Getting Organised For The Year Ahead?

January is traditionally the time when we sit down and review our businesses, making plans for the year ahead. Usually we are very focussed on all the new and exciting things we want to do… however it can be just as helpful to stop for a moment and think about how we run our businesses now.

Once you get into the routine of running your business it can be very easy to fall into the trap of doing things the way you first set them up – yes, your procedures / processes work but:

• Is there a more efficient way to achieve the end result?

• Is there software that can automate some of your processes?

• Can you outsource part / all of any jobs?

• … not forgetting that it is always good to go right back to “do you still need to do this particular task?”

I wrote recently about using an online CRM package and this, combined with my online accounts package, transformed the way I work, creating more time for me to able to expand my business.

Therefore, before you start making plans for lots of new projects this year take some time to think about how you work now and whether you can improve / streamline your processes.

The other aspect about making plans for the next year is that they will probably focus on new marketing activities to attract new customers and maybe promote new products and services you want to offer – all really important to grow your business.

But stop for a moment to consider your existing customers and contacts.

Have you ever had a customer say to you “I didn’t know you did this”? Or even worse, found out that a client went to another supplier because they didn’t know you offered the same service!

I always think that people remember what we do from that very first time when we speak to them – that’s why it’s so important to hone your introduction for when someone asks what you do. But your explanation becomes frozen in time so you may grow your business, offering all sorts of additional services and products, but people you have dealt with over many years often won’t realise – unless you tell them!

Therefore, an important part of your planning at this time of year should be about communicating with existing customers / contacts and reminding them what you do – NOW in 2017.

So, before you start making lots of new and exciting plans for 2017 take a few moments to look at how you actually run your business on a day to day basis and also make sure you include in your marketing plan ways to update your existing clients / contacts about the whole range of services / products you now offer.

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