Clean Up Your Business

It’s Time To “Clean House”

Karen Hodges, 2018

In reviewing the last year I have been thinking that I want to “run leaner” and get rid of some of the unnecessary “stuff” in my business. I became inspired to clean my house – so to speak, my business house. I invite you to take a look at yours, also. I’m focusing on cleaning up my books outstanding items, and did it! I’m pleased with the result am suggesting you do it also, as follows:

√ Purge clients that you haven’t seen in 12 months – if they haven’t been to you in a year, you would have to completely start over anyway. Their hands/arms/feet/legs are not going to be in the shape they went away with! Whether you wish to send them a “we miss you” reminder is up to you. Choose only those you want to have back.

√ Review unredeemed Gift Certificates – I used to call the recipients of outstanding Gift Certificates. I would suggest they appoint for a service or purchase product with the amount they were gifted and inform them that they needed to either use the outstanding Certificate or I would be crediting back the purchaser in 30 days. If I didn’t hear from them, I would call the purchaser and tell them they could use the GC within so many days  (choose your own time) or I would donate it to —— charity in their name. I chose this rather than sending unused money to the State as unclaimed property. Not a single client ever objected. Remember, required by the IRS is properly accounting for Gift Certificates, and that means recording them as an outstanding liability on your books…they are something that you “owe” people for…and it makes your balance sheet look bad. Clear them off!

√ Clean up outstanding “traded services” – if you owe someone a service, contact them and tell them they need to come in by (set date) or you will write them a check for the value of whatever it is they did for you. If you are OWED a service…ask them to settle up with you. Say you need to be paid for the service you performed in the amount of $$. Be cordial and professional….start out saying that you are cleaning up your accounting for the year. Keeping outstanding trades open is “white noise” that you don’t need in your life. If you can’t collect, write off the loss against your income and at the very least, pay less tax. Clean them up and move on.  Now, I know many of us have ongoing trade accounts that will never be “cleaned up,” such as your hair dresser who gets pedicures from you. This is for those one or two time deals that are hanging around and giving you nothing back. Clean them up and move on!

√ Clean out your supply closet – if you haven’t used something in 6 months…evaluate whether or not you actually would use it in the next 6 months. If not, find it a new home! There are two FB groups with whom  I’ve successfully purchased and sold items – Esthetician’s Mall and Second Hand Salon. There is another way also. When I closed my studio, I went on Amazon and found “stores” that carried things similar my items. I contacted the store owner directly and informed them I had stock they carried I wanted to find a new home for it…and they bought the stuff I was getting rid of/didn’t want. At any rate, clear out anything you are not using—it’s only clutter, after a time. One more thing to pay close attention to: “use before” dates diminish the use of products. Close to and past dated materials should be thrown away—appropriately, of course.

√ Look at your menu of services and weed out unused or slow offerings – when we write our menus we sometimes have this idea that we need all these choices to offer so we will appeal to the widest possible client base. Reality is that we need the services that we enjoy performing and for which we have become specialists…and that’s it. Slim down your menu purposefully. You will be glad you did!

There are a myriad of other ways you can “run lean” (not mean!) and I challenge you to review the way you do things to be sure you are purposeful in your set up and offerings. “I have always set it up this way” is not enough reason to keep something around taking up space and cluttering your business…or your mind!

We would be very interested to hear YOUR year-end house cleaning ideas! Please share in the closed group. That will be appreciated by your fellow NCA graduates!

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