how to get organized by the end of the year.
It's normal to want to start the new year with fresh goals and a renewed mindset for your work or business. However, with only a single-digit number of weeks left in the year, now is a great time to get everything organized! Start evaluating what has and hasn't worked for you this year so that you're ready to reset after the holiday rush.
It can be daunting to sit down and attempt to evaluate everything that's happening in your business - where to begin? I recommend breaking it down into manageable areas and take a small chunk of time each day to tackle each category. Items to consider:
Is your current site serving you the way you want it to? Things you should evaluate:
- Purpose: A question you should be able to answer is, "What is the main thing I want people to do when they land on my site?" Of course, you likely want them to do several things, but most people will have to visit you a few times before opting-in to everything you offer. Do you want them to sign up for your newsletter? Do you want them to purchase your latest product? Do you want them to book a consultation call? Whatever it is, make sure it is front and center on your site pages.
- Language: When was the last time you spruced up the copy on your site? Or even read through it to make sure it matches the tone of your business? Take some time to read your entire site and either punch up your copy, or make it a goal to hire a stellar copywriter to help.
- Visuals: Just like your copy, when was the last time you updated your visuals? Could you benefit from updated photos? Do you need some updated graphics? A big thing to check is that everything on your site feels cohesive and purposeful.
Are you being efficient and thoughtful with your content? Things to consider:
- Platforms: Where do you currently have accounts? Are you posting consistently on all of them? If not, it could be time to drop the ones you ignore and focus on consistent, quality posts on the others. Just because Periscope or Facebook exist doesn't mean you have to be there. Where does your audience hang out? Where can you form meaningful connections? Place your efforts there.
- Content: Do you have any sort of strategy, or are posting whenever something comes to mind? What is your goal for your social media presence: connecting with clients, sharing industry news, sharing your work? Establishing a purpose and a schedule, whether it's once per day or once per hour, will make it much easier to create quality content.
How do you handle new clients? How can you streamline your communication? Consider:
- Client Acquisition: When someone reaches out to you about your services or product, do you have a set process? Do you have canned answers to common questions, or a media kit that further explains how you can work together? Make it simple for yourself to respond to those inquiries you get.
- Client Onboarding: Once someone wants to work with you, is it easy for them to understand what happens next? Create items like a welcome packet, a list of resources, or project outlines for simple ways to keep your clients in the loop of what you expect and what happens next. It will give your clients a seamless experience. Happy clients = more referrals for you!
- Client/Project Management: How do you keep track of everything you have going on? If Post-Its scattered around your desk is your current to-do list method, it's probably time to consider new tactics or look into those systems you've been putting off exploring. Check out online apps like Trello, Basecamp, or Asana. Invest in an awesome planner. Make an effort now, and it will pay off in future time saved!
- Finances: Are you good at keeping up with your accounting, or are you all over the place? Are you paying quarterly taxes, or do you need an accountant's help? This is a pretty serious aspect of your business, so take the time to get organized or get help now so you're not crunched come tax time!
- Delegation: Are there any small tasks that you'd like to stop taking up your time? Maybe you need a VA to help with social media or email. Maybe you need a designer to work on branding your digital downloads or ecourse materials. Find those things that take up too much of your time and get some help. More time on your end = more client work!
If you don't take care of yourself, you won't do well in your business long term, simple as that. I don't like using the term "work-life balance" because that implies they are equal parts. Instead, strive to have enough down time that you are rejuvenated for work time. This includes:
- Take breaks during your day. If you are squinting at your computer screen from dawn til midnight, you're going to have some serious medical consequences. Take a walk, go to a workout class, or even read a book instead of a screen. Put it right into your daily schedule so you don't forget. Your eyes and back will thank you! (PS If you really feel like you can't get away, listen to a business podcast while you walk - it will at least provide some education in your walk time!)
- Take time off during your week. I can't tell you what the best schedule is for you, but I do know that if you are working all day long, 7 days a week, you are eventually going to burn out. It's cool to take the traditional model of no work on Sat/Sun. Or, you can work shorter days, 6 days a week. Whatever you choose, make sure you banish that guilt of taking time away. It can be hard when all you see on Instagram is people posting about "hustle" or essentially bragging about the long days they put in, but I promise you, they are not at peak productivity if they are working 14 hour days constantly. You will feel refreshed and even more energized when you return!
- Make education a priority. Keeping up your skills and what is new in your industry is imperative. Pledge to do something to enrich your skills over the course of the year: read a business book each month, take a Skillshare class about something you've wanted to learn, or subscribe to a new podcast that has tips on your industry.
What has been bothering you about your business this year? What do you want to streamline or improve? If nothing else, start a list of these items so you can make a plan to work on them!