Give Your Business a Spring Clean

As I sat having a barbecue in my garden this weekend, enjoying the blissful weather, I was reminded that spring has definitely sprung. And of course this can only mean one thing… spring cleaning.

Whether it’s those piles of old files that need throwing out or perhaps those old chairs cluttering the office, most businesses will find themselves in need of a spring clean from time to time. But it’s also great chance to take a long, hard look at your products or services with a critical eye and determine which are working… and which are in need of an extra helping hand.

We’ve come up with a few extra tips to get you started on spring-cleaning your business.

Site for sore eyes

It only takes three seconds for a customer to decide whether they want to find out more, or go somewhere else. So your website seems the perfect place to start your spring cleaning.

This doesn’t have to be an extreme makeover, but try and look at your website from the eyes of your customer.

Is it easy to navigate? Do you have outdated content collecting dust? Is the checkout process too complicated? Follow this link for more tips on improving your website.

Kill bill

When was the last time you evaluated your expenses? It’s easy to fall into a routine, doing things just because you always have.

Do you really need subscriptions to those magazines you fail to open each month, or the corporate box you never use? Or do you just pay the bill out of habit?

Perhaps you even have the subscription set to auto-pay. Now is the perfect time to print out your expenses and eliminate the ones you no longer need.

Paper cuts

Envirowise, a group campaigning for greener business practices, have said that setting your printer to print on both sides of the page for everyday use, buying recycled paper and printing internal documents in black and white will make big savings to your bottom line.

The company state they have worked with a business of just 40 staff who managed to save £40,000 a year purely through paper-minimising initiatives.

Make little cuts and you could make big savings down the line.

Database coup de grace

A great way to spring-clean and improve ROI is by cleaning up your contact database. From the very moment data enters your database, it will start to decay – and quickly becomes out of date. Industry experts estimate that business-to-business data can decay as fast as 30% per annum. By extension, if your database is a couple of years old, an overwhelming 60% of it is likely to be out of date, and two thirds of your direct marketing budget could be going to waste.

The Yorkshire Wildlife Trust claims that by cleaning their contact database they have been able to raise an additional £10,000 from supporters they would have otherwise lost touch with. As well as eliminating “embarrassing phone calls” resulting from poor contact data quality, a clean database has allowed the trust to re-engage with people whose memberships had lapsed. Read the full story here.

Cleansing software can cross-reference your contact records against recognised datasets and put it in order again. Direct marketing response rates improve and fewer people are irritated or offended by the incorrectly-addressed mail.

Mobile pwned

Mobile marketing is set to be one of the major drivers of sales this year, with a recent report from the Centre for Retail Research predicting a 53% increase, generating over £4.5 billion in revenue.Online retailers cannot afford to ignore this trend and should make sufficient effort to develop their mobile marketing strategy.

Having a mobile website as well as a standard version is less and less about having an edge over the competition and more about keeping up with them.

Check out this blog on more ways to cash in on mCommerce.

  • There is a postcode daaatbse you can get, using which a piece of software can work out a geographical position from any postcode.The daaatbse isn’t actually all that big- many sat navs, such as TomTom, download the entire daaatbse into their memory, which is why you can use sat navs to navigate to a particular postcode. So if a website uses postcodes, I expect that the postcode information is on that server, and doesn’t have to be taken from Royal Mail every time.I believe, though I don’t know for a fact, that the daaatbse is sold or licensed by Royal Mail. How much they charge for it and whether it’s an annual subscription I’m not sure but a lot of web sites and software manufacturers use it.