7 Things to Do Before 2012

Give yourself an edge and take the time to prepare for even greater success in the New Year.

As we prepare to enter a New Year, I find this is a great time to get yourself organized and set your small business up for success before we enter the New Year.  We want to get organized across the whole business and this is a great time to do just that.

To get things kicked off right for the New Year, I’ve taken the liberty of adding a few more items to your to do list before we move into the New Year.

1. Create 2012 Folders.  Now’s a great time to create all those folders you’ll need for 2012, invoices, contracts, blog content, etc.

2. Update your web site.  You know that I’m a stickler for regular web site updates.  Now’s the time to update any information that may have gotten stale or is out of date, update any new service information, pricing, dates, etc.  Maybe think about waking up your website with a new color bar or header graphic to give it a new and updated look.  Have you created any new products or services that are not yet on your web site or any new case study data that should be added?  If nothing else, make sure you update your web site copyright date to reflect that we’ve moved into 2012.

3. Clean out your Inbox.  This is a great time to clean up that mail box and purge through a good deal of data that is no longer relevant.  Start fresh with a clean inbox and be sure to update and opt out of any newsletters you find you’re no longer reading.

4. Update your professional head shot and online profiles.  Everyone should update their professional head shot at least every 18 months or so.  That is usually enough time for someone to start to look different.

5. Update your accomplishments.  Even business owners should continue to update their resumes, online profiles like LinkedIn, or bio.  Think about what you’ve accomplished over the year and be sure to include any media mentions or awards to get full credit.

6. Take inventory of the tasks that you are doing that someone else could do.  Now think about your hourly cost vs. the cost of hiring someone else to do this task.  In many cases, you can hire a virtual assistant to carry out some of these tasks and use your time to work on more value-added tasks for your business.   If you can hire an assistant to do these tasks for $20 or $25 an hour and you typically invoice at $100 an hour, it doesn’t make sense for you to do these tasks.

7. Update your pricing.  Does the pricing of your services need to be adjusted to reflect current costs and the value you bring.  If you haven’t changed your pricing in more than about 2 years to accommodate the recession, it’s time to see if you’re products and services are still profitable.

Give yourself an edge and take the time to prepare for even greater success in the New Year.  A few months into the year, and you’ll be glad you did.

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