6 Strategies to Declutter your Business

September is a notorious "restart" month, Douglas give some advice on how to get rid of that extra mess in your office, books and company that is bound to give you a clean slate.

Young creative business people meeting at office.

Get Your Receivables in Order

OK, so some customers were slow to pay over the summer. You’re not alone — 64 per cent of SMEs have unpaid invoices at least 60 days old, according to the National Federation of Independent Business. But now it’s time to pay up, so send out a reminder email. If that doesn’t work, it’s time for a personal phone call. The idea is not to let overdue accounts hit the 120-day mark, at which point your chances of being paid decrease dramatically. Remember, many businesses go through hard times, so a willingness to work with those who have previously been good payers (with payment plans, etc.) will often pay off in the long run.

Clean Out Your Email

Don’t go back to work with an overflowing email inbox. Clean it out. Better yet, decide if your email program is working well for you and, if it’s an option for your business, consider moving to Gmail, one of the best tools out there for email management. Not only can you easily train Gmail to filter out spam, you can schedule emails to send at a later date, set reminders, create robust filters to sort email and easily connect to organizational apps like Asana or Trello to turn your emails into tasks you can then assign to yourself or your team.

Check Your Intellectual Property

Canada’s trademark laws changed recently: Have you noticed? In any case, it’s a great time to review your trademarks and intellectual property to ensure you have a lock on the key elements of your brand, including your business name, tagline, logo and the names of your key products.

Examine neglected projects

Every business has a dustbin project, one that has been sidelined or stalled due to lack of funding, lack of time or both. Decide now whether to take action on it or cross it off the list forever. Keeping something that won’t happen on a list just contributes to mental clutter.

Tidy Up Your Sales Process

Does part of your sales process feel broken? Old demos? Outdated CRM? Steps in the process with lower conversion rates? Staff who don’t perform? Take action now, because when sales doesn’t work, eventually nothing in your company will.


A study on the effects of clutter found that individuals who feel overwhelmed by the amount of “stuff” in their homes were more likely to procrastinate. No similar study exists for workplaces, but if there’s even a chance a cluttered workplace is impacting employee productivity, it’s a good enough reason to “Marie Kondo” your office.

This article is from the August/September 2019 issue of Douglas.