As we approach peak business planning season, many professionals are trying to play catch up as they look ahead. One of the biggest mistakes we see people
Plan Your Gifts & Donations
The holiday season is a truly wonderful time to up your giving and while we’re big believers in giving, this is something you have to plan for otherwise it can quickly spiral out of control. Try making your very own “nice” list including the people who have been most instrumental to your business this year. You’ll consider not only current and past clients, but vendors, co-workers, neighbors and more. Once you have your list, plan to give out appropriate gifts to thank them and consider writing handwritten holiday cards to stay in touch and boost your referral business.
The holiday season also presents a great time to evaluate your charitable giving. While this is a great practice for obvious reasons, it doesn’t hurt to get the tax benefits and the brand recognition that will likely come as an added bonus.
Check Your Tech Stack
We’ve all been guilty of signing up for the next shiny object at a conference and then not implementing it or utilizing it the way we should. While technology isn’t going to run your business without you, it is a critical component to running your business smoothly. Do you have the systems in place to hit the ground running in 2020? Take the time to evaluate your vendors and systems and ensure they are true partners in your success. You’ll want all your partners to be on the leading edge of innovation, and helping you deliver unmatched customer experiences.
Evaluate Your Online Presence
We can’t say it enough - you are your brand. Is your personal brand reflecting your core values and the type of service you’re committed to delivering? The holidays are a great time to spruce up your social media profiles, check the links on your profiles and websites, and skim through your content to ensure your brand is reflective of you.
Plan Your Content
As a follow up to evaluating your online presence, you will likely get a front-row perspective to the quality of the content you’re putting out. The holidays is a fantastic time to start planning your content for next year so that you can implement and execute that plan seamlessly as the year progresses. A little advance planning and design can go a long way in ensuring a consistent and cohesive content strategy.
Up Your Game
The best of the best stay that way through a constant commitment to their personal and professional development. Oftentimes business can get so time consuming that we neglect this development, yet it is essential to your long-term success. Consider 2-4 professional and personal development goals that you would like to tackle in 2020 and incorporate them into your business planning.
Glance in the Rearview Mirror
We’re careful to suggest a rear-facing glance versus an extended look because the past is the past. You cannot change where you stumbled this year or in years prior - but you can learn from them and put the proper procedures, practices, and systems in place to improve in the future. Take the time to reflect on what went well, what didn’t, and what could improve from this year and use this information as a starting point in your planning for next year.
Get Those Plans On Paper
While this may be the season of business planning, many professionals make the mistake of simply writing down goals and not charting the plan for how they will achieve them. Reserve the time in your schedule for in-depth business planning and even consider utilizing a professional. We’re happy to help with individual business planning sessions for agents whether or not you’re a client. Contact us here to learn more.
Tidy Up Your Finances
Just like our tech stack, our finances can easily get thrown off throughout the year. Did you keep a budget during 2019? How well did you stick to your budget? Unfortunately, many professionals throw their budget to the wayside when they close a big transaction or get a little more money in their pockets. This is a terrible habit that could lead to true financial disaster. Audit your expenses and trim the fat. Keep what you cannot replace and set a budget you can stick to.
Check Out Your Company Offerings
During the year it is easy to get caught up in working the business and generating business and forget about systems. Brokerages often will roll out new systems, offerings, and technologies throughout the year, not in one big push, so it is helpful to take some time to review what they have launched and if any of it can fit nicely into your business. Are any systems you currently subscribe to now redundant? Is there an opportunity to impact your budget or even better, your business, by trying something new?
Wipe Your Slate Clean
The year is quickly coming to a close, but the beauty of a new year is a clean slate. And what’s even better about 2020 is that it is the start to a new decade! Take your successes and failures and be prepared to leave them in 2019 where they belong. Dwelling on them won’t change the outcome and neither will patting yourself on the back for too long. Celebrate your wins, grieve your losses - and plan for the future.