Workplace process architect Kerry Anne Nelson details the seven signs your business needs a spring clean. 

You’re working too hard

If you’re on the bandwagon of Gary Vaynerchuk, marketing guru extraordinaire, you’ll find yourself working about 18 hours a day on your startup.

But studies show working long hours is stressful, lonely and exhausting for entrepreneurs. Business ownership is nothing like a regular job.

If your entrepreneurial days are blowing out to 12+ hours on the tools, and you find yourself mentally working when you say you’ve stopped, you are a ticking time bomb of burnout waiting to explode.

Defuse the bomb with an overhaul of your business operations to reclaim your time, headspace and well-being.

You’re working too slow

In business, it’s true: time really is money! The longer it takes to do things, the less gets done, and the more expensive it all is.

Working in flow will have your business churning out orders, ploughing through work, and give you the only chance of keeping up with racing news feeds.

Revamped workflows and improved efficiencies will help your team complete more work in less time. Standardise how routine tasks are done, then write up the steps so they are always done that way. Find a good thing then stick to it!

You can’t find what you need

When people can’t find stuff at work productivity plummets while frustration and disillusionment skyrocket.

If they’re taking too long to do things, or they are caught in aimless distraction, chances are your team have lost what they need.

The tip of the disorganised workplace iceberg looks like missing stashes of staples or no milk in the tea room.

But take a look below the surface and you’ll likely find inboxes stuffed with unread emails, storage systems that do more hiding than filing, and messages that were sent but not received.

Declutter your online and offline workspace to freshen up your flow.

You work in a minefield of mistakes

Teaching someone how to do something right, then watching them do it wrong is infuriating. The time and money you spend on training your staff is a hefty investment, and you need a return to make it worthwhile.

If you find yourself saying, "nobody can do it as well as I do," or "It’s easier if I just do it myself," it’s time to clear your desk of other people’s work.

Step away from the burden of jumping in to fix other people’s mistakes by training them in tasks you standardise.

Stop them coming to you for help by creating support resources to give them what they need to work independently.

Your customers are complaining

Cashflow is the lifeblood of your business, which makes your customers your life source. When they’re not happy, they will take your bank balance, your reputation and your confidence down with them.

The best marketing tool you have is your ability to provide an overwhelmingly positive experience to your customers. Every. Single. Time.

If your customers are unhappy, it’s time to invest in a makeover.

Evaluate what’s happening for them now and map out the new improved experience you want to provide. Then implement the changes by training your staff and rewarding them for excellence.

You’re out of touch

Have your business operations got away from you lately? Have you been wondering how things are actually getting done? Or if they are getting done at all?

If this is the case, do you have an easy way of finding out what your staff have been doing with themselves? While 79% of people who quit their jobs say they left because they did not feel appreciated at work, 84% say they would stay with their employer if they had the chance to develop new skills.

If you’ve become the distant, disconnected boss rectify the situation by getting alongside them.

Find out what they have been up to and ask them how things could be better. Then get proactive and create a workplace your staff can’t live without.

Growth has plateaued

We have all heard the saying: A business that isn’t growing is dying. A healthy vibrant business has engaged staff, agile systems, and innovative creativity which work together to drive strong revenue.

Take a reflective look back over the past few months, or perhaps even years… Are you still doing things the way they’ve always been done? Have your staff been dragging their feet? Have their creative juices stopped flowing? Has your turnover leveled out?

A spring clean of your processes and procedures could be just what the doctor ordered to invigorate your staff, improve your systems and flick the creative switch to turn on expansion.

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