This Month (May) Denyse Has Been . . .

This Month (May) Denyse Has Been . . .

I love everything about May. It’s a magical month with the hedgerows filled with clouds of lacy, white cow parsley and the beach a riot of sea kale and red valerian. (Hop over to Instagram for more photos).

And this means my favourite season, summer, is on the horizon. While I don’t ever want to wish spring away, it’s hard not to think of summer’s simple pleasures - whether that’s joy of leaving the office early for a picnic on the beach, iced tea in the garden or watching a summer sunset.

It’s also the time of year when I like to spring clean. From a business perspective, this means reviewing work I’ve created and re-assessing whether it’s good enough. I’m never satisfied – in a good way – which means I’m always looking to be better. Spring cleaning creates the space for new ideas to emerge, and frees up the time to put them into action is therefore a high priority.

Here’s how I’ve been spring cleaning my business to make way for the new:

1. CURATING MY MAGAZINE COLLECTION

Let's start with what was for me the most fun activity on my spring cleaning list! I have a HUGE pile of magazines I’ve been saving because they’re great for triggering ideas for my own marketing campaigns as well as those of clients. Over a couple of Sunday mornings, listening to the radio, I worked my way through my magazine pile, and pulled out anything I thought would be useful, and sorted it into themes e.g. ideas for seasonal marketing campaigns, ideas for new products, interviews with business leaders I admire and so on. Some pages will make it onto a new vision board I’m creating.

On a cloudy day, pull out all your old magazines and scour them for creative ideas for your marketing campaigns. Colour palettes you love. Magazines you’d like to feature in. Images of people who represent your target customers. Have some fun. Read this article to find out more about creating a vision board.

[callout]To find out how I can help with your business scale up strategy, you can download my brochure with details of my business coaching and mentoring services HERE. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to talk to me directly, simply e-mail me to arrange a ‘coffee chat.’[/callout]

2. UNSUBSCRIBING FROM POINTLESS NEWSLETTERS

Like you I imagine you were, I was fed up with the endless emails about GDPR, some from people who I’d never heard of in the first place! Every day I came across an email about GDPR in my Inbox, I unsubscribed from at least 10 lists.

Do you ever wonder how you even ended up on so many email lists? Usually this is because of a purchase you made. There’s no need to be bombarded by every business that you have ever bought from. Use a tool like Unroll.me, a service that lets you “roll up” the newsletters you do want to keep into a single message, and bulk unsubscribe from those you don’t.

3. UPDATING KEY PAGES ON MY WEBSITE

Preparing for GDPR meant I had to review and update my Privacy Policy to make sure it complied with best practice. I took the opportunity to review and simplify some of the key pages on my website, including my contact, FAQs and business consulting pages. Over the next month, I intend to review all the key pages on my website, simplify and optimise them for SEO purposes.

Google has shortened the length of display snippets (meta descriptions) since the introduction of GDPR. Review the meta descriptions on your key pages to follow the ‘150/150 approach’ recommended by Moz.

4. CANCELLING ACCOUNTS FOR SERVICES OR SOFTWARE

While I was updating my cash flow forecast, I checked my list of all the payments that go out of my account on a regular basis. I noticed a few that I could do without, and cancelled these accounts. With the savings I made, I signed up to a more expensive social media management software which has greater functionality.

Automatic payments are great. That is until you don’t need the service any more. Check your bank statement, credit card statement and PayPal account to cancel any subscriptions you no longer need.

5. UPDATING MY TERMS AND CONDITIONS

I only updated my terms and conditions last autumn. But when a potential client messed me around, I decided to make some minor adjustments my terms and conditions to nip that possibility in the bud sooner rather than later. A couple of my clients are in the process of reviewing their terms and conditions because they work in the trades industry, and their cash flow is adversely affected if customers don’t pay on time.

The UK has a late payment culture, which makes it hard for small businesses to manage their cash flow. Make sure your trading conditions are right, and protect you against late or non-payment. This article is quite old, but nevertheless a good starting point.

LAST MONTH I WAS:

Reading … Louise Minchin’s Dare To Tri: My Journey From BBC Sofa To GB Team Triathlete, Jon Sopel’s If Only They Didn’t Speak English: Notes From Trump’s America and re-reading Discover Your True North by Bill George.

Listening To…Interviews with some of my favourite female entrepreneurs on the Lifestyle Newshound podcast and the sublime music of Sheku Kanneh-Mason.

Writing About ... The Royal Wedding.

THIS MONTH, I’M:

Looking Forward To … more sunny days on the beach, almond and cherry iced tea, a masterclass with Trinny London and watching the students from a young street dance company I’ve been working with at their first showcase.

Question: How was your May? I love reading your feedback so please do take a moment to share let me know in the comments box below.

EXPLORE THESE ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Here's a selection of my articles from earlier in the month. Did you miss?

If it's your first time here, you may also want to check out the resources I've curated to help you grow your business. These include some of my most popular content.

TO WORK WITH DENYSE

To start a conversation about whether we’re a good fit to work together:

  • Either download my brochure with details of my business consulting and executive coaching services.

  • Or simply e-mail me to arrange a coffee chat wherever suits you best – your office, her office, Hotel du Vin or virtually.

There’s no hard sell. Just solid advice and a straightforward, honest assessment of whether our services would be right for you.