Greetings and happy holidays to all! With the end of the year just around the corner, now is the time to look back at 2005 and evaluate how our business performed. There are five areas in which you should evaluate your performance to make sure that you have all of the knowledge you need to compete in 2006.
- Review your business from the client perspective- how successful were you at attracting the type of client that you desire? What do they think about how well you did this year? Go through the clients that make up the bulk of your business, and interview them to discuss any concerns they have about your ongoing business relationship. Find out what goals they have for 2006, and how you fit into those plans.
- Review your employees- how do your employees view your business? They are on the front lines, especially those in sales- find out from them what concerns they are hearing about your company, and what suggestions they have for changes you can make. You should also review their performance, and make sure they are on track with the goals you mutually set. Now is the time to discuss incentive plans, and to make sure that they will be hit in 2006.
- Tax planning- Take some time now to review past years taxes, and see how things from this year match up. Instead of waiting until your accountants and bookkeepers start preparing returns, gather all documentation they will need now, and make sure that you understand what they typically deduct so you have plenty of time to ask questions before you must submit your return.
- Holiday Cards and Gifts- You should send out cards and/or gifts to as many clients and contacts as you can. It is best to send these early, because yours will likely be the first gift they receive, and will stand out more. These are not a way to “bribe” more business, but are a marketing function of just showing genuine appreciation for the relationship you have with this client.
- Investment Review- evaluate your investment portfolio, both personal as well as corporate. Do you have nay real estate holdings? Stocks, bonds, etc.? How did they perform in 2005, and what changes might you want to make in the year ahead? Make sure to actively ask questions of your advisors so you understand how well your money is working for you.
I strongly encourage you to review your 2005 performance, look for areas in which you need to change, and make 2006 even more successful. Thank you for being a loyal business update subscriber. Happy holidays! –Mark Deo