Well, its that time of year again. Preparing yourself to face the music. Whether that tune is a lovely lullaby or a jarring jumble of notes will depend on how well you did this year. However, for the health of your business, your best option regardless will be to take a good solid look at your year so that next will be (even) better.
The end of the year is a perfect time to look at your systems, make plans for the next year, and check on your finances. The new year will be a fresh start, so why not clear off your slate and start ready and raring to go? When preparing for the new year with an end-of-year check-up, you should (at a minimum) look at the following items:
Take some time to Google yourself and see what pulls up. See if you need to update profile pictures, profile information, bios, awards, etc. Extra points if you get a few people to leave you reviews!
Catch up the Books
Now is a great to time gather all your receipts from the year and get them organized. If you aren’t currently using software like QuickBooks Self-Employed, consider doing so. Go ahead and start preparing for tax time; your future busy-as-a-bee self in the spring will thank you!
Review the Numbers
The best way to gauge your success this year is to look at your numbers, whether you had goals set or not. What was your income? Expenses? Where can you improve next year? You will want to review your marketing dollars to see what worked and what didn’t and review your vendor costs to see what your money has been doing for you all year.
Develop Goals - Use the 1-3-5 to Make it Easy!
Set your goals for the next year in an easy to read format by using the 1-3-5 method. Basically, it looks something like….
3 things you need to do to reach that goal
5 actionable items that need to occur to accomplish each of the 3
Set up Drip Campaigns for the New Year
Set up a system to “touch” all your contacts systematically through the year. Your CRM can probably accomodate this for you and automate the process. If you don’t have one, you can still develop a system to include letters, postcards, emails, and the like.
Update Zillow, etc. with Yearly Sales
Take credit for your hard work! Make sure sites like Zillow show all your sales for the year.
Create Marketing Calendar
Wouldn’t it be nice if you always knew what you were supposed to be doing? Create a marketing calendar! This should include what you will be doing on social media (and when), how often you want to mail your farm, when you will be hosting client and other events, and anything else you can think of to help you grow your business during the year.
Clean Up Your Email
This is fairly self-explanatory, but just take a moment and imagine what it would be like to enter the new year with a totally empty inbox. Awesome, right? Move all of your folders and emails from the year into a 2018 folder and get that box cleaned up! While you’re at it, take a few minutes to unsubscribe from the crap emails you are always deleting.
Clean Up Your Dropbox/GoogleDrive/Whatever
Just like your email, run through your cloud and move all the folders to a 2018 folder. You will still be able to easily access them, but your new folders will be much more prominent and easy to find, saving you time and frustration.
Clean Up Dotloop
This is also a great time to clean up your dotloop or other contract management software. If you have files that you don’t use, archive them. Dead deals? Move them along.
If you use a CRM, review all your contacts first and see if any need to be purged. These may include deaths, people that moved to Alaska and won’t be back, etc. Once you’ve purged, make sure you have added all your clients from the year.
Update All Social Media
Just like the Google search from earlier, check your social media accounts to ensure they are up to date. You’ve gained another year of experience, so that will need to be updated. Check your profiles to make sure they show who you are and what you do. Consider updating your headshot. Perhaps post something thanking all your clients for making your year so great.
Send Out Postcards to Farm and/or Sphere
This is the perfect time of year to remind people how awesome you are. Develop a collage postcard with images of the homes you have sold this year and put your total dollars sold in big right across the front with a huge Thank You. Send that bad boy to your sphere and/or your farm.
Clean Out Car/Office/File Boxes
Purge, baby, purge. If you haven’t used it since Jan 2018, you probably aren’t going to use it now. Go through your car and office with a big trash bag and dump anything you can. Clean off your desk and empty out your trunk. Take all your paper files from this year and file them away in a 2018 box. A clear, organized space lends itself to a clear, organized mind.
Review Current Systems
Take a look back at your systems from this year. What worked? What didn’t? What saved you time vs. caused you trouble? If something was working, could it be improved upon? This is a perfect time to look at your current systems and see what could make you more productive in the coming year.
Assess Staffing Needs
If you had a good year, you are probably thinking about growth and expansion. You aren’t likely to accomplish your goals efficiently without help. Where could you delegate? Perhaps hiring a showing assistant would free up your time to lead generate. Perhaps an assistant could take the paperwork off your hands. This is a good time to plan for the future to see if you may need turn “you” into “us” in 2019!
Need help getting a start on the checklist? Just ask! We at Voigt & Associates are here to help!