Friday, October 30th, 2020

How-To: Spring Clean Your Office for Better Sales

By Ellen Rohr on Mar 28 2011 • Filed under How-To

Entrepreneurs: Sping Clean your office, increase your business.

The earth has tilted, the sun is shining…Spring has sprung! Time to do some Spring Cleaning. If your company is a pigsty it won’t bother the slobs who work with you. Maybe you are a slob yourself. Or maybe you have just grown used to the mess. But, the neat nicks in your business are going to high tail it out of there if you don’t clean it up.

Interestingly, if your office is neat as a pin, it won’t bother the slobs. They don’t notice anyway. So, the only environment that can handle all personality types is neat and clean. That’s one major reason for cleaning up your company. One more reason to keep a ship shape shop: Sales.

Project professionalism for Better Sales

Perhaps you offer skilled services to your customers. Doctors, computer consultants, plumbers, pilots take note: your customers are not aware of all the technical demands of your profession. But they will make assumptions about your skills based on the little things, like if you have a blob of ketchup on your shirt. Or if your garbage cans are spilling over. Consciously and sub-consciously your customers are sizing you up. If you are taking care of the little things, they know you have the big things handled. This could make them decide whether or not to buy from you.

There’s another much more important reason to clean up your act: Discipline.

It starts with you. Communicate who you are by your attention to the details. Maybe you have too many details to manage. Then, streamline all systems and keep only those items and procedures that help you make money. You may decide that a neat and clean uniform directly contributes to making sales. If you sincerely believe that – I do! – then you are going to have to be willing to fire anyone who refuses to wear the regulation uniform in spit-shine condition.

Your desk says a lot about you. Is it a sane, functional, inspiring working environment? Or is it disaster on four legs? Certainly, a clean desk can improve your productivity. Even more importantly, it communicates that you know what you are doing.

I am not a neat nick. I am not particularly tidy or organized. But, I have disciplined myself to be orderly and systematic because I don’t like the consequences of being a slob. I don’t like people to think that I am disorganized and out of control. On the contrary, I want customers, employees, vendors and subcontractors to feel that, by working with me, they have found a sane harbour in a sea of chaos.

I also got tired of searching for everything I thought was “right here.”

Take a good look at your desk. Be honest. If it’s a mess – yes, even just “a little messy” – clean it!

Start with your desk.

This is easy to do…but we don’t take anything for granted. Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a neat and functional workspace.

  • Collect the tools you’ll need – a garbage can, a stapler, post-it notes, paper clips, a marking pen and furniture polish or all-purpose cleaner, and a large cup of coffee.
  • Lock your door and take the phone off the hook.
  • Take everything – I mean EVERYTHING – off your desk. Empty all drawers and shelves. Set everything on the floor.
  •  Actually CLEAN your desk – inside and out. Polish it – make it shine!
  • Go through every pile and get rid of the trash – THROW IT OUT! Be ruthless. Out-of-date information? TOSS! A magazine that is more than two months old? PITCH! (Remember, it is unlikely that you would ever LOOK through your huge piles of stuff to actually find something. If any of this information is available through the Internet or with a telephone call that is where you should get it.)
  • Put everything you’d like to keep into “like-kind” (similar information) piles  on the floor.
  • Use your tools to make small notes, staple corresponding items together, label and sort.
  • Put back on your desk ONLY the things you will need to access this week.
  • Put back in your drawers ONLY one of each type of office supply item you use.
  • Put back on your shelves ONLY the current projects that require your immediate attention.
  • Take the piles of like-kind information and FILE them!
  • As each new item crosses your desk, you must take a second and put it in its place.
  • Put your mission statement ON YOUR WALL.
  • Even if they are in perfect condition, throw out the bright green folders that you know you will never use. If that strikes you as being wasteful, then donate the folders to the Salvation Army, or the Victory Mission. But, do it today, or throw them away!

A clean desk is no small thing. It is symbolic of your commitment to excellence, fundamental business basics and focused thinking. It is a testimony to your personal discipline. If you can’t keep your own desk clear and your work focused and productive, then who are you to lead others? A clean desk speaks volumes. It’s Spring-cleaning time!

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