How are those New Year’s resolutions going? By now you’ve already trained for a marathon, made a workable budget and thrown out every piece of Tupperware without a lid that fits, no doubt. With all that done, let’s think about ways to get your firm in good shape and ready for 2017 before things get too busy.
I’m not talking about major projects here; those require serious thought and planning. These are simple, quick updates that keep your firm current so you’ll look your best and be ready to take advantage of opportunities that arise in the months that lie ahead. Some are things each team member can do for him or herself, while others should be assigned to an individual or small group to handle for the firm. Either way, they’ll put you in good stead for a productive year.
- January is a great time to review the bios on your firm’s website and make sure they reflect recent changes. Have team members check to see if their bios include the latest information about professional and civic memberships, children, spouses and job titles. Remove bios for staff that are no longer at the firm, and ensure that numbers are accurate (how many years someone has been with the firm, years of experience, etc.)
- LinkedIn profiles need the same kind of review. Also make sure they include recent projects and current job descriptions, with out-of-date information removed or replaced.
- Go through your website with a fine-toothed comb looking for other out-of-date information, inaccuracies, obsolete blog posts and dead links, removing or fixing any issues you discover.
- Look at social media accounts and see what is working and think about how to improve what isn’t. If there is a platform that simply isn’t working for you, decide whether to commit new resources to creating a successful presence there or quitting it entirely so you can devote more energy to others.
- Map out training programs for new skills, software or technology. If your firm is planning on a purchase or expanding into a new service, get a jump on the training that will be needed so you can make the most of it right away.
- Don’t assume that your team knows what they need to take full advantage of the software and tools you already have, either. Pick an “expert” for key tools and have this person take a refresher course or undergo additional training. Then be sure to let others at the firm know that this go-to person is prepared to help when questions or problems arise.
- Educate your current clients about the additional services you offer. At the beginning of the year they may be thinking about finding providers to deal with their own to-do lists for 2017, so now is a good time to let them know about all the ways you can help.
- Make sure your website is responsive and that it utilizes SSL technology throughout. By now, those have become key strategies for keeping the web crawlers and SEO gods happy.
- Go through your client list and assign each one a grade of A, B or C. Figure out what you can do to turn B clients into A clients, and consider severing your working relationship with those who merit a C. If this is too big a job for one person or one sitting, make a plan to formulate and implement a strategy that addresses it.
- Reach out to clients you haven’t had contact with in a while. They may have concerns you can help with, and you may strengthen the relationship by showing that you’re still thinking about them. And if you haven’t heard from them because they no longer need your services, you can take them off your list and know where you stand.
- Analyze site analytics to see which of your website’s pages are getting the most views, and where people are dropping off. Armed with this information, you’ll be ready to consider making changes to give site visitors more of what they want and make it easier to find.
Once you’ve checked these off your list, you deserve a pat on the back and a refreshing beverage. Better yet, you can rest assured that your firm is prepared for all the wonderful things you look forward to accomplishing in 2017.