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Mind Your Business: Spring Awakening


It’s fashion week in Paris — and with the Oscars over and New York’s fashion week wrapped, there’s a reawakening in the air.

Prints, florals, whites, bright colors, even fluorescents (yikes!) are all the rage on runways and red carpets. Pantone, the arbiter of all things color, named “honeysuckle” – a bright pink, in case you didn’t know – as its 2011 color of the year, calling it “courageous, confident, vital and brave.”

Consumers too, are coming out of a three-year hibernation, it seems. Making sure your company is ready to meet their newly awakened desire for something shiny, new, exciting and “colorful” should be on the top of your spring “to-do” list.

Out with the old

There’s a reason it’s called “spring cleaning.” As soon as that first hint of spring air blows in, in kicks the instinct to throw open the windows, mop the floors and clean out the closets. After months of being trapped indoors, we’re ready for something new, clean and fresh. Flowers, fresh air and fun.

The same is true of your customers. When they check in with you this spring, they’ll be looking for your next great idea, product, offer or service. Still selling the same old thing the same old way? Your customers are going to seek out more fresh and fragrant offerings.

Even if you’re sticking with your tried-and-true product (which may not be a bad idea), find a way to spruce up your marketing or your advertising. Consumers are looking to shed their winter coats and their recessionary ways and are ready to start spending on something new.

Plant the seeds of social media

Now’s the time to start looking for new customers, but they’re not where they used to be.  In the time it’s taken for the recession to play itself out, there’s been an epic migration of customers to social media. While your business was struggling to survive the long, dormant season of the recession, your customers set out for more fertile ground and they found it on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re not there with them, you’ve got a long row to hoe. But, if you start now, you’ll be reaping the rewards by year-end.

A new you

If there’s one thing we all learned from the recession, it’s that work isn’t everything. Striking a balance between your work life and your personal life will prove an effective survival strategy for the long run. Otherwise, your burst of newfound enthusiasm will wilt as quickly as the first crocuses.

Whether it’s incorporating exercise into your day or just making sure to take a vacation now and then, creating a little “you” time will keep you fresh.

It will also give you a new perspective on your business. Spending time away from your business and experiencing other people, places and things will allow you to return to remember what it’s like to be the one doing the buying and not the one doing the selling. You’ll also be re-energized to start anew even when this season of renewal is over.

And, who knows, maybe you’ll even have time to plant a garden.

Jeanette Mulvey is the managing editor of BusinessNewsDaily. She has written about small business for more than 20 years and formerly owned her own e-commerce business. Her column, Mind Your Business, appears on Mondays only on BusinessNewsDaily. You can follow her on Twitter at @jeanettebnd or contact her via e-mail at jmulvey@techmedianetwork.com.

Jeanette Mulvey

Jeanette has been writing about business for more than 20 years. She has written about every kind of entrepreneur from hardware store owners to fashion designers. Previously she was a manager of internal communications for Home Depot. Her journalism career began in local newspapers. She has a degree in American Studies from Rutgers University. Follow her on Twitter @jeanettebnd.