How to “Marie Kondo” Your Business: What doesn’t spark joy must go

You’ve spring cleaned your closet. Apartment. House. Yard. Planted your garden. Learned to make your favorite Portland restaurant meals from scratch. And rearranged your furniture three times. You’ve gone full KonMari on your life, but what about your business? 

Many businesses have been forced to re-evaluate their processes due to COVID-19 restrictions. Employees have fully transitioned to WFH life and offices are operating on skeleton staff. The incentive to adopt digital practices has skyrocketed, and processes that used to be part of normal workflow are no longer feasible. As a business owner, now is the perfect time to further evaluate employee roles, rethink processes, and weed out areas that no longer spark joy for you or your employees. 

What does not Spark Joy?  

Identifying areas that do not spark joy is the first step to spring cleaning your business. Take time to identify areas that demand resources but needlessly dominate your and your employees’ time. Ask yourself what responsibilities have you assumed that you don’t truly love? What does “success” truly mean to you, and are you running your business in a way that aligns with that definition? Outdated processes and undesirable tasks lead to increased expenses and inhibited growth as you and your team spend precious time on things that are necessary but not innovative or value-driving. Outsourcing functions and streamlining processes will help you and your employees focus your energy on doing what you do best.

The Not-To-Do List 

COVID-19 has put us all through the ringer in different ways. With major shifts in life and business often comes a need to reflect and evolve. Introducing the Not-To-Do List. The Not-To-Do List is a list of all the things you should do, but either don’t or delay as long as possible because you don’t enjoy doing them. Creating your Not-To-Do List is easy: 

  1. Make a list of everything you do. Seriously. Write it down. Consider taking a day or even a week where you write everything down that you do in a day, even things outside of your business. 
  1. Circle the things that don’t bring you joy. Usually, these are the things you put off as long as possible. Taxes, anyone? Don’t take too long to think about this. Just go with your gut. 
  1. Delegate and outsourceThis is the part that is easier said than done because control must be relinquished, and money must be spent. But if you keep doing this, you’ll find that you have more time for the things that bring you joy, and your business will reap the benefits. 

Consider having your employees (or maybe just team leaders) do the same exercise and examine the results. Even if you can’t make any promises about how their responsibilities might change in the future, the fact that you’ve expressed interest could help boost morale. From there, your team can discuss the major themes brought up for process improvement and brainstorm solutions. Overhauling business processes is a team effort and the best feedback for process improvement will come from the employees who encounter the problem areas on a regular basis. Instilling a “what can we do better?” attitude fosters an environment of continuous improvement and the feeling that your employees’ voices and future matter to you. 

Sparking Joy 

 I fully recognize that tidying up your business is not as easy as tidying up your home. You can’t throw away or donate your financial statements simply because they don’t bring you joy. But a business coach of mine once reminded me that all the things that don’t bring you joy—those things you procrastinate or that keep falling to the bottom of your to-do list—those same exact things bring someone else gobs and gobs of joy. That is the beauty of a world full of humans with diverse talents and interests.

Entering invoices for payment, depositing checks, recording receivables, and performing bank reconciliations all tend to be areas that spark dread. They tend to involve a lot of time, focus, and non-joyous thoughts from the hours spent entering data manually, hunting down customers and vendors, and searching for small keying errors—all things that seem to add more time to the process than they are worth. Whether you have a dedicated accounting team, or operate with multi-hyphenate job titles, there is a good chance some processes are in need of an update that will free up your employees’ time and energy to focus on their areas of specialty in your business. As a business owner, you are a process owner, but that does not mean you cannot give up (read: outsource) processes that do not spark joy for you or your team. 

Your Accounting KonMari Experts 

We may not be the experts in organizing closets and living spaces, but when it comes to process improvement, accounting automation, and internal controls, we are your Marie Kondo of accounting. Tired of spending way too many employee hours on paying invoices? We can automate that for you. Need some extra help with transaction processing or closing the books? That sparks joy for us. Wondering how to implement strong internal controls throughout your business? We have some ideas. Wondering if your current internal controls are strong enough? We can identify areas for improvement.  Re-evaluating your current accounting processes and internal controls will provide a solid foundation to keep your business tidy in the years to come. Schedule a conversation with us today so you can focus on the joy-sparking activities and success of your business!  

Schedule Conversation