Many businesses experience a decrease in customer interaction during the first weeks of the year. Embrace this opportunity. Take advantage of time with few or no distractions to accomplish projects, and prepare your business for high energy and productivity throughout the remainder of the year.
Organize, organize, organize: Clear the clutter from desk and counter tops and file the documents appropriately. File the stack of business cards you’ve been collecting, or better yet, input the information into an electronic format for easy transfer to e-newsletters, labels or phone databases.
Get creative: Design the basic outline of your e-zines for 2011. If you haven’t been publishing a newsletter, start one now. Ratepoint offers template and social media interaction without add-on costs.
Prepare for tax time: Collect and organize receipts and bank statements. Label and store “dead files” from 2010 for easy access should they be needed in the future. Send a notice to your vendors asking for verification of tax identification information. Encourage employees to review their W-4 forms and revise as needed.
Set goals: Determine your financial, marketing, networking and professional development goals and plans for 2011. Write them down and post or file them in a location that’s easily accessible. Refer to these at least once a week. Revise as needed. Use them!
Renew the office atmosphere: Dust and vacuum. Trim and water the plants. Purchase regularly used office supplies and store them in a convenient, but out of the way location. Replace burnt out light bulbs and weak batteries. Check the smoke detector. Replace HVAC and/or furnace filters. Wash the windows and clean the computer screens.
Review contracts: Take a look at all vendor contracts and month-to-month plans such as business equipment leases and maintenance agreements, phone service and phone book listing contracts, insurance premiums for your business, even your office or tenant space rental fee. Shop several vendors that provide identical services. Ask your provider for a better deal. Thinking you may want to move out of your home office, but not certain about making the leap. Check with DC Executive Space, they can help you make the best decision for your company.
Update your media: Review your business cards, web site, blog, social media platforms, flyers and other handouts. Is your brand consistent? Is all contact information current?
Write: Prepare several articles and blog posts for publication at a future date. Prepare a list of social media posts that can be published on an as needed basis when you can’t think of something clever at a moment’s notice.
Network: Make phone calls and send notes to folks you didn’t connect with during the holidays. I encourage you to interact in an informal way. Re-establish communication, but don’t push for a sale or other commitment.
Wishing you a most Prosperous New Year!