The end of the year brings many holidays and days off. And exciting new plans for the new year.
But there is always housekeeping to go through before any new plans can be realized. I recommend scheduling days to go through a couple of these steps – to save you time and money for the new year.
1. Domains – sometimes you’ll buy several domains for potential projects or products – that you never end up using. I recommend either trying to sell them or make sure that you’re not on automatic renewal for payment. That way you’re not paying for domains you’re not using. And you can “clear the decks” for any new programs you may have for the next year.
2. Backups – While you should keep backups, you don’t need all that you’ve saved in the past year. I usually keep one backup from the middle of the year and then one from the end. If you use a backup service, you can delete the unnecessary ones. You’re ready for all the new backups in the new year.
3. Security – this is a good time to check on your security for your website – to see if it’s meeting all your needs. If you’ve been hacked, then it’s time to reevaluate your strategy for the new year. (Do I even need to mention Passwords? I can’t say it enough, but you need to have strong passwords on your website. With all the security breaches, it’s good to periodically change your passwords. I find the end of year is an easy time to do it.)
4. Software – Is the software you’re using for your business meeting your needs? Is it saving you time and hassle? Are you using all the capabilities? If not, this may be a good time to review what you have and see what other options are available. You may even be able to consolidate several programs into one. I find that it’s good to check out a couple of new software/programs that other small business owners have recommend.
5. Finances – I move all my past year’s docs into that year’s folder – 2018 – and start a new 2019 folder for my bank account, credit card, and invoices.
6. Systems – Have you started documenting all your systems? Mine often change throughout the year. Things get added, I find new ways to do things, etc.. So I try to review my systems and revise my documented systems. If you haven’t started documenting previously, this may be the time to start. At least schedule time to write up one of your systems. Perhaps the system for on-boarding a new client. Then each quarter you can write up a new system. Having your systems documented makes it easier to bring on employees or outsource work to virtual assistants. (see #9)
7. Folders – The end of the year is a great time to clean up duplicates or unnecessary files whether paper or digital. It may also be a good time to start moving your papers to a cloud-based storage system. Multiple folders and duplicates is inefficient. Save yourself time in the new year with a folder clean up.
8. Marketing – I try to map out social media themes for each month. That way I don’t have to try and come up with an idea the day before the blog post should be posted. Having major themes, and then brainstorming specific topics ahead of time, makes writing blog and social media posts that much easier.
9. Outsourcing – This is a good time to review your workload. Evaluate if you could pass off certain tasks to a virtual assistant (VA) to free-up your time to do larger projects or work on your business. If so, investigate hiring a VA and getting recommendations from friends. If not, that’s fine, but make sure to revisit periodically.
10. Planning Day – I try to schedule a planning day towards the end of the year. I take next year’s calendar and block off holidays, planned/potential vacations, school holiday, etc. Then you will see how much time you actually have to work. Then you can map out your big projects – launches, webinars, etc. (Need help with your plan? Join me for myFree Yearly Planning Masterclass!)
I recommend scheduling time to do each of these items. Spread them out over time – some will only take 30 minutes. Others (creating systems) may take longer, but at least you can start thinking about what and how to do it.
Completing this kind of review will get you off to a fresh start in the new year! Best wishes for the new year!
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Join me for my Free Yearly Planning Masterclass on November 19th at 12:00pm ET.