in day-to-day operations leaving them no time for big ideas or new initiatives?
This was my biggest struggle at my day job. I had a list of things I wanted to do to optimize our email marketing and our social media and work with more influencers, etc. but my day to day was just so crazy because I was wearing too many hats. I never could dedicate the time or brain power to those activities. I really could have used an assistant to take care of those mundane things that were technically below my pay grade, maybe you do too?
Review your inventory
When was the last time you did a sweep and assessment to figure out how much deadstock you have to move? You likely did some of this around the holiday to figure out what you wanted to mark down so you move as much as possible during the busy season, but did you ever follow up with that?
Even after moving through lots of units, you might still have inventory collecting dust in your warehouse. Mark that stuff down below cost if you have to, use it as a gift with purchase, or just donate it. Out with the old and in with the new!
Clean out your email inbox.
Seriously, it’s time! If you delete as you go… that deserves a congrats.
If you’re using Gmail, use the search function to find all those newsletters you receive, select the entire 1st page list and then click select all that match this search—that way you can delete them all in one shot.
Improve customer experience
Revisit your ideal customer
When was the last time you evaluated your ideal customer? Maybe you did it at the beginning of your business and haven’t revisited it—now is as good a time as any. I like to do this at least 2 times per year, because like I said earlier, your customer is always changing.
Maybe your customer is the same, but her typical day looks a little different. Write a new day in the life story, see what shakes out. What I usually discover through this exercise is a better time of day to send emails, or a new type of content to create.
Conduct a customer survey
If you’re still not confident in who your customer is or what they want… it might be time to conduct a survey. People LOVE surveys. Seriously… they love to give their two cents and they definitely love to talk about themselves. Use this to your advantage! Sweeten the deal by giving them an incentive for spending the time to fill it out. It doesn’t have to be anything big, even just a 10-15% discount off their next purchase is deal enough.
Just try not to get all the answers you’ve ever wanted in one survey. If it’s too long, they’ll quit. Start by focusing on just one or two main takeaways or insights you’re trying to get. Like maybe you want to know their shopping habits on why they buy from you. Or you want feedback on a product line you’re considering, or you want feedback about their experience shopping on your website.
Optimize your website
Audit your website in incognito mode
I’m forever shocked on how many of us don’t look at our websites! So, that’s what I want you to do. Shop your own website, on desktop and mobile, in incognito mode.
The incognito mode is very important because that’s where you’re going to get a true read of what it’s like for your new customers—especially with pop-ups. Because you’ve been “cookied” it’s very possible there are pop-ups that show on your site that you never see. If you’ve already seen and closed them out, they don’t reappear for you. When you use incognito mode, the website can’t see those cookies, so you see everything. And I’d bet that at least a few if not a lot of you will have multiple pop-ups showing on top of each other that you didn’t even realize were there.
Update your theme
When was the last time you updated your theme? If you’re on Shopify, the themes you’re using are regularly being updated by the developers. New functionalities and features are being added and bugs are being fixed. The thing is, these don’t get updated on your site automatically, you have to do this manually.
I don’t recommend you update every single time a release is made, because there is a bit of manual work that goes into it—especially if you’ve done some of your own custom coding and work to the site. Look at each release to see what has been updated and if it’s a feature you’ve been waiting for, have been using an app to accomplish or even previously had it custom coded, then go ahead and update. The fewer apps you have and the less custom code in your site, the better.
Updating your theme can be an entire episode on its own. If you want a bonus episode on this, or maybe even a mini-course on what goes into it, then send me a DM on Instagram and let me know!
Audit your products and collection
Get rid of collections you’re no longer using and hide products that are sold out and not coming back. Don’t forget to redirect these links though, so they don’t error out.
While you’re at it, check all the links on your site too. Make sure the links you’re using in your footer and navigation are the correct ones and check your blog posts to make sure the products you’re featuring are still available.
Re-evaluate your cross-sells and upsells
Maybe you have new products to feature in those cross-sells, or ones that you can add or remove.
Re-merchandise your collections
You might have some random sale items or those that are mostly sold out at the top of your collection creating a shitty shopping experience. Or maybe you’ve got new items that are getting buried and customers aren’t finding them.
Your overall marketing activities
Find your best marketing channels
It’s time to look at all the things you’re doing, where you’re spending your time and figure out which are giving you the best bang for your buck! Maybe you’re spending a shitton of time on YouTube, but it’s not really bringing enough return to justify it. Or maybe you see that it’s on the brink of being worth it and you just have to tweak your strategy a bit for the next 30 days to see if you can bump up its impact. Or maybe you realize something is a total bomb and your time is better spent leaning into those marketing activities that have a bigger ROI.
BONUS TIP: Unfollow anyone on social media that makes you feel like shit
Whether it’s a competitor or a peer—doesn’t matter. If seeing their content makes you feel like you’re less than, or that you’re too far behind, or that they’re awesome and you suck, just remove that content from your feed. Simple as that.
Spring cleaning your business can definitely feel overwhelming just thinking about it, especially when you and your team are sort of just working on autopilot through these, but it’s one of the most beneficial things you can do in your biz.
If you have a team, split up the work. Set up a meeting with a 2 or 3 week lead time and let everyone evaluate their own departments. If you’ve got one person who does Instagram and another who does Pinterest, have them each evaluate the success of the platform and come to you with their findings. It’s just as important for them to understand the impact as it is for you as the CEO.
Your spring cleaning checklist:
- Audit your email automations
- Get rid of deadweight subscribers
- Start emailing regularly if you’re not already
- Review your business goals
- Assess your team
- Clean up your inventory
- Clean out your email inbox
- Revisit your ideal customer
- Conduct a customer survey
- Audit your website in incognito mode
- Update your theme
- Audit your products and collections
- Re-evaluate your cross-sells
- Re-merchandise your collections
- Find your best marketing channels