Now that Spring has arrived, it’s a good time to clean house. This action can make you more efficient and save you money as well.
How many thousand emails are sitting in Outlook? How many old projects are sitting on your hard drive?
Take the time to clean house. This will save you time when searching for people, projects, etc.
- Delete unneeded messages. If you’ve saved old emails because you thought you’d revisit them later on, ask yourself if this is really so. Surely, if they’ve been languishing for a year or two, it is probably time to admit you don’t need them and can delete them.
- Use folders for emails. Create folders in which to store old messages that you need to retain.
- Save old projects on thumb drives or in the cloud. Remove them from your hard drive to free up space and to eliminate files that you’d otherwise include in searches.
Your equipment and machinery
Consider upgrading your outdated items, such as old tablets, smartphones, and equipment, or machinery. This can improve efficiency of your staff and operations.
If you’re upgrading big-ticket items, think before you trade in an old machine for a new one. It may save you money, but from a tax perspective, this action can have negative consequences. It will impede your ability to write off the cost of the new machine because the tax basis of the new machine is adjusted to be the tax basis of the one you traded in. Thus, if you fully depreciated the cost of the old machine, your new machine has a zero basis if you made an even swap. If you paid additional cash, that becomes your tax basis.
Consider donating old items. While you won’t get tax write-offs because you probably fully deducted their cost through first-year expensing and depreciation, you’ll clean house and benefit someone else. Of course, you need to scrub your information from smartphones, computers, etc.
Some donation options to explore:
- Cell Phone Bank
- Cell Phones for Soldiers
- Computers with Causes
- GRC Wireless (sell smartphones or donate them)
Items sitting on your shelf for a long time or stored endlessly in a warehouse are costing you money. The longer you delay disposing of old inventory, the more it costs you. Spring cleaning for inventory can include:
- Sales. Deep discounts can move merchandise. But beware of terms like “liquidation,” “clearance,” and “close out,” which have a negative connotation and imply that something is wrong—with the merchandise or your company.
- Donations. Depending on the nature of your items, you surely can find organizations (e.g., schools, shelters) that will appreciate your donations.
- Give-aways. Again depending on what you sell, old inventory may be useful as promotional items to spur sales of your new inventory. Alternatively, you may be able to bundle old items with new ones and sell as a single unit.
If you’ve ever cleaned out your home closet, garage, or attic, you know what a great feeling it is to have moved out junk and opened up space. The same feeling can be achieved if you Spring clean your business.
NOTE: This article was originally authored by Barbara Weltman, an award-winning writer and advocate for the small business community. It has been re-published with permission.