By the time December rolls around, your competition is beginning to rationalize that no one is doing business this month. So what do they do? They close up shop, crunch their numbers, call it a “good year” and cross their fingers that next year is better. Don’t fall into the trap of this thinking. While everyone else is relaxing and “waiting” to hit the ground running in January, take at look at the activities below that can build momentum and have you blazing out of the gates in 2014.
Continue Networking. Many believe December is a slow month for networking when in actuality it is not. Don’t let up on your networking regimen and make a plan to attend at least one event each week. As your schedule permits, incorporate as many holiday parties and gatherings into your calendar as possible. Now is a great time to be social, network, meet new people, make connections, ask for introductions to resources and partners for your business and add value by facilitating the same for others.
Make Calls & Set Appointments. Don’t shy away from making phone calls and setting appointments. Clients, partners and prospects are not “too busy” in December to take your call. Ask for introductions to potential referral partners and call them to find out if they are open to a referral or cross-promotional partnership with you in 2014. If someone is not available to meet or talk by phone in December, set an appointment for the first week in January. If you wait until January to make calls, you will already be behind the 8 ball. Make those calls now!
Solidify Relationships. A personal phone call goes a long way! Call and thank clients and partners for trusting you and doing business with you. Consider hosting an appreciation event (lunch, dinner, cocktail hour) in the New Year or send them a New Years card mid-January when they least expect it. At all turns, focus on expressing your gratitude and refrain from promoting or selling your products or services. Just express your gratitude. You will be remembered for this simple gesture.
Get Technical & Systematic. It’s time to look at techy stuff you’ve had on the back burner. Consider synchronizing mobile devices with desktop solutions. Sign up for tools such as customer relationship management or CRM systems (www.Zoho.com), electronic newsletters (Constant Contact or Mail Chimp), sending cards and gifts (Send Out Cards), and social media automation (HootSuite). Review current processes and systems. Is it time to outsource or organize your Accounting with Quickbooks or www.WaveAccounting.com? Is it time for a business phone number with multiple extensions? If yes, check out Ring Central. Review your “new client” process. Is it consistent, streamlined and documented for new and existing staff? How can it be improved, simplified or automated for maximum efficiency?
Revisit and Adjust Goals. First and foremost, take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate your successes and accomplishments in the last year. Then review where you are in your business, what you want to do differently, and create a few key tangible goals and actions steps to be carried out in the coming New Year.
Take Care of You. To avoid feeling exhausted as the New Year approaches, take time in December to nurture your spirit, exercise, meditate, engage in your favorite hobbies, catch up on reading, and spend time with family and friends. Additionally, plan to say “no” more often to others if it means staying on top of your own To Do List. Say “yes” only if it feels right, you have time and it doesn’t take you away from important and impactful assignments or your personal time.
December doesn’t have to be the month that your business comes to a screeching halt, which is sure to happen to those who relax and check out this month. Simply engaging in or implementing a few ideas above that resonate with you can have you starting the New Year with strength and momentum. Happy holidays and all the best to you in the coming New Year.
Comment below and let me know which activities you would add to the list above and which, if any, you will be engaging in this month.
© 2013 CERTUS™ Professional Network / Behind The Moon, Inc. All rights reserved.
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