Rolling into December it’s quite easy to develop a little of what I call ‘holiday brain’. You know that feeling when you are still meant to be in work mode but your brain has jumped the gun and is already sipping Pina Coladas in the sunshine? We are always a little quick to write off our last weeks of December, if you’re in Melbourne, things kind of start slowing down and soon Spring Racing Carnival starts and we decide to save our goals and resolutions for the New Year, but what if this year you didn’t? While everybody else is slumping around, already dreaming of their Christmas feast, I’ve got 10 things you can do today to really give you a head start into the new year!
Finish Off Those Little Jobs
You can’t start eating dessert if you’ve still got peas on your plate. We have all got those little jobs that need doing but just aren’t time pressing or important enough to force us to do them right at this minute. Things like sending thanks to people who have worked for/with your organisation, organising the books or selling off excess stock may seem like tomorrow jobs, but they really could be done today. You want to start the new year with a clean plate and the best way to do this is to write a list and finish all those odd jobs because there’s only going to more add to the list in the long run and a lot of small tasks will quickly turn into a big job.
Looking at analytics can be a bit of a headache but think about it this way. If you could look back at data that showed you what elements positively and negatively impacted your life, lead you to success or failure or even just gained you attention in the past year than you would do it right? Well, sadly we can’t do that personally, we don’t have a life data dashboard! But we do have the capability to review our organisation this way.
[Tweet “It’s all well and good to have analytics set up but if you’re not going to take the time to review and analyse them, they are pretty damn useless. “]
December is the perfect time of the year to really scrutinise your analytics on Facebook, Google or however else you collect them and use this data to develop a strong and data-driven content strategy for the new year.
3. Social Listening
Analytics will show you what your customers and followers and looking at, clicking on and reading, but in order to know what they are saying about your organisation you need to use some social listening. Take time to read over your reviews and customer feedback from the past year. From this you should try and decipher three common issues or shortcomings customers have had with your organisation. This could be things such as; postage took too long and wasn’t trackable, shipping was too expensive, response time to emails was too long or product photos need to be better. Focus on these three things and develop a plan fix the issues. By all means, if you want to do more than three be my guest!
4. Reply to all your emails
Don’t lie! We all have the odd email we haven’t got around to replying to. This is a quick one, (well hopefully you have 100’s of unopened emails :/). Just shoot through some quick replies, even if it’s just to say you will get back in touch in the new year. Leaving people waiting for a reply because your brain has packed its bags and gone on holiday is bad for business. In fact, making me wait too long for a reply anytime is bad for business. If you are not interested in the proposal then that’s ok, just don’t leave all these poor people hanging out for a reply. Not everybody goes on holiday over the break so it’s important to show that you are continuing to be semi-active.
5. CX Run-Through
For this one, you will need to recruit a friend, colleague, family member or better yet a complete stranger! A customer experience run-through is so easy you can literally do it in less than 10 minutes. All you do is ask somebody to navigate through your website as an acting customer. You ask this person to either verbally or physically record their experience both positive and negative. Although you may be tempted to just do it yourself it’s important to find somebody with an objective opinion, that’s why a complete stranger really is your best option. From this feed-back you can see what you need to change about your website design to streamline the customers experience. This can be things as small as having more filter options, one less page in your checkout process or putting your contact details at the top of your website.
6. Devise a plan
Over time I have learnt that the best way to get something done is to devise a plan early and stick to it. Now you don’t want to be spending first couple weeks of the year working through your plan, NO those weeks are for kicking up dust in your competitor’s eyes while you speed into the new year! A plan can come in many forms
- Your long-term, annual and quarterly business goals planned out meticulously with action steps of how you are going to achieve them
- You content calendar – If you run a business blog or are active on social media daily (which you should be!) it’s important you are not just posting whatever you feel like, develop content calendar!
- Arguably more important than your business goals are your personal ones. What do you want to achieve next year? Personal achievement and happiness will seep into your work so aim high and get ready to totally crush 2019!
- Innovation – There’s no point analysing all your customer data if you don’t use it to make actionable decisions. Innovation is what will keep your business alive so ensure you have an innovation plan for now and well into the future. How will you surprise your audience next year? What can you do to change the industry? Where do you see your business in 10, 20, 30 year?
These are probably things you have been doing all year but there’s no harm in really focussing on them now in order to get prepared. Don’t wait for Jan 1st or even until Monday. Do these things now and I promise you will be weeks ahead of many others who have already finished their work year early! Work hard now and you can party hard come Christmas!!