Christmas is just around the corner (yippee!), and with it comes the advent of a New Year, bursting with the promise of continued prosperity. Get your to-do list whittled down in time to start afresh…
Well, we’re coming to the end of another year. 2015 marks 15 years since we entered the millennium (you don’t say), and I can’t quite believe just how fast time is moving! In business terms, the New Year marks a new quarter, and a new opportunity to build brand DNA, business revenue and rapport with your customers.
Reaching the end of a year can leave you grappling with all the loose ends of the year you’re wishing goodbye to. While it can be easy to start winding down as we head towards Christmas, it’s time to send your biz through one final bootcamp workout to get your clean slate ready for the new annum.
Here are the 5 most important (in my humble opinion) ticks for your end-of-year to-do list:
1. Get your finances in order
First things first, it’s time to take a look at the financial side of your business. You may have made it onto Santa’s naughty list if you’ve been neglecting your finances, but there’s still time to get them whipped into shape in time for his arrival.
Keeping the books under control should be top of the checklist for those who have let them slide throughout the year (brownie points if you’re up to date!). Take a look back over how the year has panned out financially once you’ve got a record of how things are looking in expenses, revenue and profits: is there any expenditure you can do without next year? Are there any areas which could do with a monetary injection?
Think ahead to employee reviews – can the company afford to reward its hard-working staff this year? Taking care of the staff takes care of the business, remember that. And speaking of staff…
2. Throw a party!
The end of the calendar year marks the end of another year of hard work and loyalty (we hope) from your employees. Put on a Christmas party – getting everyone together in the spirit of festivity is great for employee satisfaction, and gives you the chance to get to know a few people you might not always mix with in the office.
Why not hire out a venue and lay on a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings? Or host a themes night to get everyone in the spirit of togetherness? Whatever it is that you decide to do, showing some love and appreciation to your staff is important. If you don’t have time before the New Year, get planning for January – better late than never I always say!
3. Review your systems
How has the business been ticking over in the past year? Do you need any technological updates?
Certain software that you’re running in the office, whether it’s paid for or free, will be vital to the smooth running of your business. However, there’ll also be some that’s gathering dust in your system and taking up unnecessary space. Have a clear out! Make a list of all the software you’re running and cut out the dead wood. You’ll be amazed by the money and space you could save by trimming your excess resources.
Top tip: Skype is an invaluable office resource – employees can call and instant message for free! Great for telecommuters and international businesses.
4. Draw up next year’s plan
Business doesn’t grind to a halt as the clock rings in the New Year. Put plans in place for 2015! Ask yourself:
- What will you do differently?
- What can’t you survive without?
- Does your brand DNA need a shake-up?
- How do you predict your finances will look at the same time next year?
- How can you improve on customer and employee satisfaction? There’s always room for improvement here – think internal brand engagement and Net Promoter Scores
- Do you need a marketing push this year?
- How will your social media efforts pan out across 2015?
5. Give thanks
Send a thank you email out to your existing customer base. Assure them that their business is appreciated going forward into 2015 and that you anticipate great things in the next year. You could even throw in an end of year offer or gift if the budget allows!
As the holiday period is a time for giving, why not make a charitable donation to a worthy cause.
Some of our favorite campaigns are below:
Make yourself a checklist for next year just like this one so you can keep a record of just how much your business has achieved over the year.
Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2015!
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