Year-End Musts: 4 Critical Checklists for the End of 2011
2011 is almost over (dear god how?), but there are still a couple of tasks to knock off this year's to-do list before breaking out the champagne and celebrating another year well done. In the spirit of my compulsive, compulsive listmaking, here are a handful of tasks worth adding to your year-end to-do list:
- Trade show season is coming up (In fact, PPAI Vegas is hilariously right around the corner). Have you planned adequately to make the most of your trip(s)? Do you know which suppliers will be there that are must-sees for you? Are there any clients in the area you could maybe set up a meeting with to double-up on your trip's value? Are you aware of all the after-show networking events available to you? Take some time to make a short schedule to ensure you make the most of your trip, including things like client visits and networking as well as eduction and even a little R&R so you have some time to relax and collect your thoughts.
- It's almost tax time! Take a moment now to collect the prior year's forms (so from the 2010 year), so you know specifically what forms you need and what's still missing for 2011. Make a list of everything you need, and also check back on what you wrote off for 2010. Can you write similar expenses off, and do you have the proper receipts and documents to do so? Is there anything you missed writing off last year that you can do for 2011?
- Have you considered sending holiday thank-you cards out to your clients? There is still some time to rush some out if you act quickly. It's an easy contact point for your clients (and maybe even prospects), and one worth pursuing (who doesn't like a thank-you?). - Have you set your sales goals for 2012? I'm a big believer in goal-setting, and there's no better time than the year's end to focus on improving your business. Do you have any particular prospects you'd really like to grab? An overall sales goal you'd love to hit? List as many ways as you can to achieve these goals, and post them someplace highly visible in your workspace so they're front-of-mind for you every day.
- How did you market your business in 2011? Was it successful? How can you make it better? Are there ways you can improve your social networking? What about paid Google or Facebook ads? Pick one or two avenues you'd like to explore or improve, write up a short plan, and give yourself the first three or four months of 2012 to really dump some energy into it and see if you can make them work. Obviously there's plenty more to be done in these next few months, but hopefully this list will keep a few important things from falling through the cracks for you. Thanks for reading everyone, and see you next week!