Now that we’re heading into the spring months, let’s talk about doing a little spring cleaning. Although spring cleaning usually refers to finally clearing the attic or dropping the carbs from your diet, businesses of any size could benefit from a little spring cleaning in its own right. From taking a look at your staff to reconsidering how you do IT, here are some challenges businesses should address to be successful in 2014:
Is There a Way to Reduce Your Overhead? One of the biggest trends of the past two or three years has been the rise of the remote employee. Tens of million people said that they work from home occasionally, and more than 80% report that they work from home at least part of the day. This is due in part to advancements in technology. It’s also due to a change in how we consider the office place. Many of us now consider the office any place there is an internet connection. And business owners should embrace this. An increase in remote workers means a reduction in overhead.
Do You Need all of those People Doing the Same Job? Nobody likes to fire people. However, if you have people on who you don’t need, you’re only putting your business at risk. If you haven’t done it in a while, it might be time to reassess what your employees do. If you find that there is a way to go leaner and meaner, it might make sense for long-term growth. Outsourcing might make sense if it’s possible. However, remember that it’s impossible to replace good people. These could be crucial to your success now and in the future.
How Are You Storing Your Data? One of the biggest questions businesses have these days is what are they going to do with all of that data. Just think of all the data people generate these days. From social networking to creating image collages of their cats, people are creating data more each day, and this data must be stored somewhere. Unfortunately, businesses who need to store data are finding out that storage offers many challenges. It costs money to update storage systems to meet demand, and issues like scalability and disaster recovery must be addressed as well. While some are sticking to legacy storage systems, others are looking into software-defined storage systems. The point is that any business should consider data storage in their long-term planning.
Think Mobile: How do you access the internet these days? Let me ask you another question? How often do you look down at your phone during the day as you wait in line or have a free sec during your lunch break? Chances are you probably use your phone all of the time. You’re not alone. That’s why it’s so important to appeal to mobile users. This could mean building an app or optimizing your web page for mobile users. Addressing your mobile presence can increase your exposure and help people find your business.
As we head into spring, remember to clean up your business practices and goals to enjoy fruitful warmer months.
Ken Rosen works in internet marketing and has worked in both a small business and Fortune 500 setting. He freelances about small business initiatives in several publications.