Getting back into the grind can be overwhelming! There’s so much to do at the beginning of the year that sometimes it can be difficult to decide what needs to get done now and what can wait a month or two. Even worse, sometimes this causes us to overlook some tasks that could save us a lot of time, effort, and resources in the long run!
Today I’m going to share with you some of the most commonly overlooked tasks that could help make your new year way more organized and efficient.
Get rid of things you aren’t actually using
Every business has so many tools available that sometimes you might be using something out of habit or paying for something you’re not even using anymore.
Give your tool roster a look and ask yourself these questions:
- Am I actually using this tool at all? This should be a no brainer! It happens: sometimes we sign up for a subscription and then just forget about it.
- Is this tool the only one that can perform this function, or does it overlap with another tool that I’m using? Especially with these all-in-one customer relationship platforms (CRMs), sometimes we’re not even aware of their full set of capabilities. For example, Squarespace has a built-in form function, while Hubspot also offers a form creator.
- Does this tool provide value? I can think of a couple of times when someone started using a tool just because everyone else was using it. For example, does use link tracking on bit.ly’s free version actually contribute to your analytics, or do the bit.ly links actually deter readers from clicking on your blog post links?
- Is this tool worth the cost? Sometimes tools will go up in price and we overlook it until we actually do an evaluation, whereas other times a new tool may just pop up that is more cost-efficient.
So, cancel those subscriptions, uninstall those plugins, and finally get rid of those tools that you aren’t actually using or are no longer worth the cost (or space on your phone).
And yes—as hard as it is to say, this includes people. Sometimes you’ll have hired someone and you don’t need them anymore, and that’s okay too. This isn’t necessarily a reflection of their skills and you shouldn’t feel bad about cutting down on someone’s hours if you don’t need them.
However, before cutting down their hours, it’s worth taking a look at your itinerary and seeing if there are other ways you can use their hours. Perhaps they have hidden skills you haven’t been using that could really help you grow this year!
Make sure you have all the paperwork that you need
Whether it’s paperwork from clients or tax forms, make sure that you give adequate time to obtain them! The end of the year and the beginning of the new year are two of the busiest times of the year, and you don’t want to be missing paperwork when it’s most important. It would SUCK if needed paperwork for taxes and you couldn’t provide the forms or you needed proof of continued income for a renter’s agreement and you couldn’t provide a contract.
There is so much paperwork that we need as online businesses to keep track of and this is the perfect time to make sure that it’s all in order. If you need help devising a file storage system to help you keep track of your paperwork throughout the year, consider downloading this freebie, where I give you step-by-step instructions on how to organize your digital files.
Look for opportunities
Often when doing an audit of the previous years, we focus a lot on successes and failures. Or in other words, strengths and weaknesses. What worked well that we should keep doing? What didn’t work that we should stop doing? What we sometimes forget to do is think outside of the box! The classic SWOT analysis includes two other categories: opportunities and threats.
When doing the audit, don’t forget to take a look for new opportunities for your business to grow and be mindful of anything changing in the landscape that might make the new year more difficult for you. This time of year, there are tons of podcasts, bloggers, and other media outlets looking for people to be guests. On the other hand, tons of people are also reframing their business, so there might just be a new “competitor” popping up around your area too.
Review your plan
It’s a best practice to review your plan yearly and make adjustments to both your long-term and short-term plans. When looking over your plan, make sure that your vision and values are still meaningful to you because they will dictate the rest of your goals for the new year.
Don’t panic if your vision and values no longer reflect how you want your business to look like. This is a totally normal part of a growing business. However, if you find that this happens year over year, or you’re unsure of how to align the vision in your mind with your vision on paper, it might be time for you to hire an expert who can help you sort out your business goals. A business consultant would be the perfect person to do an audit of your business and help you create a plan for the next year that you’re confident in.
At the end of the day, preparing for 2021 doesn’t look so bad does it? As long as you are cognizant of what to stop using, what to start doing, and what to continue doing, you’re set to have a great 2021!
Which one of these tips will you definitely be doing to prepare for 2020?
Let me know!