It’s hard to believe we’re nearing the end of 2021.
As we continue through Q4, now is the perfect time to start wrapping up your annual to-dos and start thinking ahead to a brand new year.
From tying up lingering loose-ends with clients before a busy holiday season to setting your future business goals, we’ve rounded up some of the best ways to ensure you’re feeling prepared and productive before the start of 2022.
5 tasks to check off your list before the end of the year
Ready to look ahead to 2022? Here are five tasks you should check off your list before the year comes to a close.
1. Prepare client analytics for an end of year report
Nothing wraps up another great year in business quite like an annual report highlighting all of your successes. Not only will this help showcase the value provided to your clients over the past year, it will set the stage for any new goals and scope of work you’d like to work towards together.
In a perfect world, you’ve been putting together regular reports over the past three quarters, so this final step should mainly require compiling top-level data, media clips and any other successes you already have handy into one easy-to-digest report.
2. Order client gifts
Small tokens of appreciation can go a long way, especially around the holidays.
Gift-giving is a great way to show some of your most beloved and valuable clients how much you appreciate their business while also staying at the forefront of their minds as they decide on their plans and budget for the upcoming year.
Gifts don’t need to be large or extravagant by any means — a little goes a long way here. Think of something that can help make your clients’ lives a little easier and add a personal touch with a handwritten card or note.
Some of our favorite gift ideas include:
- An Amazon Echo Dot
- An online news subscription to their favorite media outlet (perhaps one you’ve helped get them coverage in before!)
- Noise-cancelling headphones
- A food or snack basket (for those long days at the office!)
- A gift card to their favorite coffee shop or online retailer
- A donation in their name to a meaningful charity or cause they support
3. Double check your finances
Once the holiday season hits, time really starts to fly, and tax season will be here before you know it! Set yourself up for success by tying up any finance-related loose ends before the end of the year.
Take some time to double check your books and ensure all invoices have been paid, coming up with a plan for any that are still outstanding.
The end of the year is the perfect time to reflect on your business earnings from the past 12 months and compare your year-over-year revenue and track growth. Did you meet your goals and expectations? Think about where you’d like to be at this time next year and start formulating a plan to help get you there.
4. Set your rates for next year
Whether you came in under your profit goal for the year or knocked it out of the park, you should carefully consider your rates and fees annually to make sure you’re charging appropriately.
Think about the amount of time you’re investing into each project and be sure to take inflation and cost of living increases into consideration.
It may also help to do a little research to see what others are charging for similar work. The Solo PR Pro Facebook group is a great place to connect with other solopreneurs for tips on what to charge and get advice on how to handle rate changes with existing clients.
5. Plan a business retreat
As a solo business owner, there is likely an endless list of to-dos that need your attention each day. But getting too bogged down in the day-to-day can kill your motivation and creativity.
It’s crucial to take a step back throughout the year to focus on more strategic planning, business development and, most importantly, self-care.
Physically removing yourself from the daily rat-race during a solo business retreat can be a great way to gain clarity and renewed energy so you’re fully ready to take on a new year of challenges.
“I just completed my fourth solo business retreat, and though the location changes, the idea stays the same: Get out of Charlotte alone, remove distractions and get done all that stuff I swear I’ll make time to address, but never do,” says Solo PR Pro member Rachel Sutherland.
Rachel shares her best practices and the ways her annual retreats result in renewed vigor for the business, better focus and more optimism for the year ahead in this blog post.
Featured image: Credit:Oko_SwanOmurphy
What’s on your to-do list this quarter? Let us know in the comments!