This article was updated on February 10, 2023
As nature reawakens, the spring season can have many of us looking for ways to start fresh. Spring cleaning allows us to renew our spaces and take on tasks we might normally overlook. As a small business, investing time to refresh your business will not only create a safer, cleaner environment but will also attract customers and build trust from the start.
Need some spring cleaning ideas as a small business owner? The key to the perfect spring cleaning checklist is to bring the special care and attention of thorough cleaning to every corner of your business.
If you’re not sure where to start, we have you covered. These helpful spring cleaning tips will refresh your business and improve your operations so you can focus on what matters.
1. Deep-clean your business’s customer-facing areas
If you already have a solid cleaning schedule for your business’s customer-facing areas, this spring cleaning task may seem like a no-brainer. But spring cleaning offers an opportunity to take a new perspective—one that helps you see your business through a customer’s eyes.
As you evaluate what areas you might need to involve in your spring cleaning routine, try to imagine the viewpoint of someone walking into your business for the very first time. What might stand out to you if you were considering doing business here?
You might discover specific areas that deserve some deep cleaning attention. Consider the following:
- Use a duster to get to those hard-to-reach areas under large appliances and other pieces of furniture
- Dust light fixtures and any ceiling fan with a microfiber cloth
- Sweeping hardwood floors and under appliances to get rid of dust mites and dirt
- Vacuuming under rugs and floor mats to get rid of any debris
- Cleaning and sanitizing trash bins with effective cleaning supplies
- Cleaning window sills and blinds with a damp cloth to allow fresh air to circulate
Pro Tip: If you are looking for a cleaning solution that is chemical-free you can combine vinegar, baking soda, and warm water. These ingredients create a cleaning product that can be used to clean floors, walls, and much more.
2. Re-arrange Furniture
If things still feel a little stale when the deep cleaning is done and your budget allows, consider giving your customer-facing a minor (or even major) redesign.
A simple rearrangement of furniture or store displays can allow a space to feel even more renewed. Meanwhile, more substantial changes can entirely alter the way customers see your business and as result, encourage them to frequent your business more often. These frequent visitors can then turn into loyal customers, which will be critical in maintaining the success of your small business.
For example, Frederick Daniels of New York barbershop BarCuts found that reimagining his business space as a barbershop/bar combo transformed his customers’ experience. “My business is now a place where clients can come to relax, have a cocktail, and regroup,” Daniels said in an interview with Start Small Think Big. “It’s my mission to make my customers as comfortable as possible.”
Just as Daniels made his customers’ comfort a must, consider how prioritizing the customer experience can breathe new life (and new business) into your space this spring.
3. Tackle the behind-the-scenes tidying
A spring clean also offers an excellent opportunity to go through the items that have accumulated in your out-of-sight spaces. Even if you normally keep your clutter out of the customer’s sightline, taking care of it can help to improve your productivity and peace of mind.
It’s true that these out-of-sight areas might not affect the customer experience directly. However, giving them a thorough cleaning can provide you with peace of mind and allow you to focus more of your attention on creating a top-notch customer experience. Here are some cleaning tasks and good housekeeping practices to tidy and declutter the behind-the-scenes spaces of your small business:
- Take stock of and organize your inventory
- Tidy up and replenish office supplies
- Deep clean and sanitize staff break rooms and bathrooms
- Replace air filters and vacuum air vents to minimize dust and ensure fresh air is flowing through the workplace
- Organize cords and cables
If you don’t have a physical storefront, you can still work to keep your home office or workspace clean. Take time to reduce clutter and throw away items you no longer need, clean and dust all surfaces, and ensure you have an organized, tidy space to work out of.
4. Evaluate your expenses
Some types of spring cleaning tasks are less visible. Though organizing your desk and shelves in your home office can help you tidy up in a more obvious way, your business expenses deserve just as much TLC. Expenses can cause stress and negatively impact how you operate your business. By "tidying up" your expenses, you're not only saving money but also helping your peace of mind so you can run your business more efficiently and clear-headed.
Four expense categories, in particular, that can start to accumulate extra clutter include:
- Software like billing programs, POS systems, or multimedia software
- Services like delivery or printing
- Subscriptions like SaaS software, eCommerce sites, or payroll systems
- Supplies like computers, printers, or storage equipment
As part of your spring cleaning schedule, sit down and add up your spending in these categories. Are they what you expected? Are the services you’re receiving for the money worth keeping? If not, it may be time to make a change.
Note that some of your expense evaluations on your spring cleaning checklist may not result in a cut. Instead, you may realize that you can benefit from even more of something.
For example, perhaps your office always runs out of printer ink each month, or maybe your restaurant never has enough ingredients for its most popular dish. Making room in your budget for more of those supplies can help you minimize stress and increase efficiency in the long run.
5. Refresh your customer relationships
As a small business owner, your community is likely a major part of your customer base. Take time this spring to nurture these relationships by:
Refreshing your communication practices
For some business owners, this may mean finding new ways to engage with customers and share updates, promotions, and sales, such as through a Nextdoor Business Page.
With Nextdoor, you’ll be able to connect with neighbors who are motivated to support small businesses like yours. Share a Business Post to let them know how you’re spring cleaning your business or share special offers to mark the beginning of spring. Use the new season as a starting point to engage with nearby customers in new ways.
Considering how to best meet your customers’ needs
This spring cleaning task may require taking stock of the services you provide and considering how you can offer better resources to your neighborhood.
Adriana Buenrostro, an agent with Prosper Real Estate in California, spoke to Rocket Pro about the extra resources she provides to her real estate customers. “I have a full list of preferred vendors available, who are my go-to,” she said. “This includes local lenders, handymen, contractors, cleaners—all the way to a trust attorney, CPA, local insurance agent, etc. I have found that what most customers enjoy is knowing that they are in good hands.”
Just like Buenrostro uses resources to create value for her customers, consider taking steps this spring to add value to your own customer relationships.
6. Update your business plan
Perhaps you meticulously keep track of your business’s progress throughout the year. Maybe, however, you’ve hardly touched that carefully crafted business plan since you made it. Updating and evaluating your business plan can be a valuable part of your small business spring cleaning list. It will help you maintain good records and see what strategies you may need to revisit for your business. However, it can also be a fantastic way to identify other areas in need of some good cleaning.
As you read through your original business plan, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the executive summary still describe my business’s key points?
- Have the goals in my company description changed?
- Does my list of products and services need an update?
- Have my marketing strategies shifted?
- Has my mission statement changed?
- Do my financial projections and plans reflect my business’ current reality?
- Is my organizational chart still accurate?
Be sure to save a copy of the original business plan so that you can look back and compare it in the years to come.
7. Revisit your notes
If you keep track of your thoughts and ideas on paper, you might know how quickly those papers can turn into piles. This spring, use the pro tip of sorting through your notebooks, sticky notes, to-do lists, and any handwritten files from the previous year. As you do so, categorize them into several piles:
- Take action
Using a system like this can help you take more decisive action about those notes and scraps you’ve been saving “just in case.” Take the actionable notes and add them to your current to-do list to ensure those papers don’t continue to float around.
8. Streamline your processes
If you’ve been running your small business for a while already, it may feel like you know your processes and procedures like the back of your hand. But as your business grows and changes, it’s important to rethink those processes. This spring, consider new ways to make your business even more efficient.
Perhaps you discover that you can subscribe to supplies you always need each month and avoid having to place a new order every time. Or maybe you start using automated emails to update customers on their appointments and orders. In general, consider what current tasks you could automate or systematize.
Krystal Benson, the founder of NYC-based creative agency Clique Bait, spoke to Start Small Think Big about the importance of effective processes in her own small business operations. “One of the best business essential tips I've received is to focus on getting your systems (Customer Experience, Team Management, Payroll, etc.) in order,” she said. “Having organization is pivotal, but having systems in place allows you to scale and maintain it.”
Optimizing your processes may take some time, but just as Benson discovered, it could help you build toward even more growth in the future.
9. Assess your employee growth
A small business’s employees play an elemental role in making customers feel welcome and helping day-to-day operations run smoothly. Consider using some of your spring cleaning time to evaluate your employees’ success. As you do so, ask what you can do to support them even further.
Some ideas for employee support include:
- Sharing updates about your business’s goals and how their work contributes
- Offering new and exciting incentives for employee achievements
- Updating staff on safety and security procedures
- Providing professional development opportunities
- Offering opportunities to give feedback on their work experience (and using that feedback to support them even better)
Investing in your employees can help you reduce employee turnover and save you from spending more time on hiring and training down the road. But it can also do a great deal for your company culture and your business's long-term success.
Start spring fresh with Nextdoor
No small business is alike, but the beauty of a spring cleaning list is that it can take whatever shape you need it to. Maybe good cleaning for you results in a total store redesign, a reimagined mission statement, or simply a fresher, cleaner space.
However you revitalize your small business this spring, don’t forget to share all the exciting changes with your neighborhood.
Claiming your Nextdoor Business Page is free. It’s an easy way to connect with your community, build relationships, and share all you have to offer. Plus, you can customize your page to suit your business, giving you the flexibility to announce those spring updates the way you see fit.