Christmas and New Year’s both fall at times that split the week this year. You may be thinking that it is hard to go back to work after having a day or so off during the week, with your clients telling you, “Call me after the holidays.”
If you have no immediate business with pressing issues, what can you do that will be productive and meaningful? Getting new business in the pipeline right now might seem next to impossible (of course, that is not always true). However, if you are stuck on what to do, I suggest you work on setting up your 2020 for success. It begins now. Here are some ideas to make that happen:
1. Organize and clean up your database. Call past clients and referral partners. Ask how their holiday season is going, and explain that you are cleaning up your database to make sure that you begin 2020 with all the correct information. Ask if they have a few minutes to go over their info with you. Get the important info, like email, alternate phone numbers, birthdays, mailing address, etc. Make sure you wish them a happy New Year, and remind them that you work by referral. Ask who may need or want your services. Who knows — maybe they will surprise you.
2. Now that you have correct addresses, send out ‘Happy New Year’ cards. It may be the only one they get, and you will stand out to them. Your clients likely receive tons of Christmas, Hanukkah and general holiday cards. By New Year’s, most, if not all, of those have gone into the trash or recycle bin. Your New Year’s card will most likely be an anomaly. If you can personalize it, that’s even better.
3. Create SMART goals for 2020. I recommend setting annual goals, first-quarter goals and first-month goals. Start with annual, and then break it down to what needs to be done monthly, and maybe even weekly. Write these goals down and pick an accountability partner or two to share them with. What is a SMART goal?
• Specific: The more specific the goal is, the more you will create the result.
• Measurable: What gets measured gets done.
• Attainable: You know what is possible and what is not — notice I said possible, not realistic. You may think something is not realistic for you, but you know it is possible. Never be afraid to set an unrealistic goal and then get support from others in order to achieve it. Those are the best goals to reach. Surprise yourself with what you can do.
• Risky: There is no growth without risk — big risks equal big rewards.
• Timeline: When will you achieve it by? There must be an end date in mind.
4. Business planning is crucial during this period of time. Create a business plan or marketing strategy that you want to follow through with in 2020. It should contain the why behind your goal, the goal and the steps to achieve it. Make this your action plan to follow. Keep it handy all year. It does no good to set it and forget it. Allow others to see it so they can help to hold you accountable for what you set out to do. Share it with your team and your boss (if you have one).
5. Create tracking spreadsheets. You cannot expect what you do not inspect. They do not have to be intricate; they can be basic tally sheets. However, in order to have progress, you must know where you are and where you are going. You may not know your 2019 numbers yet, so before you sit down to write goals for 2020, go back and track where you are now. Find your point A in order to decide your point B. Now that you know your numbers, create a system to stay on top of it. Your spreadsheet should have a way to track and measure the results of all of the action steps in your business plan.
6. Take (or meet) your referral partners for coffee, lunch, breakfast, brunch, etc. Show your appreciation for the referrals they have sent you. Do not ask for more business at this time; just show gratitude and appreciation for what they mean to you and to your business. For many people, the best way to show gratitude is to give your time. Spending this time with them could mean a great deal and go a long way. Remember that many people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Of course, this list is not 100% complete, but it is a start. Do you have any year-ending business traditions that you think are helpful? Please share them with me!
This post was originally written for Forbes. See original >> HERE