Spring Clean your Business – Guidance and Tips

With the first couple of months of the year behind us and the risk of “Beasts from the East” diminishing the signs of new growth are starting to appear in the countryside around us. Irrespective of the weather this time of year our fields, woodlands and gardens begin to burst with new growth and opportunity and for the gardeners amongst us it’s time to get busy tidying and preparing the ground to get the most from the warmer months ahead.

For your business this time of year is also one where time can be taken to reflect on performance to date and prepare the way for strong growth, to identify those areas that need a bit of tidying up and attention, also to think about the risks that you may face during the year as well as identify new opportunities.

With that in mind here are a few questions that you may want to consider to help cultivate a fruitful 2019.

BREXIT ?– Whether you agree or not it is coming our way. How will it impact my business? What actual preparations have I made? How am I keeping my employees and customers informed? What contact have I made with suppliers to understand how it is impacting them?

The Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry website provides plenty of help and advice for business in terms of BREXIT preparations so do take a look.

How is your SWOT Analysis? – (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). You may have already done this for your business. In today’s increasingly dynamic environment I would recommend revisiting it regularly. Reflect on your current business environment. What has happened? – Regulatory changes, Consumer Trends, New Competitors, New Products, Workforce availability, Capacity Constraints, New Markets etc. Spend some time to think about how any of these may create risks for your business or provide new opportunities for growth. Develop a written list of actions which will help mitigate the risks and allow you to capitalise on the opportunities. Review the actions during the year to ensure they are achieved. If you haven’t done a SWOT before here is a useful website – SWOT

What is my plan for Digital? – Whether its using Social Media for Marketing, setting up on-line sales, moving to cloud based systems, paperless invoicing or refreshing your website having a good understanding of how digital technology can help you make your business more productive is key. There is a risk that companies invest in digital technology to solve a problem they haven’t yet found which can mean money wasted. If you are looking at digital take a step back to ensure you are clear on the benefits and will be able to measure its success.

What do I need to measure to know I am succeeding?

“What gets measured gets managed” is as true today as it was when Peter Drucker first used the phrase back in 1954. So as you look forward into the year look at your current business measure and ask yourselves – Which of these metrics are now redundant? Where do we need new ones required based upon changes to your business processes, customer preferences etc. How am I harnessing digital and real time data to understand performance in a more timely manner and adapt and react more quickly? How balanced is my set of KPIs (Sales vs Plan, Cost vs Budget, Capacity vs Demand, Inventory Levels , Quality, Safety)? How am I understanding “softer” but less easily measured performance (Employee Morale, Customer Perception, Consumer Satisfaction)?


During the year you can review the performance against these measures to see as early as possible where you may need to act to ensure you hit your targets.

Taking some time out now to reflect on your business and ask the questions above (or similar ones) is a great way to reassure yourself and others that you are in control of your business and have clarity on what needs to be done in the coming year to help your business grow. Just as we have 4 seasons in the natural world in the business world we have a 4 phase cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Act). Applying this at a business, department, or project level is a great way to increase your chances of success and feel in control of your destiny.

As the days draw out I wish you all the best in your businesses (and gardens) for a prosperous and successful year.

Author: Jonathan Jones – Dorset Business Mentor


Jonathan is an engineer by qualification who has spent his career working in the automotive and FMCG sectors where he has gained experience in the UK and overseas in Project Management, Factory and Supply Chain Management, Marketing and Innovations. He has held senior leadership positions where he has managed large teams, had full P&L responsibility and been responsible for a number of successful organisational transformations. Since leaving the corporate world Jon set up his own consultancy to support SME’s to improve their productivity and performance with a particular focus on driving greater employee engagement and involvement.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits and process of mentoring you can either visit the website www.dormen.org.uk or call one of our Programme Managers on 01202 607 530. Dorset Business Mentoring also runs a popular rolling programme of FREE taster sessions around the county which present an opportunity in an informal setting to meet mentors, clients and gain an understanding of how a business mentor could benefit you and your business.


Entitled ‘Experience a Taste of Mentoring’ you can book your place in advance. Our next event is at Salterns Hotel, Poole 21st March, 5:30-7:30pm. Please book via Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.com/e/taste-of-mentoring-for-business-owners-tickets-55907478774   If you are unable to attend or would prefer a face to face conversation, one of our team or a local Mentor will be pleased to come and meet you without obligation.