Who wants to think about the new year in September? It may seem a bit premature, but for business owners, the end of 2019 will be upon us before we know it. If you don’t start preparing soon, you’ll take your business into 2020 without a clear sense of direction for what you want to accomplish. The best time to start getting your ducks in a row is right now, but what are the most productive ways to set yourself up for strong growth as we finish one year and start a new one?
One last marketing push. There’s still time for 2019 to shine, so take advantage by pulling out all the stops. Email may be the easiest place to start, but don’t forget the power of printed promotions.
A holiday card that means something. So many businesses send out a generic, cheap-looking card that was clearly a last-minute afterthought. No one wants to receive that; it’ll go straight in the trash. If you start now, you have plenty of time to make a statement by creating a card that is interesting, personal, and well-designed. Don’t wait until the first week of December to start thinking about this! Show your customers that you care about the little details.
An end-of-the-year customer survey. Were your customers happy with your business this year? Is there any service or product they wish you would start offering? Are they even familiar with all the services you currently provide? A year-end survey with carefully-constructed questions can provide you with both clarity and direction. Doing this may feel a lot like the dreaded performance review, but that’s a good thing – it’ll give you the information you need to start making adjustments to any plans you have for the next year.
A look ahead to the 2020 trade shows. Be honest: how long has it been since you freshened up your booth and marketing materials? At the very least, you probably need to have a few things reprinted, but while you’re at it, this is a good opportunity to look over everything you have and assess the need for editing and rewriting, updates to your designs, or even a complete rebranding.
With the holidays just around the corner, we’re heading into a great time of year full of parties and customer events. Don’t forget, though, that it’s also a time to reflect on what you’ve accomplished this year, and start making plans and taking action to get ready for 2020.