Spring cleaning your business

March 05, 2015  •  1 Comment

Spring Cleaning Your Business

 

Spring time in WiltshireSigns of Spring time in the village of Tilshead in Salisbury, Wiltshire

Time to dust off the old to make way for the new

I'm lucky to live in the beautiful county of Wiltshire, in the heart of the Salisbury Plains, but even for me the winter months can be a drag. All business owners will usually have been marketing and working hard in the lead up to Christmas and then it's like one big sigh when it's all over. Sometimes getting back into work mode in the New Year can seem like a real trudge. 

I'm sure that with the shorter days and the lack of warm sunshine we are more inclined to want to curl up with a good book and some hot chocolate, and then hibernate until the Spring.

Well Spring seems to be truly showing it's beautiful face, finally. The days are getting longer, the temperatures are warming bit by bit, and the flowers are sharing their beauty with us and reminding us that there is new life on the way.

Without fail, waking up on a glorious sun filled Spring day I get the urge to blitz the house. Freshen everything up, embracing the energy that seems to come from the day. A house that's been sitting idle and cosy for the Winter months always needs a quick spritz to bring it back to life...

... and your business is no different.

 

So, how do you Spring Clean your business?

In my case it's a time to trawl through the office and clear out anything that hasn't moved for six months, if it's been sat still for that long I can't really need it. I also go through and clear up the folders on my computer, the longest and most boring job ever, BUT.... when I go back to my computer and it's all organised and looking tidy I feel ready to take on new challenges, it's one of life's little victories that makes me feel good inside even though no one else knows it's happened.

I also go through the images on my website. You'll be amazed how the year(s) can pass and people never think to do this. I know for certain that the business I was running this time last year will have evolved and moved forward, so it stands to reason that my website, my electronic shop-window to the world, needs to reflect where I am and what I am doing now.

Ask yourself, when was the last time you reviewed your website? Does it do the job you want it to? Does it address the needs of your customers and does it represent the service or products you provide? Knowing how important good images are to any business, what are your images saying about yours? Does your business portrait look like you? Are you using out of date images or ones where the styling looks dated because the fashions have changed and although you've addresses it in the work place your online presence has taken a back seat...?

How important is it to look as individual as your business is?

I think it's very important. Brand awareness and how you present your business is one of the things that distinguishes us from everyone else. Having the right wording and the right images that are presented in the right way all help towards engaging with our clients.

 

Tea roses in tea cups at Gullicks FloristWindow display for Mothers Day this Spring at Gullicks Florists in Salisbury, Wiltshire

 

So a few things to do while you're motivated to do your Business Spring Clean.

  • Ask others to help you. One or two trusted people who know your business well, get them to go through your website and find fault. If they can find it so can your customers. Make sure you fix any faults, don't leave them thinking it's not making a difference, it will if you ignore them.
  • Invest in professional images that are personal to your branding. Stock images are great, but others can buy them too. They can date quickly, or look too generic - especially if you are a new business that is evolving and finding your feet quickly. It's easy to do a website that will "do for now so I've got a presence online" but as your business grows you need to review your online world and make sure it's in sync with everything else.
    Working with a professional photographer that understands your business and can reflect it in top quality imagery will make a big difference.
  • Make sure that your commercial portrait is true to you. Using a holiday snap or one that "will do for now" is never good business sense. Ask yourself how you respond to someones image, we are all guilty of judging quickly when we see a photo of someone, good or bad it stays with us even before we have spoken to them.
    Your image should reflect your personality as well as the position you hold in your business, and it should showcase your business too. It's not just about having a head shot; commercial portraits can be environmentally based, it's not all about being "suited and booted".
  • Get inspired! See what is trending in the fashion industry (Pantone always release the colours for the seasons that are coming and they are trend setters for anything related to fashion). Find ways to make this work for your business. Whether it's styling of your products, or the styling of you. Be on trend somewhere so that people can see that you are aware of the world around you and not stuck in a rut.
  • Check out the films that are coming in the year, they are also trend setters, but usually hit the high street the following year (think of The Great Gatsby and how that has influenced trends).
  • Set some goals for the year. Imagine that you had to write a review on December 31st of this year, what would it say about everything you have achieved? These become your goals, all you need to do then is set some time frames and make it happen.
  • If you're feeling flat after the festivities of the season, then it's a great time to get out and about networking and meeting new people. Getting your mojo back is all part of it.

My final thoughts...

It's really hard if you are running a business on your own, I know because I've been doing it for years now. Keeping motivated when things are quiet as well as exploring new ways to reinvent the wheel takes a lot of mojo energy. It's important to book time in the diary to reflect and review. Just imagine that the Spring Clean of your business is an extended version of this. Don't feel guilty about taking the time you need, it will pay dividends in the end.

 

Commercial PortraitsEnvironmental and commercial professional portraits

 

If you are feeling inspired and think that new imagery for your business is something you want to talk more about then please get in touch. I have some great packages that are concise and cost effective. I offer options for new businesses as well as existing ones, you can find more details on my commercial pages.
And if you are looking to update your Commercial Portrait then please get in touch. I'd be delighted to help you create some unique, bespoke and beautiful images that capture you and your work.

 

Barbara Leatham Photography is based in the small village of Tilshead in the middle of the Salisbury Plains in Wiltshire. Specialising in lifestyle family photography, excellent commercial photography for small to medium businesses and beautiful weddings in and around Wiltshire, Berkshire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, London and the rest of the UK. Barbara also teaches photography and runs some workshops for beginners, enthusiasts and amateur photographers

 


Comments

1.Jane(non-registered)
Another great post Babs, very useful reminder for all business owners and just the motivational 'elbow in the ribs' we all need from time to time.
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