Can you believe it’s November already? The holidays are here and then the start of a new year will be upon us. Now is a perfect time to reflect on your business and see if it is all that it can be. Is it running at full speed and do you have all the clients that you need?
If not, it’s time to get those engines moving and start into action before the New Year begins. I know, it’s the holidays and there’s a lot’s going on. But also it’s the perfect opportunity to connect with your clients and get a head start on potential work for next year. You will find that communication is so much easier when you can utilize holiday greetings, holiday goodies, and holiday presents. Holiday gifts and candy will ease the way to a “Hi, how have you been? Send me more business!” Or for those new potential clients, “Hi, how are you—You need ME.”
First, reconnect with ALL your clients and let them know how you appreciate them and perhaps how you can help them with other needs they may not even know you offer. Send a personalized holiday card or greeting. For local clients stop by their office and drop off presents, popcorn tins for the staff and/or their favorite coffee for their afternoon pick-me-up. For potential new clients, drop off a Holiday cup full of wrapped candy with your business card or perhaps get your business name printed on the candy bar.
For all you Virtual Assistants or word processors out there, don’t forget to stop by any small post offices or UPS shops and offer to put your business cards there. Many of these places will add your business card holders directly to the counter. Think how much traffic is going through these places shipping out those presents and what great exposure that can be. And the best news is that they usually do allow business cards with a business card holder. Just think about it, people waiting impatiently in line, pick up your card and BINGO—New Client.
Other tips include:
Ø Read and research new things. So many great promotions are going on now with the holidays and New Year coming. Look to them and see what’s out there and how you can apply it to your business. Take advantage of the teleclasses and seminars that are offered by the pros. Yes, they are going to try and sell you something, but by golly the information you receive will be worth it and you don’t have to buy.
Ø Join Associations: Join the association that you’ve heard about by so many but haven’t made the commitment yet. Start the New Year with a firm commitment to attend at least one engagement a month or more. See what a difference it can make in your business by talking with pros in your industry or networking with businesses, who might utilize your services or products.
Ø Get moving online. Go to the message boards and chats and network. Meet people and introduce you and your business. Offer tips and suggestions and actively be a part of the forum. I’ve been in business since 1985 so this year I will be celebrating 21 years in business. I owe a lot of my success to being active on the boards and letting people get to know me and trust me.
Ø Your Website. Now it can all go to waste if they these potential clients get to your website and see a unprofessional, poorly built, error-ridden, mess of a site. Take a look at your website and see if it is the best that it can be. I constantly update mine at http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com to try and provide tips and suggestions for those starting a virtual assisting and also tips on publishing and, of course, our new books in our online bookstore. I know the importance of changing it frequently, so people will come back to see what’s new.
Look to the overall appearance, the professionalism of your wording, the explanations explaining the benefits you provide, etc. In fact, everything in your site needs to convince a client to work with you. Now ask yourself, does it do that? Is this something I can be proud of? Too often we throw together a website, just to have it done. Remember this can often be a client’s first impression of you. Is it selling you well?
So this year as others are shopping and preparing for the holidays, you can instead be preparing your business for the New Year. What a gift that would be for YOU—to start your business off with a bang and lots of new clients you secured in your holiday marketing efforts.
November is a great time to reflect back on the year and plan for the next. Why not plan to make next year, your best one ever! Good Luck and Happy Marketing.
Diana Ennen, Author of numerous books including Virtual Assistant - The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA and Accompanying Workbook; WordPerfect OfficeReady Virtual Assistant Solution Pack, (http://www.corel.com) and Visit Diana at http://www.virtualwordpublishing.com. Diana@virtualwordpublishing.com. Free booklet available on starting a virtual assisting business, as well as other great articles and tips. Feel free to pass this article along as long as the author’s block is included.