5 Year-End Rituals To Do Now

Five Year-End Rituals To Do Now - Before New Year's Checklist
Before you close your doors for the holidays, ask yourself if you have successfully considered your client or customer needs?
Many professionals, entrepreneurs and service providers close down shop during the latter part of December. The need to have down time is real, so it seems as though the holidays are a perfect time to check out.
While rest and recovery are important and needed, there are ways to reduce your hours, enjoy the holidays and ensure clients who have time and money to spend now can get a response.
It is sometimes a little frustrating to receive those 'closed for the duration' notes as part of classic, holiday customer service. After trying to reach a potential vendor to possibly enroll in training program for early next year, my efforts landed in the automated reply. As I groaned to the festive tune of, "UGHHHHHH! Where are they when we need them?!," this message reminded me how your clients might appreciate it if you are among the minority of business owners, companies, or entrepreneurs operating in between the holidays.
The email said:
"Our company offices will be closed Dec 16th - Jan 8, 2012. I will return on January 9th and all emails will be answered at that time.
In case of an emergency please call???/???/???? and someone will get back to you as soon as we can.
My best,"
In addition, a professional colleague sent me this:
"Good morning All:
As this year draws to a close, I wanted to let you know the our office schedule for the balance of this year. Our office will be open until Friday, December 23. Our office will be closed beginning December 24 and will reopen January 3, 2012. I will begin my winter holiday on December 21 and return January 4."
While it's true that one of the advantages of being a business owner is the ability to set his/her own schedule, let's not forget that the end of the year can be a prime time to take client calls and cover emails.
There must be others like me who use holiday downtime after Christmas and before New Year's evaluating the previous year's business. On a personal note, I happen to have a track record of making some of my most significant decisions and/or purchases during this season. In the past, I've done some of my greatest investing in training, professional conferences, and advertising at this time. During one holiday 'shutdown' season, I even purchased a house on December 31st! Consequently, I am grateful to those who have will answer their phone this time of the year.
One professional on my team who remains accessible during the holiday season is my accountant-and thank goodness for that.
The last few years my accountant has strategically advised me to take some time both anticipating goods and services for the upcoming year and to purchase before the year-end as tax-saving strategy. "Spend wisely", he said as he illustrated the tax benefits. This process has been refined over time.
Some of the categories that you can still easily purchase before year-end are:
  • Business supplies
  • Technology tools/equipment
  • Professional development training and coaching
  • Organizations and professional memberships and associations
  • Conference registrations and travel (airline tickets, prepay hotel rooms)
  • Business promotional items
  • Advertising and marketing expenditures
And speaking of another winding year, here are a few year-end rituals to put on your checklist (if you have not already done so):
  1. Call to your accountant for a year to date business review
  2. Review of current year's expenses
  3. Evaluate of what is working and not working
  4. Determine if any planned expenditures would be more beneficial in the current year or the next year
  5. Consider having someone cover email and phone matters, even if it can only be done for limited hours between Christmas and New Year's. (Limited access still affords you and your team the downtime.)
Tactics to position the New Year for growth and success:
  • Make sure when you close for the holidays - check in with your clients first.
  • Be aware of who has money to use or loose due their annual budgeting process. (Who has money to spend to save on current year taxes or who is waiting for the New Year to buy your products and services?)
Once you have considered these steps, you are ready to close your doors until the New Year.
As for me? Of course I am taking some time off... but my time sensitive messages and e-mails will not go neglected.

By Barb Girson

2011 © Original Work
Edited by Robyn Brooke

Image by Masta
About the author
Barb Girson, International Direct Selling Industry expert, trainer and coach, is a highly interactive, creative speaker and author offering professional skill development programs for workshops, leader retreats, annual conventions and teleconference training programs.
Barb helps companies and home-based entrepreneurs grow sales by sharing her systems for:
* Finding amazing new prospects
* Building a booking buzz
* Revving up recruiting results
* STAR (TM)Team Building
* Setting Smarter Goals and More
Active participants will build their confidence levels in areas critical to success, take consistent actions, celebrate their victories and increase profits. Her programs receive a 98% satisfaction rating and routinely have repeat attendees. Custom programs and Coaching 1:1 available.
To learn more contact Barb: 6148550446 or to sign up for her next FREE teleconference sales training call/Timely Tactics Emails go to http://tinyurl.com/ck7z56


Planning Your Marketing Campaign for the Entire Year

If you want your marketing campaign to be successful, do not just think one project at a time. In order for you to be effective, plan your marketing campaign for the entire year, not just when you have a need for it. Expert marketers and advertisers would tell you that just like the seasons, your marketing campaign can gain publicity if you establish it according to the natural highs and lows of the year. Using a promotional rhythm that is based on the different seasons will help you keep an eye on your success every month for the whole year.

According to expert marketers and commercial color printing companies, there are two approaches of doing your marketing campaign for the whole year. One is to coincide the stories you already have with that of the particular times of the year. The media has a certain appetite for stories for each of the season. During particular times of the year, they look forward to specific stories that they would want to put in their magazines, newspapers, or even in their tv and radio programs. As a marketer and business owner, you need to be attuned with these quirks to be able to get your stories out there in the public.

The second strategy is to create new stories that will fit that of the particular event, affair, holidays and even seasonal events during the year. For example, if it is Christmas, your ad would be more effective if you can create your stories along the lines of the birth of Christ or the usual giving of gifts.

But before you go out and get your stories written, be sure to consider the proper lead time to get your stories out to the media and the public. It would be very easy to just go ahead and work on your story without even thinking about your lead time. The folly of that is that it can take you weeks and months to actually complete your story. That is why you need to understand the time frame of every story. Your Thanksgiving story should be turned in mid August if you want to meet the deadline. And it is the same with your Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year stories.

The bottom line is to have ample time to write your story and get them out way before the season or event is actually going to be celebrated. The right lead time can get you the exposure you need to promote your business effectively to your clients and prospects.

By Kaye Marks
Photography by Bobby Flowers

Kaye Z. Marks is an avid writer and follower of the developments in the color business cards and print business cards industry. Order business cards online with PrintPlace.com