Plan next year now and free up your summer time
Image locking the office door in December knowing that you have the bones of 2018 pretty much planned, leaving you mentally free to enjoy the summer break. Epic. This is a new activity for me. Each year, I get better at scoping out the entire year well in advance so that January is exciting and all engines go…. rather than being the tsunami of grief it used to be. Whilst it sounds like too much to handle on top of business as usual for term four, you can take steps towards making next year your best year yet.
The chance to buy stationary.
Purchase next year’s calendar, wall poster, or diary. I have a preferred month-per-view diary that I have used for years; its perfect for scheming out the year ahead. From recall, it costs under $10 and is worth its weight in gold. Top tip: write in pencil, use colour and invest in the tiny post-it note flags. By way of back up, take photos of the pages from time to time. Of course, you can also work all this online… but, for me, there is something sensory about pencil and paper and it is so much quicker to see the year at a glance.
Get the dates in mind.
Write in all the school holidays, noting state and private school differences.
Add you own holidays!
If you host study groups or interest group meetings, also get those dates sorted.
Write in when you will be running groups, specifically days and time, and the team required.
Write in when the marketing campaign to fill these groups will start.
Note when group programs evaluations will be due to you.
Date in all your team meetings, maybe even topics, guest speakers, and social activities.
Add when team members will be due for their performance development reviews.
Encourage your team to predict their holiday needs.
Book in any known professional development events.
Plot as best you can who will be working where, on what days, and the client list. This will probably need to go on a separate document. Print lists of current clients from your software system, review clients, and wait-list clients. Study the names. Prepare your team to contact their client and book them in for next year’s sessions—February is way too late to be doing anything more than fine-tuning schedules. It is not uncommon now for clients to pre-book their sessions one year in advance to secure their spot.
Sketch in your content marketing deadlines.
Star up the release dates of your newsletters and the blocks of time for writing and mail chimp prep.
Pencil in some themes and seasonal topics you would like to address in your blogs, newsletters, and social media posts. An old-fashioned paper diary works brilliantly for harvesting content ideas.
Take a moment to jot down who you want to be meeting with in January, February, maybe even March. It is OK to pre-book these meetings and avoid the hustle of school start up.
Implementing your business plan.
Best of all, block out your weekly management time. The business owners who spend the most time working ON their business typically have the most powerful and profitable businesses. Go on, highlight your management days in bright loud yellow! Next, lift projects from your business plan and plot them out across specific weeks for competition, boldly pencil in the time lines. Challenge yourself with self-imposed deadlines, e.g. our website will be lovely and live on June 20. This part of the forward planning may take a bit of time, so settle in for a couple of hours. If it means you must craft up a business plan, then so be it. That’s OK too. If it all feels like too much, check in with your allied health business coach J.
Sounds a bit fanatical, doesn’t it? In reality, this is what business is about: looking forward, working smart, and being proactive. A huge amount of this planning could be completed during a dedicated afternoon. Better still, set aside one whole day and settle in to enjoy the process.
What steps will you be taking to make next year your best year yet?self.