This is the time of year where work grinds to a halt.
We have another two weeks or so before the holiday frenzy, parties, hangovers and the general professional apathy creeps in and productivity becomes a dirty word.
But don’t give up hope yet. I think there’s still a few things we can get done before we all sing Auld Lang Syne. Here are the five things I think you should focus on as the year winds down.
Your website: Take the time to look at every page, click on every link and make a list of what’s missing. We spend a lot of time building our websites but once they’re done, they tend to be forgotten. Fix all those broken links, correct any copy that’s wrong and update the pages that are out of date or are missing some of your more current offerings. Look for simple things you can do to increase visitors and engagement.
Your five best customers: Take the time to actually think about those customers who help you keep the doors open. Then, in this crazy rushed time — write them a handwritten thank you note/letter. Be specific about why you love working with them — and send it so you end their year with a smile.
Call it quits: Look back over the past 12-24 months. What’s the one marketing tactic that you have really dedicated yourself to but it just hasn’t caught on fire. This has to be something that you feel you really implemented well, thoroughly and can’t imagine what you could have done better. If you can say that and it’s not delivering results — it’s time to let it go. Make December 2012 the last time you invest in it.
Identify your #1: If at the end of 2013, you could claim one accomplishment or goal’s achievement that would benefit the organization more than anything else — what would it to be? Spend some time identifying the barriers that are between you and that accomplishment and what you need to leap over them. Build a one page business plan for getting to that goal as early in 2013 as you can. Make it your priority.
Fix what’s broken: When you look back at your marketing efforts for 2012 — what’s the one marketing tactic that you know you did a lousy job of implementing? You know it can and will work but you just let other things get in the way or you did it half-heartedly. It’s time to get serious. Figure out what got in your way and figure a way around it. Farm it out, get something else off your plate, make a bet that you can’t afford to lose — do whatever you need to do — to make it happen and happen well.
There you have it — get those five things done and then you can drink that 3rd glass of spiked egg nog at the company party without any guilt. And you’ll start 2013 with a storm of focus and energy.
Great tips! Perhaps with the exception of #1, they could all be applied to reviewing one’s life and career too – you’ve offered a great “year in review” exercise. Thanks for an insightful post!
You know it’s funny — I thought the same thing as I was re-reading the list. I know you talk a lot about focus and alignment and in a way, I guess this is the same idea!
Great advice, every year I come up to Xmas thinking these things, and even though my incoming work slows down, somehow I still never find time to do any of them…
So how are you going to make sure you get them done this time around?
I think I need the “holiday frenzy, parties, hangovers and general professional apathy” before I’m ready to deal with #5. Because, of course, I do know what I need to do there.
All joking aside, this is a terrific list that force you to look at your business, evaluate what does & doesn’t work, & position yourself to hit the ground running successfully in 2013.
Nah, you just need a stiff drink and a stern talk with yourself!
We don’t have to let the end of the year fog get in our way. In fact — we can use it to your advantage!
Great list, but I particularly agree with number one. Many businesses build their websites and then never update them. Broken links can hurt a websites search rankings, and it is always valuable to have your product offering updated on your website. Cleaning and updating your website will be a great way to start off the new year.
Handwritten notes to your top customers is a classy move, and will help to build a lasting relationship with them
It’s one of those maintenance type chores that never seems to get done. But you’re very right, it matters and we should attend to it while we can.
Great tips Drew. Fix what is broken so that you can start fresh at the beginning of 2013. These last few weeks, let us take time to look back and analyze what we have done and what needs to be improved on.
Hmmm very interesting. It’s better to be prepare for 2013 already.
Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed your article.
Great Tips Drew.
Too often , WE are in “Get It Done” and “Movin On” mode. Our websites are like living things and when it does not receive attention – it DIES.
I will definitely return and pick up on more tips to help my website.
aka Paul Harding Jr.
Thank you for these tips. I would actually add one more to the list. If you are currently marketing your business in any way, then make certain that you have a method of indicating whether the method is working or not. Many businesses hit the ground running with print ads, yellow page ads, a website, google ads, an aggressive SEO campaign, etc., etc., but they never really know what is working. This is especially true if one of them is working well for the business, then they don’t want to modify anything in fear that they may mess something up. Do not go into any form of marketing without having a way to regularly check your return on investment (ROI).