Twiddling your thumbs and waiting for some business to come in? Why not use this downtime to set yourself up for greater success in the new year? Here are my 10 picks, but you don't have to do them all. Even doing just one will get you another rung higher on your business ladder.
1. Evaluate your virtual team and make changes if necessary.
Are administrative tasks taking up most of your time and keeping you from working ON your business? Then hire a virtual assistant. (See my article on this topic at www.EzineQueen.com/everything.htm.) Are you paying too much in taxes? Meet with your accountant to talk about getting more aggressive with write-offs, or make appointments to interview new accountants. Same goes for your lawyer -- do you love him/her? If not, take this time to ask around for referrals.
2. Learn how to get more business via your Web site.
Would you like to be getting business leads and sales 24-7? Then look at how your Web site could be working better for you. For help in writing copy that sells, sign up for Red Hot Copywriter Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero's e-zine at www.Red-Hot-Copy.com. To get more targeted Web visitors, sign up for Marc Harty's free e-course at www.StrategicTraffic.com. It gave me tons of new ideas!
3. Revamp your e-zine or launch an e-zine.
Remember that having a ready list of warm prospects is your goldmine, and having an e-zine positions you for more sales on a regular basis and for the LONG-TERM. The beginning of the new year is the perfect time to release your first issue! If you're not publishing yet, get ready with all the great free resources at www.EzineQueen.com.
4. Clean out that e-mail inbox once and for all!
Unanswered e-mails, people to follow up with, information not recorded or filed in the proper places --- need I say more? Delete e-mails that are more than a few months old. Set up e-mail folders to help you stay more organized in the future. And if your program allows, set "rules" to automatically sort incoming e-mails into those folders.
5. Clean out your filing cabinet, bookshelf, desk, etc.
Is your office a fire hazard? Do you have to rustle through giant stacks of paper like a large rodent to find anything? Will your spouse not even enter the premises? Put on some good music, start digging, and make piles. Make sure to have plenty of trash bags and cardboard file boxes on hand. (And a good glass of wine always makes it more fun.)
6. Upgrade or clean up your computer.
Your computer probably holds most of the information that's crucial to your business, so take care of it! Now's a great time to do an overhaul. Upgrade your operating system (do you STILL have Windows 95?), get rid of unnecessary files, archive old files to CDs, add more disk space for all those downloads, and do system maintenance. Not sure how to go about this? Find a geek-for-hire to come and help you out.
7. Let your clients know how much you are thankful for their business.
Whether it's holiday cards or thank-you notes, this is a good practice for both your business and you. Letting the universe know you're grateful for what you have will only bring you better things in the future.
8. Plan an upcoming teleseminar.
For a quick cash-flow boost, plan a paid teleseminar! These phone-based events are easy to do and can be great income generators. Either host it yourself on a topic you're qualified to talk about, or invite a special guest to interview. To encourage holiday signups, offer special pricing for those who register before the new year. (Learn how to host a successful teleseminar at www.EzineQueen.com/teleseminar.htm)
9. Write down your 25 best accomplishments for this past year.
This simple exercise is extremely powerful. Time goes by so quickly that we forget to celebrate the good things that happen. First I light a candle and write down my 25 accomplishments. Then, taking each one in, I read them aloud. After the last one, I blow the candle out, and then IMMEDIATELY make a list of 10 goals for the new year. (After truly acknowledging all the amazing things you did this year, you'll feel incredibly powerful and set even higher goals!)
10. Actually enjoy the holidays!
Yes! I realized that for the past few years I've been running around like a nut every December and suddenly the next year is here. Christmas and New Year's blaze by like a freight train, and I'm back to the grind shortly thereafter. Where's the joy, peace, and love?
Remind yourself what the holidays are for -- to take a step back and appreciate what you have, to enjoy your family and friends, to give to others, and to be good to yourself. So take that walk in the snow, go to that tree lighting with your kids, get that massage, and plan a leisurely shopping day during the week.
Remember, we only have so many Christmases in a lifetime.
(c) 2003 Alexandria K. Brown
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alexandria K. Brown, "The E-zine Queen," is author of the award-winning manual, "Boost Business With Your Own E-zine." To learn more about her book and sign up for more FREE tips like these, visit her site at http://EzineQueenTutorial.com/