You’re wrapping your business year up in one of two ways: you’re either frustrated at the lack of progress of 2015 and excited for new strategies for next year. Or you’re totally overwhelmed with client work that you need 3 more months of 2015 and excited for new strategies next year (totally us). Either way 2016 will be here before you know it and we think it’s best to come at the new year strong and focused so 2016 can be your best (business) year yet.
So before you totally checkout with chestnuts roasting and mistletoe smooching let’s take a look at the best way we can get your business in the 2016 mindset.
Wrap Up 2015 First
It’s especially easy in the last stretch of a year to want to jump to next year a little too soon. Heck, we’re very guilty of this! We had to remind ourselves just yesterday to slow down and worry about checking off our current to-do’s before we make plans for new ones. We definitely don’t want to spend January playing catch up from the year before and neither do you. Yes, you only have a few short weeks left to squeeze things in, but how refreshing would it be to know you are finished once the New Year rolls around. Make sure you’re tying up all your loose ends:
- Invoice or bill current 2015 clients (with due date of this year!)
- Schedule out your blog posts or social media so you don’t disappear for the last month
- File and organize any 2015 clients or customers that are done for the year
- Organize your receipts or paperwork you need for 2015 taxes (paid in 2016)
What worked, what didn’t?
Now is the perfect time to reassess what you’re offering. Once you take a look back at what worked this year or what flopped you might be taking some things away for 2016. Pay close attention to what did work for you in 2015 and ask yourself how you can replicate this (but even bigger) in 2016. Maybe you need to reach out to affiliates or sponsors?
This is also a good time to look at your pricing and figure out what your 2016 rates are going to be (businesses usually raise their rates every year). If you need help figuring out how to talk about raising your prices with clients be sure to check out this post.
Ask for Testimonials
The end of the year is one of the best times to go back through your client or customer list and reach out to those that have worked with you. It’s an amazing feeling to read their feedback and go into 2016 with such positivity.
Try using Survey Monkey, JotForm or Squarespace’s built in forms to build an easy questionnaire for your clients. Ask them specific questions about their experience and give them plenty of room to leave you nice long sentences. Pro tip: consider sharing these on social media to give yourself some social proof!
Plan Out 2016 on Paper
When you’ve tackled everything above you can finally take a look at 2016. You’ll be able to go into it knowing what you’re offering, how clients feel about you and what you can charge or get rid of. Break your new year down into chunks and fill out your goals in between. Try looking at all the things that help your business be successful like:
- Growing your email list
- Growing your social media following
- Booking a certain amount of clients
- Selling a certain number of products
- Speaking at events
- Hosting or co-hosting a webinar
- Guest blog writing
- Collaboration with other brands
Give yourself realistic (but maybe a bit crazy too) goals for each of these that apply to your business - here's how to do that. Then ask yourself what is it going to take for you to achieve them. Assign yourself deadlines for your progress check so you can conquer them little by little. It always helps to have an accountability partner (and this is our absolute favorite thing to be for people) so don’t be afraid to reach out. Investing in your business for strategy, launching, planning and accountability might just be what you need for 2016.
We’d love to hear what you 2016 goals are so we can cheer you on! Leave us a comment telling us what you’re focusing on next year or one crazy thing you’d like to do (the wilder the better). We absolutely know you can do it. You are made for big things.