Looking to have a better year in business in 2020? Here are 20 things that you can do to get your year off to a positive start. These tasks will jump-start your business and let your customers and referral partners know that you are ready for a great year of growth.
1. Set SMART goals. These goals are specific, measurable, attainable and relevant and time-bound. Write them down, and make copies, posting them in multiple places that you will see on a regular basis.
2. Update your database. Add current phone numbers, addresses, emails, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Then set up reminders in your customer relationship management (CRM) system. Get ready to send cards and make phone calls to your people. That way you will never lose touch, and people will always remember that you’re in business. When in a service-related industry, most people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
3. Contact all past clients and customers to wish them a happy New Year. Let them know that you are updating your database, and ask for their current info. If need be, apologize for not reaching out in a while, and make a new commitment to stay in touch.
4. Create a clean tracking sheet to analyze where your business is coming from. Track your return on investment of time and money spent. No one wants to waste time or money, and without tracking, you can easily do that.
5. Break bread with current referral partners, and ask about their 2020 goals. Write the goals down, and follow up with your referral partners on a monthly basis, offering accountability and support when and where needed. Find a need and fill it so that you can assist them in reaching their goals.
6. Add 20 new connections to each of your social media sites. Make sure these connections are people who can help grow your business. They can be past clients, current referral partners or prospects for future business or partnerships.
7. Schedule reminders for acts of kindness toward co-workers. This will help strengthen your relationships and build loyalty. Most people like doing acts of kindness; however, we often forget to do them because we get busy with our daily tasks. Use your imagination. There are endless ways to be kind and recognize people, such as a sincere thank you, a small gift, taking them to lunch or even a public shoutout of appreciation.
8. Schedule time off and vacations now so that you don’t skip them. Time off is an important piece of your professional life. It prevents burnout and gives you an opportunity to reset and come back stronger than when you left.
9. Choose a book to read or a training to attend. Improving you will improve your business.
10. Set a date, and begin to plan a client appreciation party. People like to be appreciated. When you appreciate people, you can build loyalty and bring in referrals. Your business becomes more sustainable while spending less on marketing for new clients.
11. Pick a day to contribute to the community. Invite your clients, customers, referral partners and co-workers to join you. This is called cause marketing. It’s a win-win: The nonprofit wins by the support it gets, and your company wins because people often like to work with a company that has a cause and supports the local community.
12. Make sure your personal affairs are in order. Update your beneficiaries. Complete your trust and living will, and sign your power of attorney.
13. Have a group planning session with people whose businesses are intertwined with yours. Make sure they all know your goals and expectations for 2020, and see how they are willing to support you in reaching them.
14. If you’re married or have a significant other, have a meeting to discuss your goals and how you can support each other in achieving them. Discuss goals that are both personal and professional. If you are not in a relationship, choose a friend you care about and trust, and be there for each other.
15. Clean out your office, work space and desk. Get rid of clutter. Clutter can create stress and block the space for new and greater things to enter. On that note, you might want to consider decluttering your home, bedroom and closet as well.
16. Evaluate last year’s business efforts. Decide what worked and what didn’t, and what needs to be eliminated, added or tweaked. Write it down, and follow through with what you wrote.
17. Choose a networking group, recurring event or professional organization to join. Attend the events, and grow your sphere. Add the dates and times to your calendar now, as appointments, and stick to attending.
18. Chose a self-care activity to do on a regular basis throughout the year. Put it on your calendar now. Maintain it as a priority. Many of us put our clients first; however, you are just as important and should be prioritized. Schedule other appointments around your self-care item.
19. Create a bucket list of 50 things that you want to do while you are alive. Commit to doing one each quarter or one each month. This keeps life exciting, and it may attract people to you. Being a people magnet will help keep your business alive.
20. Ask 20 people for referrals. You get what you ask for. And if you don’t ask for referrals, you most likely won’t get any. A simple way to ask for a referral is, “Who do you know that I should know who needs (what your company offers)?”
I recommend that you start completing these tasks ASAP. The more you complete, the more you will see your business grow. I have already started on my list. If you would like to discuss your results or brainstorm on these ideas with me, please reach out!