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Monday, December 26, 2011

8 Step Back to Business Checklist

8 Ways to Get the New Year Started - a January 2012 Checklist. Often the first weeks of the new year are a bit slow while people get back into their working rhythmn following holidays and year end closeout. Take advantage of this time to gear yourself and your organization for a good start for the new year.

#1: Tackle Postponed Paperwork – Sometimes during holiday season you let administrative stuff  pile up while making the  holiday party circuit and spending time with family and friends. Get that taken care of quickly before you jump into new projects and take on new clients.

#2: Declutter Your Workspace – one good declutter session will help you stay organized and focused. Avoid using cleaning your office as a distraction to actually doing work ... this is a quick declutter to help you get ready for the new year.

#3: Finalize Your Annual Travel Schedule – Lock in the conferences you plan on attending and start the process of booking flights and hotels -- often special conference deals fill up as the date approaches --  you don’t want to be stuck paying higher prices or have logistical problems by staying at a hotel far away from the action.

#4: Load Your Calendar – As well as those things that are business driven (meetings, conferences, networking events, trade shows, etc.), make sure you have input your family calendar – including school breaks, national holidays and planned family vacations (those are the things that tend to sneak up on you).

#5: Review and Schedule Marketing Campaigns – Create a detailed calendar of campaigns and related marketing activities (like ad design and production) so you don’t miss critical deadlines.

#6: Light a Fire Under Sales – Identify those clients and prospects that will make or break your 1st quarter and your year. Set up meetings, update your CRM system, gear up a continuing contact campaign. Don’t let any options linger, do it now.

#7: Review Supplies – What little things can you take care of now, so they won’t put you into panic mode you realize that you need to re-order? How is your business card supply? Do you have enough office supplies (ink cartridges, etc.)? Instead of waiting until the last minute to panic and paying the extra rush charges to get them done with minutes to spare, preorder supplies you know you are going to need.

#8: Implement (and Test) New Systems/Software – While things are a bit slower, it is a great time to test out some of the new systems and software you were contemplating last year. Get it done now and see if it does the job you expect before you don’t have the time to focus on it. 

Hope these tips have helped set the stage for a prosperous and happy new year. Good luck and enjoy the ride.

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