The summer months are a great time to start getting your house in order. Much as I wrote late week about summer not being a time of taking things easy, working hard to find new leads and closing out business, the reality is that work does slow down a little bit as you wait for key decision makers to either return or pick up their email whilst on holiday.
The quieter periods in your working months are a great time to get your house in order, what we call in the UK “spring cleaning”. Here are some ideas to keep yourself occupied during the quieter months:
- Take a look around your office and your desk, just how organised are you? How long does it take you to find a key hard copy document? Do you have to wade through many brochures from events just to find the one piece of paper that’s relevant? Time to declutter and get rid of useless, never to be looked at again paper. It’s also a good idea to scan in the relevant paperwork you did pick up and keep a virtual folder of reference material. It’s amazing how satisfying it is to shred paper, declutter and take a trip to the recycling centre.
- Virtual Cleanse - just how organised are you soft copy wise? Its sometimes harder to keep control over soft copy files as you may not be the only person accessing them, but everyone in your Company should be able to easily find the document they are looking for. Make sure your hard disk is not where important documents are stored. All documents should be stored in the cloud or to a central server that is backed up regularly. I have often seen consultants walking around with their laptop which holds everything they have ever developed on it, forgetting that it may get stolen, laptops are not built to last and sometimes have a habit of just dying without any sort of notice. You don’t want it to blow up taking all your documents with it!
- It’s a great time to go through the business cards you have been meaning to put into your client database and actually do this. You will find names that you have been meaning to reconnect with for some time, now is a great time to see if they are in town and fancy meeting for a catch up coffee.
- Take the time to follow up with potential business that may have fallen by the way side. Following up in a more informal manner may see better results
- Write your newsletters and blogs in advance. Try and get enough written for the rest of the year and set them up so they automatically go out. This will save you many hours of stress come September.
- VAT is coming and some of us possibly have our heads in the sand! If you have not had to provide accounts to be audited before, chances are your accounts may not be in tip top shape. You may be a bit lax on imputing all your expenses, and now is a great time to put new routines in place so that you are ready for the changes ahead.
- Get reading – “Leaders are Readers”, you need to keep up to date with current thinking. Time to read those book your put to one side to get around to when you have the time. Its also a great time to research on the internet, there are some great speakers on You Tube that you may have missed, and if reading isn’t how you like to learn, spending time on You Tube (not watching cat videos!) is a great way to keep up to date.
- Finally, now is a fantastic time for your half business strategy planning. How have you and your business done against the fist 2 quarters targets? Where is the main focus of the rest of the year needing to be? Get the team aligned to this and plan how you are going to achieve it in the final 6 months.