Updated October 2021.
Updated December 2022.
How was this past year for you? How was it for your business?
The end of the year is always a good time to reflect on the past year, so if there were areas of your business that could be better, it’s important to list where those weaknesses are and make a plan to improve in those areas specifically.
I encourage you to take half an hour or so, and jot down a quick list of what worked, and what didn’t this past year. Then, think of ways that you can improve in all of those areas.
Here are 6 things that you might not have considered:
Update your social media bios and website
I have a great post about updating your social media bios, you can read it here. Go one step further and cull your connections (I have another post for that here). BE RUTHLESS. If you are on LinkedIn, it’s a great time to take a peek at your overall profile and ensure that it’s current as well.
For your website, look at your copy and make sure it’s current and relevant. Make sure you have an SEO plugin installed to make the most of your website so that it comes up in searches going into next year.
Use the same photo across your social media channels for brand consistency.
Excess files quickly build up and slow down your system. Schedule some time (an hour here, an hour there – but put it into your calendar and treat it like an important appointment) to go through all of those files, and figure out if you should delete them or keep them. Anything you keep should be backed up because one day, your computer could very well go kaput! I wrote a blog post about backing up files, which can be found here.
While you are at it, sort through your inbox and go to town unsubscribing to newsletters and updates that no longer interest you. The end of the year is the BEST time for this because everyone is sending out their updated policies.
This will not only organize your files but hopefully speed up your computer, too, so you can get more done next year.
Don’t forget to sort through your cloud storage as well! I have a great post about that here.
It sucks, but it has to be done. If you haven’t been on top of this task weekly or monthly, it might take a bit longer to do it all at the end of the year, but once it’s done, you’ll feel amazing. Print any invoices or receipts you need and make sure they are filed with your end of the year paperwork accordingly.
Now, you’re all ready for tax time!
Organize your contact list and schedule meetings
This is a great time of year to review your contacts and decide who should be contacted in the New Year. Make a list of 4 people to schedule meetings with in January and make those calls or send those emails. Schedule a coffee meeting every week, and start the process over again at the end of January.
While you are at it, this might be a great time to ask for testimonials from contacts you’ve worked within the past year. Remember, those testimonials can go on your website and your social media. It’s your time to shine!
Review your marketing
What worked last year and what didn’t? If you’re looking back at last year and thinking that you should have started advertising your speaking engagement or event sooner, this is the time to be proactive.
Check your calendar for the coming year and note when your events are. Then, plan backwards from those dates and list when to start newsletters, social media and signups. Be sure to put those preparation plans in your calendar.
Speaking of calendars
Whether it’s paper or electronic, you will have a better success rate when you put it into your calendar. EVERYTHING should go into it. Family stuff, work stuff, invoice due dates, etc. Colour code if it calms your mind, just make sure it’s added. Then set up reminders so that you never miss something important.
Get more clients
Once you set up the meetings I mentioned above, it’s time to perfect your pitch and go out and get ’em! More clients mean more work, which is a great time to think about hiring a virtual assistant to help you move your business forward. Upward and onward for next year, friends!
My VA Delegation Worksheet is a super tool that will help you to figure out what to delegate.
This article was featured on Sarah Clarke’s website.