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Give Your Enterprise a Spring Cleansing: 14 Methods to Enhance Workflow and Improve Effectivity

Periodically reviewing what your team does—and why they’re doing it—can help you uncover inefficient processes or duplicated efforts, as well as help prompt growth and innovation. To learn more, we asked 14 Young Entrepreneur Council members the following question:

1. Review all SOPs

We review all of our standard operating procedures yearly and look for process improvements. We identify where weaknesses lie, where bottlenecks have developed, and where new tools could help us do things more efficiently. —Keith Shields, Designli



2. Ban the phrase “This is the way we have always done it’

We are constantly refreshing the way we do things, the tools we use, and how we use them. We are not allowed to say, “But this is the way we have always done it” — it would kill us if we had that mentality. With constant change and updates to systems and processes, it builds a culture to keep on top of things and to be current. —Torrey Tayenaka, Sparkhouse


3. Clean up email lists

As time goes on, you collect more and more emails for your list, but that doesn’t mean these people are actively engaging with your business and its content. Thus, they’re a waste of a subscription. That’s why I like to perform a yearly spring cleaning on my email lists. It ensures that I’m sending content to those who pay attention to it so I can move more customers through the sales funnel. —Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

4. Update workstation devices

This year, we are looking to update all employee workstation devices. Although replacing laptops and desktops can be a hefty investment, being able to have high-speed, reliable devices with the latest tech is well worth it. Instead of spending time working with IT support staff to fix tech issues, employees can focus on executing their key job functions. —Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.

5. Revamp neglected systems and processes

If you have systems you’ve been pouring resources into but not using very much, then it’s a good idea to clean them up. Make an audit of all the tools and subscriptions you have and find out if there are any that you haven’t been leveraging enough. Commit to actually using them or discontinue them. —Blair Williams, MemberPress


6. Increase automation

AI has developed in leaps and bounds, and there are many tools available to small businesses today. One way to spring clean your business is to use automation tools in the place of older products and subscriptions. Automation will help you meet your goals with accuracy and speed. —Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner


7. Set aside time for company-wide cleanups

We run a twice per year company-wide cleanup and we prioritize it by scheduling less work during those two weeks. We also split the cleanup work among each person on the team—for example, the company website, CRM, wiki, videos, social media accounts, etc. This way we’re covering all of the different tech and information systems we use every day, but that we might not notice are getting stale. —Nathalie Lussier, AccessAlly

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8. Carry out systems audits

We carry out regular systems audits, setting aside time to think about processes and systems. The goal is to find friction and develop solutions. Regular reassessment is essential because your business is in trouble if it stays the same while the world changes around it. Your current processes may be adequate, but adequate isn’t optimal, and you can be sure your competition isn’t sitting still. —Chris Madden, Matchnode

9. Send old files to cloud storage

At the beginning of every quarter, we review and send old files (that are up to five years old) to the cloud and remove them from our local hard drives. This makes room for new files. —Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC



10. Unsubscribe from newsletters

I like to go through my email inbox and unsubscribe from any email newsletters I no longer need. Throughout the year, you may sign up for free trials and end up not using a tool but are still subscribed to their email list, or you might subscribe to a blog that you haven’t read in a while. Go through these emails and unsubscribe from any you no longer need so that your inbox is more focused. —Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

11. Hold efficiency interviews

Have meetings with team members so that you can review what processes they are working on that could be more efficient. Finding ways to improve and work smarter is a great way forward. Some people could be relying on templates for tasks instead of doing silly manual tasks that take up too much time and effort. —Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.


12. Look for software bundles

Software companies now bundle many of their products together. If you’re using various programs that are cobbled together, you’re probably using up a ton of memory and confusing your employees. A bundle from one company could help you clean out unnecessary programs from your network, which improves speed and accessibility. —John Turner, SeedProd LLC


13. Ask the team

One easy way to spring clean is to ask each team member to contribute three ways they could do their job more effectively or ways the company could do better. Let them know they can be as creative as they want with their answers. Do this so they can make improvements to become more efficient and also look for themes that emerge so you can improve the overall company. —Monica Snyder, Birdsong

14. Bring in an outsider

You can get stuck doing the same thing when you always do it one way. When you bring in someone new and train them, encourage them to ask why you do something a particular way, and if it’s the easiest and best way to do it. —Jason Duff, SMALL NATION

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