Monthly Archives: December 2011

3 Steps to Starting the New Year on The Right Foot for Your Business

There’s no better time to take stock of your business than the time between the end of one year and the beginning of the next. It’s “out with the old, in with the new” and that includes out with anything that isn’t serving you or your business at the highest level, and in with what you want your business to look like.

To help you get on track for the fresh New Year and all it’s possibilities, I thought I’d share 3 simple steps to get you and your business started on the right foot.

1. Start by cleaning out the old year. Are you surrounded by stacks of papers or old files? Now is the time to clean those up and make room for all the new business and opportunities that are bound to come your way (unless there’s no room for them).

What about old products or programs? Is everything you’re offering in your business still a good fit? Or maybe there’s something you’ve outgrown or doesn’t work with your brand anymore?

And don’t forget to look at your mindset or your habits. What are you still not doing you know you should be? What habits or blocks are you finally ready to ditch for good?

Get it all out there. Write everything down you want to throw out with the old year. Then you may want to destroy it — burn the paper or shred it. Remember, this is all about clearing away what you don’t want or don’t need anymore.

2. Be grateful for what you HAVE accomplished. Now that you’ve gotten rid of the old and worn out, don’t forget to take a moment and write down everything you’ve accomplished last year. What are you grateful for? What are you most proud of? It’s time to celebrate your accomplishments — take the time to do this. (If you’re anything like me, this is the first thing to go. It’s difficult for me to celebrate anything, I’m constantly looking at all the things I WANTED to do and didn’t.)

3. Now, get set up for the New Year. Some of the things I do include getting my new calendar in place and writing down my goals in it. Then I put together a marketing and promotional plan for the year so I can reach those goals.

You also may want to take some time to lay out a plan for getting rid of those blocks. Is there a program you need to buy? A coach you need to hire? Or maybe there’s something you need to implement. (Ditto for the changing those habits — what do you need to do to ditch those old habits that no longer serve you for good?)

Now, when you set up a plan, make sure you do what many people do when training their dogs — set yourself up for success. Create the plan with your success in mind. Don’t make it so overwhelming or paint yourself in a corner so there’s no way for you to succeed. Push yourself but be realistic too. There’s no shame in taking small steps toward your goal — the only shame is making yourself feel bad because you didn’t give yourself a realistic plan to meet your goals.

And, whatever you do, don’t forget to celebrate! You deserve it.

Ask PW — “Is there a way to politely and professionally tell your client or potential client that there are grave mistakes on their web site?”

This question came from Anne-Marie Szabo and it made me chuckle. As someone who is a probably a little too blunt for their own good I’m probably not the best person to answer this.

But I’ll share what I do, which I have had success with. First off, don’t assume they want to hear what you have to say. So I usually start by saying something like: “I’m looking at your website now — how is it working for you? Are you getting results from it?”

Typically what will happen is the floodgates open and you end up listening to a barrage of how they’re seeing no results and they paid a bundle and they’re really frustrated, etc. etc.

Then you can follow up by saying “well, I see a few things that could be contributing to that, can I share them with you?” (You can probably guess what the answer is.)

Now, every now and then you may run into someone who gets defensive or tell you how much they love the site. If this happens, you’re probably better off changing the subject and not mentioning it again until they seem more open to hearing about the problems.

Now it’s your turn — how do you tell a client or a potential client there are grave mistakes on their web site? Please share below in the comment section. Or if you have a question about marketing, business or writing copy, feel free to put in the comment section and I’ll answer those in a future Ask PW column.