Yes, January the 1st is always a little bit of an anti-climax, but if you’ve managed to have a few days off over the festive period, at least you can come back to work with some renewed vigour, passion and focus! So if you’ve got a few days free over the festive period (or at the beginning of the new year), why not embrace the whole ‘New Year, New You!’ cliché and, as you are sipping on a spinach smoothie and limbering up for your first post-Christmas work out, start some business planning to make sure that 2021 is as productive and successful as possible!

Why not start with a financial review (yes, it’s always the fun stuff first!)? Are your books up together for the end of the 2020/21 financial year? Have you collated and reviewed all of your allowable expenses for the year to date? And how has your business fared financially through this challenging year?

If it has been an extremely financially challenging year for you, is it time to pivot? And by that, I mean either add some new products/services to your business, consider a change of direction and/or add some passive income streams to your business.  Offering a wider variety of services, based on what you found that people wanted most during the lockdowns this year, could be a good option to ensure that your business is robust enough to remain competitive.  In addition, opening a shop or embracing passive income via affiliate marketing schemes could be a way to bring in extra income with minimal effort from you (and either little or no financial outlay).

Once you’ve reviewed your finances and the products/services you offer, it’s time to ask yourself: “Are my skills up to date?” In an increasingly competitive market, it’s essential that we stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons, so it’s worth investing a little time and effort into making sure our skills (specifically relating to the products and services that we provide) are up to date.  It seems that every time I login to a software package that I’m familiar with, something on the platform has changed, so ensuring that you’re aware of the latest developments and functionality of the tool is important!

If you’ve got time, a quick review of your marketing materials is always beneficial! Does everything reflect your professional and business identity? Does it address the unique concerns and issues faced by your target audience? Does the branding ‘fit in’ with the look and feel of your website and social pages? If not, why not spend a couple of hours pulling together some new imagery using a tool like Canva - https://www.canva.com – or re-writing some of your sales/marketing content to ensure that it reflects what your business is all about? It’s better than pulling in the wrong customers – or none at all if they are confused about who you are and what you offer!

And finally – a question that’s on everyone’s mind at the beginning of the year: What do I want to achieve this year? If you’ve got some specific business goals (writing a book, completing a course, growing your team, etc.), why not write them down and map out a basic plan of action for how to achieve them? If you want to write a book, make sure you’ve got enough time set aside for you to do this. If you want to complete a course, why not contact the training provider now and find out what the course involves, how much it is, and how frequently it runs so that you can build it into your yearly plan.  Whatever you want to achieve, there’s a real chance you could achieve it in 2021 IF you’ve outlined the all-important ‘How do I get there?’ details.

Wishing you all a restful and enjoyable Christmas and New Year!

 

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