By Jennifer Goddard Combs

The end of the year is a slow time for many non-retail businesses, and it’s a perfect time to prepare for the good things to come your way in the New Year.

Now, stick with me here. This isn’t an out-with-the-old, in-with-the-new fairy tale promising untold riches by making and keeping impossibly difficult resolutions. Rather, it’s a few suggestions along with reassurance that 2016 can be better for your business.

In no particular order, I present the following:

  • Leave some stuff undone. Yep. Don’t get to it all. Understand and accept that you’re human and only capable of so much. Of course, you need to prioritize and tend to the items you deem important. Plus, you need to own your decisions, which may have consequences such as missing or attending your child’s soccer match.
  • Reacquaint yourself with your ideal client. This can be done literally, if you, indeed, have an ideal client, by reviewing what makes them ideal. Factors may include: regular work and they pay on time; interesting subject matter and enjoyable jobs; excellent growth potential; and nice people.  Or maybe you need to start from scratch and create a profile of your ideal client. You can do it simply by making a list with paper and pen (must have big marketing budget, must be in financial sector, must have over 50 employees, etc.) or get grandiose with a vision board. It doesn’t matter. Here’s the takeaway: Intimately knowing your ideal client makes it much easier to give them what they want, which makes it much easier to find or attract them.
  • Give a nip and tuck to your outer image. (Remember, this is a PR blog.) When was your Web site last updated? How old is your headshot? Is that a misspell in your email sig? Must the recycle bags be parked at your office door next to the dead plant? What did you mean by that last Facebook post? Didn’t you say you were going to join a LinkedIn discussion group to raise your profile? Come on, you know what I’m talking about. This kind of stuff can be knocked off in less than an afternoon.
  • Now, give a nip and tuck to your inner image. What in the heck are those piles of papers on the “conference” table? (If you can’t remember, you may want to consider hiring a productivity or organizing consultant.) How are your files? Client records up to date? Can you approximate the location of your tax stuff? Do this – Take everything off your desk. Now, clean the desktop with a rag and cleanser. Give it a good scrub. Then, be very discriminating about what you put back on your desk.
  • Plan something nice for early January. The first month of the year can be a bit depressing with the hangover from the holidays and the slump in sales. It’s a perfect opportunity to make a special lunch date. Or take a mental health day. Or decide to dress up just for the heck of it. Whatever it is, a little shot in the arm will go a long way.

Here’s to a wonderful 2016! Hope your year is everything you want it to be and more.