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Some of us thank our lucky stars for staying busy throughout this year, with the occasional period of being overloaded. But I’ll take feeling overwhelmed with client requests over famine any day.
I often say that I’m lucky with my business. However, the truth is that I do my best to treat my clients well and do marketing almost daily.
Many of us become so absorbed in our work that we forget to look at the big picture. It’s worth your time to review your work and determine what to change up for the New Year. These questions and activities will help you with your review so you can clean up your business for the better and have a successful and enjoyable year ahead.
- Are there any clients that bug you? It’s not failure on your part to let go of a client. While smart workers focus on the project and not people issues, sometimes we just don’t mesh well with the client. You are the expert in your field. If a client doesn’t agree with your recommendations, you may not be a good fit.
- Are there any projects you dread doing? Does it pay when you hate the work? That can affect your health, which can badly affect productivity and profit. I’ve found that when I don’t enjoy an assignment, I tend to procrastinate. Dropping the energy-draining projects could lead to two fabulous ones that take the same amount of time and energy.
- Review projects and activities while asking, “Why do you do this?” Asking this question identifies possible time-wasters.
- Is there an easier or faster way to do this? If we all did things because “that’s the way we’ve always done them,” we’d never innovate or make improvements.
- What will the opportunity cost you? Accepting everything new that comes your way could end up costing more than the revenue brings in.
- What product or services do you sell? Are they still relevant? Is it time to drop one? Add one? What are customers saying? Are they wishing for something?
- List all of your activities including projects, clients and marketing. How much money do they bring in? How’s the return on the time I spend on it? Do I need to spend more time here? Less time there?
- List “want to do” projects that aren’t “must dos.” It helps to be aware of what these are so you can prioritize your activities to make these happen. Here’s how to do those “want to dos” when you have a full schedule.
- What’s one new thing I’d like to learn more about? If you don’t challenge yourself or keep up with changing times, you’ll get bored or left behind. Take a class. Attend a webinar. Read books and magazines.
If the thought of doing a thorough review like this seems overwhelming, set the timer for 25 minutes per day for two weeks (or however long it takes you to finish this) and go. No rule says you must finish it in X hours or X days. But the sooner you do it, the sooner you can make changes to turn the New Year into a bang up one.
How do you plan for the year ahead?
Photo credit: gerard79