Do you operate your business like there are only 11 months?
This year isn’t over yet. There’s still time to make a big impact on your business, tackle your goals and set yourself up for success in 2020.
I realize that this is a super busy time of year for most of us, but many businesses are very slow in December. And you can weave the two together and still make your business goals.
I’ll start over in January
We’ve all been there. We’ve had diets and we said I’ll start on Monday. I’ll make this weekend my last hurrah. I’ll order the pizza have the ice cream snack on chips because Monday I’m starting a diet. Sound familiar? That’s how so many of us operate our business in December. Like January is going to be our Monday, and we can start over next year.
Yes, we get a fresh start on January 1st. Don’t put your business on the back burner because it’s December. You can still do something today that will make an impact this month and going into 2020.
Many basketball games are won at the buzzer. Imagine if the players quit with 5 minutes left? And if you think doing one more thing won’t make a difference, you’re wrong. Water boils at 212 degrees. Not 211 or 210. That one extra degree makes all the difference.
What’s your goal?
Before you know what actions to take, you need to know your end destination. What’s your goal? And is your goal SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timebound.
When you have a monthly goal in addition to an annual goal, you can reverse engineer the steps needed to reach it. The month is made up of weeks, weeks made up of days, and days are made up of hours. When you break your goal down into small actions, you are moving the needle towards your goal daily.
These strategies will not only help you finish 2019 strong but will help make 2020 your best year yet.
A bird in the hand…
First, let’s talk about your current clients. Whether you call them clients, customers or patients, we’re gonna call them clients today. I like using the term “clients” best. Customers are transactional, while clients are relational. And I want you to focus on the relationship that you have with your existing clients. Research shows that it costs five times as much to get a new customer as it is to keep an existing customer. If you increase your retention rate of your existing customers by only 5%, you can increase your profitability by as little as 25%.
So here are some of my tips for December to improve your relationship with your clients.
- Deliver a treat from a local bakery or one that you baked yourself. Find a little mom and pop bakery, and order 10 of their signature bakes. When you go in to pick up the goodies, ask them if you can take a picture with the people who baked the items. Post it on your social media and tag them. Because now all your friends and followers learned about this business. And a rising tide lifts all boats.
- Write a handwritten thank-you note. I get a lot of Christmas cards and I love them. They’re beautiful and I display them on my piano. But what they will remember most is your handwritten letter from telling them how they’ve impacted your business.
- Give them a small but meaningful gift. There are many specialty and promotional product companies that make custom gifts with your name engraved on it. Or find them something unique and special that has meaning them. One of my favorite companies for finding unique special meaningful gifts is Uncommon Goods. Better yet, visit a small local business or help an artisan on Etsy.
- Make a donation in their name to their favorite charity. December is the season of giving and giving to those in need is such a selfless act. If you know that your client has a cause that they care deeply about, show your support with a donation.
- Bring catering to their team. In every organization, there are unsung heroes, so recognize them with a pizza party or bring them donuts and coffee.
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
To keep your business growing you should do something every day to add prospects. These tips will help expand your reach and increase your visibility.
- Get social. Social media isn’t a fad and with over 2 billion using social networks every day, you need to fish where the fish are. Dust off your social networks and post every day. It’s a great way to start a habit and the algorithms will take notice. And as an added bonus, challenge yourself to add just one social network. If you’re on Facebook, consider creating an Instagram or Pinterest profile. Is LinkedIn your thing? Explore Twitter!
- Give your followers a gift. As I mentioned, December is the season of giving, so think of something you can give your followers that will add value to their business or life. Consider a tip sheet, coupon or free sample. Ask them for their email address so you can send their gift and viola! You’re building your email database!
- Collaborate with another business. Looking for a FAST way to grow your audience? Collaborate with another business on social media or at a joint in-person event. Their followers will learn about you and your followers will learn about your partner’s business. Winner winner chicken dinner!
- Go to networking events. I have personally adopted this one in December. As a busy entrepreneur, I say “no” to a lot of events. But this month I made it a goal to say “yes” to anything I was invited to that I could personally fit in my schedule. As a result, I’ve met over 200 new people! In one month!
- Volunteer. This time of year we reflect on our blessings, but not everyone is as blessed as we are. Pay it forward and feed the homeless, buy Christmas presents for underprivileged, or do something to give back. The people standing next to you helping volunteer will most likely be a business professional as well. I volunteer regularly and it has no doubt helped my business.
As you see, December is no time to take it easy. If you’re ready to make 2020 your best year yet, you need to set some things in motion right now. These 10 tips will help you reach your 2019 goals AND your 2020 goals!
Download the December Action Plan HERE! Then drop me a note and let me know which ones you’ll implement in your business this month.