With the holidays fast coming to an end, now’s the perfect time to prepare your business for what may come in the new year. As a business owner, you’ll want to plan ahead and set the course for the next big year.
You may think about creating a New Year’s resolution or a list of business goals you’ll want to accomplish next year. Whatever your plans, preparing for the new year will help you manage expectations and be more prepared as you work throughout the entire year.
Just remember, you don’t have to do everything yourself, you can hire a virtual assistant from Outsourcing Angel to help you action each item as you roll out next year’s business plan.
Here’s a simple 8-step New Year’s checklist to help you kickstart your business for 2019.
1. Have a discussion with your team
If you are a solopreneur and most of your days are spent inside your head thinking of ways to grow your business, you might be missing out on valuable insights and feedback from your staff. As things start to wind down a bit, it’s the best time to gather your physical and virtual teams for a group discussion to ask for inputs, ideas and goals for the next year. This is also a good time to ask for their reflections about the past year.
2. Evaluate your digital tool kit
You may be quick to adopt the newest digital trends but we’re living in a time of constant innovation. There’s always a ton of shiny new tools coming out every year for you and your virtual assistant to make use of. But this also means that you might need to replace some of your old, albeit trusty, digital systems. Now’s the time to do a quick spotcheck on your current digital tool kit and see if you’re up to speed with the latest technology.
Here are a few apps you might want to check out:
- Xero – An accounting software that is secure and easy to use, and provides small business owners and accountants everything they need to run the business smoothly.
- Slack – Slack is a powerful collaboration and communication tool that connects your business with all your teams.
- Socialpilot – Socialpilot is a comprehensive social media marketing tool that automates your content sharing across different social media platforms.
- Canva – Canva is an online graphic design tool that lets users create eye-catching designs for work and personal events in minutes.
Our virtual assistants at Outsourcing Angel are knowledgeable about current digital trends and can easily work with different online tools, helping you prepare your business to make full use of the apps in the new year.
3. Organise your books
This is also a good time to examine your finances and chart your progress. You need to make sure you are setting the right budget for operational costs and taxes each month. If this task is too big for you, you can enlist the help of your virtual assistant to review your finances and keep track of your books next year. There are a number of invoicing and expense management tools online that your virtual assistant can use to automate accounting tasks.
4. Plan your direction & build your network
As soon as you’ve launched your holiday marketing strategy, it’s time to plan for next year’s goals. Review your business’s performance this year and plan out the general direction you want to take next year. This might also involve creating a list of organisations you would like to partner with or have as potential clients by the next year. The holidays are a time where most people are generous and open to new ideas, so this is an opportunity you’d want to take advantage of.
5. Update your website
As the holiday rush slows down, you can use the time to update your website and social profiles to make sure your business is prepared for the new year. Ask your virtual assistant to run a quick website audit to check your site’s health and make sure it’s working fine. Among the things you need to check are:
- Site speed
- Features and functionalities
- E-commerce or online store
Your virtual assistant can also make updates on your social profiles to include your most recent accomplishments, developments and new products/services.
6. Calendar events and seasons
Part of effective business planning is looking for opportunities to grow your sales. Your brand can stay relevant by identifying and taking advantage of events and seasons where it can shine—or what is known as your “seasonal sweet spot.” Work with your virtual assistant to organise your calendar for the year so that you stay prepared the whole year through.
7. Make the most of the season to drive sales
Increasing your sales before the year closes is the perfect springboard for achieving next year’s goals. Take advantage of Christmas to be seen: advertise heavily, create attractive promos and incentives, or offer freebies and coupons. Your virtual assistant can execute all your Christmas marketing plans for you.
Don’t forget what this season is really about! Too often we get tied up with new year goals, grind away and get so busy with work that we forget to celebrate the small things. Find time to relax and do something special for yourself and your families. You can trust your virtual assistant to handle anything urgent so you can have the time to just enjoy the moment.
VA Writer: Jamie S. Ayque
VA Position: Digital Marketer