In my years of doing this, I have noticed that September is a busy time for resolutions. People are relaxed and excited to get back to work after a (hopefully) fun summer. And the new school year feels a little like a fresh start, even if you aren’t going to school. In addition, for parents, there is the routine that school brings to this party. I find a lot of value in taking some time to reflect on what I’m doing well, what my goals are for the upcoming year, and what I should work on if I’m going to achieve my goals. Due to time constraints (we all have them), I limit the number of goals to five. That includes my personal goals, so my work goals get further reduced to three. This year I’m focusing on what will improve client communications, the client acquisition process, and sales. Here’s how:
1.) Compile an email list and select a CRM solution
I have never created an email list to keep people informed about what is going on with Office Accomplice. Just like all small business owners, I get caught up in the doing and struggle to get all the “nice to haves” done! I also never set up a CRM to follow up with potential clients. The time has come to finally tackle these issues. First up – an email list. After all, without a current email to serve as the foundation, my efforts to improve my communications with clients/potential clients in the new year won’t be nearly as effective.
And, what else will improve communication effectiveness? Finally settling on a CRM solution. Unfortunately, while everyone has a CRM they love and can’t imagine doing business without, they all seem to have a different CRM. Although researching and asking for recommendations from others is a great first step, I’ve definitely succumbed to analysis paralysis (combined with good, old-fashioned procrastination). And sometimes you just need to take that first step and start using one. The truth is that it won’t be perfect, and it won’t be awful. And it will save me sooo much time/energy that I currently waste making my task list work as a CRM. And a year from now, I will be one of those devotees swearing that my CRM is the best CRM.
2.) Improve my customer onboarding process
I’m constantly looking to improve customer experience, and my team and I have identified the customer onboarding process as one that feels especially “messy”. Currently, our process is entirely personalized to each individual client. And while personalization is great, it’s also important to have a process to make sure that we are asking all of the right questions. Creating a standardized onboarding process reduces the chance that we miss sharing, and receiving, crucial information with new clients, while still allowing us to personalize the experience for each individual client. This new process will ensure that my team has what they need to jump on the project. It will also mean that the client has more information about how we work and what to expect. And clear expectations (on both sides) is always a good thing!
3.) Increase sales
This one is a little bit of a cop-out, because it is always one of my goals. However sales is the fuel that keeps any business running. And I have found that if I don’t prioritize sales, then Office Accomplice stops growing (seems obvious, right?). So it stays on my goal list. This way when I review my goals every week, I can make sure I’m spending some of my time on the activities that will drive sales. Sometimes these are new activities that I’m trying out to see if they will work, and sometimes these are activities that are tried and true. It depends a lot on how much other client work I have, and what else is going on. Either way, whatever drives sales for your company should always be on your list of goals.
These are the areas I know I need to work on if I want to continue developing and growing my business in the new year. Have you started identifying the areas that need your attention? What are they? If you have but aren’t sure where you’ll find the time to get working on them, reach out. The team at Office Accomplice is here to provide you with the back office support you need to direct your time and focus where they will have the most impact.