5 Spring Cleaning Ideas to Freshen up Your Online Business Systems

I often get questions about “When is it a good time to do an inventory?” or “How often should I scrub my list?”

Many of these ‘housekeeping’ things are treated as an afterthought or when someone has time on their hands. Some business owners may just assume that someone IS doing them when that’s not the case.

Usually, clients come to me because it begins to cost them – either in stress, time, or money.

For example, one client had a list that was approaching 10,000 contacts and mentioned that they were going to need to upgrade their plan to add more contacts. I ran a simple report to show her that 24% of her list hadn’t opened any of her e-mails in the past year and that we could delete them. Not only would this save her money because she wouldn’t have to upgrade yet, but her e-mail open rate increased by about 9%.

She was like:

Don’t let things get to the point where it’s costing you! And spring is as good a time as any to do some cleanup.

Here are some of my favorite systems that you can tackle this quarter:

Inventory Your Assets

Have you sat down and gone through your assets – your domain names, software programs, products that you sell, landing pages, etc? You may be surprised to find that you are paying for something you are no longer using or doubling up on two programs that serve the same purpose.

This doesn’t have to be fancy, a simple Excel spreadsheet will do. Depending on your assets, you can just use one tab per area. For example, Tab #1 list your domain names – the actual URL, expiration date, does it automatically renew?, and finally, does it redirect to another URL. In Tab #2, list your training programs with landing page URL, Download page URL, and what campaign it belongs to, upsell, etc.

Prune Your List

If it’s time to upgrade your CRM system because you’ve added a lot of subscribers to your list but you have seen your open rates fall steadily over the months, hold up because it may be time to remove hard bounces, opt-outs, and other unengaged subscribers. Each list manager program has their own process, but it should be as easy as doing a search for hard bounces (those with invalid email addresses), those who have opted out, and those who haven’t opened any of your emails during the last year. Once you have identified these addresses, export to a spreadsheet for safekeeping (just in case), and then delete. No need to notify them or threaten to remove them – just simply export and delete – but if you have a favorite method, such as sending a reengagement coupon or a “Want to continue to get my emails?” email, then that’s fine too. But if you just want to remove them, they can always opt-in again if they want to. Some people who pay by the number of contacts may want to do this on a quarterly basis to keep their list squeaky clean.

Annual Audit

Spring is a great time to do an audit because you’re past the holidays and not yet in the throes of summer. You want to ask yourself “What worked?” “What didn’t work?” “What am I going to do differently?”

Now, it’s not easy to just sit down and start asking yourself these big questions, so what may help is looking at statistics such as Google Analytics reports, social media reports, newsletter open and click through rates to get your juices flowing. Is there something that needs streamlining? Time to plot out and implement a new system. What month did you make the most money? Maybe you can see a pattern with your audience and start planning promotions around that. What programs or products were top sellers? Make more of them!

Computer Cleanout

It’s time to get rid of all those images that were “so 3 years ago” and that you’ll never use again as well as archive files from a client from 5 years ago. Things that take up space in your computer also take up space in your head. Every time you search for something and come across all those files you have no use for is frustrating.

There really isn’t ONE set way of setting up your folder and file structure. As long as it works for you it’s fine. You can use a program that’s in the cloud or your hard drive, it doesn’t really matter as long as you have a way to secure your information, back up your information, and restore items as needed.

Desktop Dumping

Oh my gosh, this is my favorite thing to do, and I usually do this quarterly. Since I work at home and have a home office, I combine my business papers and home papers and everything is stored in my office. My desktop filing system consists an “Active” folder that contains things such as bills that were paid, insurance policies, business taxable things, and other items that need to be filed. I tackle that “Active” folder quarterly and file everything away. Yearly, I go through the main files and remove folders no longer needed, add folder labels, replace broken Pendaflex hanging folders, make sure policies are up to date, etc. My entire filing system is something to behold and I’ll show that to you in a later post 🙂

The goal for spring cleaning is to get rid of things you don’t need and streamline the things that you use often so that your time is more productive. What are some systems that you want to share? Tell me in the comments below and happy spring cleaning!