(Article for the Top 6 Productions Newsletter)
Although you might not be able to tell by looking outside right now, Spring is coming soon. The days get longer and March winds blow in to chase away the winter chill. We start getting ready for brighter and warmer times.
It’s time for making plans, getting organized, and the traditional spring cleaning.
Usually that means closets, windows and carpets. But this is also a good time for “cleaning up” your business as well. Tax time is right around the corner and after that comes the active summer season. You and your business need to be ready.
Here are a few areas to look at:
1. Your web presence. Your social media profiles, blog and website are not only the image you project to the world, they’re also a major asset of your business. Your site is the first (and sometimes the only) reference and source of information about what you do. But the web changes fast and your business changes too. What was fine last year may be outdated and inaccurate and need freshening up now. (The article in the “Producer’s Corner” below has some good tips to begin with.)
2. Your finances. If you’re not making money you don’t have a business, you have a hobby. Your work may just be a sideline and not intended to fully support your family. You may be an artist who’s in it for the love of creating and want to share your work with others. Or you may be in a helping enterprise and want to make the world a better place. There’s nothing wrong with any of those. But even a “non-profit” has to take care of money issues. Now is a good time to start gathering the info you need for taxes, and to put a system in place to keep it that way.
3. Your inventory. You probably think of inventory as the products on the sales floor and in the storage rooms of a physical store, but that’s not all it means. It’s also the catalog of projects you’re still working on – whether that’s books you’re still writing, programs you’d like to offer, new products you want to sell, or unfinished songs or pictures. And it includes the dreams and goals you have for the future. Maybe it’s time to dust them off and get them ready.
4. Your files. Even the smallest or simplest business generates a certain amount of physical and digital “paperwork”. And sometimes it seems all but impossible to keep up with all the contacts, ideas, emails, forms, bills, pictures, etc. If you don’t have an organizing system in place, now is a great time to get one. If you do already have one, it’s time to collect all those scraps of paper, business cards and digital files and put them where they belong – and where you can find them when you need them.
Get clean and get ready. And let us hear about your plans for this Spring!