3 tips for finishing the business year strong

I can’t lie, although I’m a huge fan of summer and fall and really can’t stand the winter at all (if you have horses or other animals like I do, you feel me!) — it IS beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere I go. As we move through November and start prepping for all of our various Thanksgiving travels and multiple family dinners, we are inching a little closer each and everyday to the month of December, the biggest holiday of the year and the close of our business year, too.

With all of the craze that the holidays bring — shopping, pageants, musicals, baking and more — it’s easy to get caught up in the fun, curl up by a fire and watch the 24/7 sweet (but corny) Christmas movies airing on the Hallmark channel. *Yes, I’m guilty of all of those things.* And, while it’s perfectly fine and acceptable to enjoy the month and spend time with loved ones, I also know that it’s important to keep my nose to the grind and finish out the work year strong. After all, if you’re like me, you’ve put too much time, energy, heart and hard work into your business 11 months already — it wouldn’t be fair to let clients and some extra cash slide to the wayside, just because you’re stuffing your face with fudge and cookies. (Again, guilty.) Here are a few tips to help you keep working hard (while enjoying everything wonderful that the holidays bring) and finish reaching the goals that you set for yourself in January…

1) Check in with clients.

This is #1 for me. I love my clients and they are the bread and butter to my business. Obviously, without them, I have no work and make no money. Although I often do this throughout the year anyway, it’s especially important and the perfect time now to say hi to the ones you maybe haven’t done work for in a while and see if they need anything. Or, with the regular clients that you’re still doing consistent work for, check in to tie up some loose ends with either projects that were put on the backburner this year, or set up meetings to help plan for 2017. Plain and simple, just offer to be there and available for anything that they might need. They will appreciate the extra thought and effort.

2) Offer some special incentives.

You don’t necessarily have to discount (and to some that means de-valuing) your services, but you could plan a small launch (with some holiday flair of course) or offer some free calls or quick mini sessions. Whether your goal is to make money or not, think of ways to provide value, so that people will keep coming back to you and hopefully some new ones will find you. Send out emails around any of these ideas that you want to play with and get a few of your subscribers on board. It’s a great way to keep connecting with your current following and/or earn some extra cash that you can save away, pay some expenses with or spend Christmas shopping!

3) Plan goals for the new year.

By now, you probably know what worked for your business and what didn’t in 2016. So, take all of that into consideration to help you start planning for 2017. Is it time to get better organized or put more systems into place to help you work more efficiently? Is it time to hire a VA to assist you with emails, blogging, social media management and more? Is it time to really invest in your business and hire a coach for 2017, to help you brainstorm new strategies or look at your business differently? Or, is it time to cut back — work only on what you want, take more time off or start outsourcing/delegating work to contractors? Whatever the case, take a few days to really think about what you want to keep the same and change for 2017. It’s the only way to be smart about your business and truly grow!

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