Here is a quick checklist of actions I'd be taking if I were you, so you can start the new year off on the right foot and get a running start towards reaching your goals for 2015.
Of course, these are all actions that I take myself every year. Some require some extra effort, some fast attention - but all of them are well worth it.
The end of the year only rolls around once every 12 months, so make sure to make the most of it all.
In addition to maximizing the end of the year, you want to be primed for 2015, before it gets here.
For your customers, clients or patients:
Have some type of Holiday Sale, or campaign that enters the conversation already going on in their minds. They are buying tons of stuff from other people at this time of year, so why not you? (*Note that the appreciation and the sale are two different things. I've found it works best this way.)
Offer a special renewal program, where applicable (and if not, why don't you have some form of membership or continuity in your business? Make that a goal for 2015).
A "Get In While It's Still 2014 Pricing" is a great sale, for any type of premium product or service, or a membership program. Use this in your message. It's a great motivator, and it's a great excuse for you to raise your prices so you can give yourself a raise come 2015.
Painstakingly go through your client database and allocate everyone into a VALUE Pyramid: Top 5%, Top 20%, Top 50%, Bottom 50%, etc. Look at what can be done to move people up to the next level of value. And then, most importantly, determine what you can do to keep your clients who are at the top, at the top, and what can be done to increase their value. Now add this plan to the ones you'll work on in the upcoming months ahead. Identify who your best clients are and where you can go and get more of them.
Map out your Client Relationship and Sales Campaigns for next year. So many people look at this as being the ENTIRE business, but it's only a part of the business. You should be focused at least 50% on getting MORE clients - not just selling to your current ones. Of course you want to keep doing that, but just make sure it's not all you do. So, here, you focus on KEEPING clients and SELLING them more of your products or services. Decide what you will do every month. Take information from #5 above and apply it here.
Take a look back at 2014 and make a list of everything that you did, tried, put into motion. What worked, what didn't work. What's new, what you have forgotten about. Then dissect it, to figure out what you learned and what you can take with you into 2015.
Similar to #5 above - but specifically to your goals and numbers. What were your real goals and benchmarks, and where are your numbers currently? Decide what made it so. And write down your plan for 2015 specifically about improving your numbers.
Now take #5 and #6 above and begin outlining your Marketing and Money plans for 2015: What you'll do, start, try, implement. How much money, how many clients, etc. will you have and where will you get them from? Remember that your desired goals/numbers for 2015 will dictate the rest of your story, so make the plan that leads to the results that get you those numbers.
MY FAVORITE: Make a list of all the adjustments, changes, new rules, and most fun, powerful and liberating of all: What you are going to eliminate for 2015. Write down all of the frustrations, negative people, time wasters, and profit killers in your business and in your life in general. Make the list and get to work; make December 31st your deadline to have this one fully in motion.
- Send some sort of Holiday Greeting to them, show your appreciation. And remind them how smart they are to be your client at the same time.
MY SECOND FAVORITE: Make the list of everything you want to tackle and try NEW for next year. Make a list of everything you are going to do to make sure it happens, including the support you'll need. For example, mark your schedule for the year, allocate time to read entrepreneur blogs like RhinoDaily.com (yes, daily), attend Mastermind Meetings (if applicable), study small business marketing training programs like SSSMarketingUniversity.com (if you're serious), get Personal Coaching (if you're lucky) and whatever else you know you need. This is your Implementation Plan that ties into your "What's New" plan: New business, new markets, new income streams, etc.
Now, this will be your favorite part: Plan and schedule your vacations for next year. You should be able to outline your 2015 calendar after completing #1-11 above. Now go back and decide when, where and how you'll take some time away. There's no right amount, but you do need to put them into place. That gives you something to look forward to, and if you commit to them and tie goals to them, you're stuck, in a good way, to making sure you stay on track for the year and for your vacations.
Now, after all of that, you ought to be ready for Christmas and to take a break.
I know this all too well: With money and opportunity comes great responsibility, planning, and strategic thinking. Nothing is by accident.
And the 12 Ways To Profit And Get Ready For 2015 are a perfect example of what it takes to make success happen ON PURPOSE.
Pace yourself. Do half one weekend and half another, then go back through each of them between Christmas and New Year's.
Just make sure you don't finish 2014 without a plan to start 2015.