Business In Need Of A ‘Declutter’? Nine Steps To Get You Started


There can come a time for many established businesses when processes become overwhelming, projects start running off track and tech stacks can get too complicated to function cohesively. All of these signs point to a need for simplification—a “decluttering” of the business and its systems. Taking the time to review what’s no longer necessary, keeping only what adds value to the business, is essential if you want to streamline your processes—but where should you begin?

Below, the members of Young Entrepreneur Council offer a few suggestions about where you can start as well as what you might want to get rid of or reconsider this year and beyond.

1. Take An In-Depth Look At Your Expenses

An in-depth look at your profit and loss statement is often a great place to start. Carve out time to review expenses incurred over a few months and you may be surprised at how many subscriptions and services you no longer use but are still paying for. You may also find that platform fees have increased unexpectedly, prompting further investigation and cost-cutting opportunities. – Jack Perkins, CFO Hub

2. Cut Unnecessary Meetings

Cutting unnecessary meetings is a great way to declutter business operations. We’ve just audited our meeting calendar and identified several recurring meetings that didn’t need to happen or didn’t need to be as frequent. By eliminating meetings that weren’t offering enough value, my team has more time to do focused work. As a result, we’re already seeing more progress in our projects this year! – Diana Goodwin, MarketBox

3. Restructure How You Spend Your Time

In our experience, the most effective “decluttering” isn’t paring back business services or subscriptions you don’t really need but restructuring how you spend your time. We use S.M.A.R.T. goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) to guide our work. It’s an easy way to prioritize, but even more fundamentally, it helps you understand what’s important and what’s not. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

4. Review Your Company’s Knowledge-Sharing System

One important place to declutter is your company wiki or knowledge-sharing system. Archive old documents or processes that are no longer active. Revise and clean up old project files and delete videos and other outdated marketing materials. This saves space, which you’re often paying for, and makes it easier for employees to find what they need, thus saving time and money. – Nathalie Lussier, AccessAlly

5. Determine Which Projects Generate Low ROI

Cut projects and initiatives that generate low ROI. Passive business leaders continue to expend resources on anything that produces a profit. However, there is an opportunity cost with all resources you deploy. Look at things that have a low ROI and reallocate that labor and budget toward projects that are more likely to generate a higher return. – Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep Mattress

6. Discuss Obstacles With Your Team

Start by asking your team what unnecessary hurdles they face in their daily operations that prevent them from performing at peak efficiency. As a leader, you may be so removed from the day-to-day that you aren’t aware of bottlenecks, unnecessary meetings and clunky processes. Your teams, however, are acutely aware—and likely have already done the work of brainstorming solutions. – Samuel Saxton, ConsumerRating.org

7. Reduce Your Paper Use

Paper is not your friend. Businesses get so much of it and need so little of it. The first thing to do is purge all physical files. You must keep banking and tax records for seven years but can get rid of all those pamphlets other vendors left you last year that you never considered. You may also want to consider getting rid of old electronics. – Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure

8. Evaluate Your Tech Tools

With the rapid emergence of new tech apps in the business world, I recommend conducting semi-annual evaluations of your company’s tech tools. This will allow you to identify and eliminate redundant or ineffective tools and assess the tools’ compatibility, leading to a more streamlined process and minimizing company expenses. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS

9. Simplify Your Processes

To declutter business operations this year, try eliminating unnecessary complications. For this, you should consider fine-tuning workflows and removing unnecessary steps to get the job done. To attain operational excellence, business leaders should pursue simplification. So, it’s best to remove tasks or activities that serve as more of a hindrance than facilitate attaining the set goals. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms



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