For me, the perfect time to change the batteries in my home’s smoke detectors is New Year’s Day. By doing it on the first of the year, I give myself a fresh start for the year ahead, as well as peace of mind knowing the detectors will be in full working condition for the year.
Have you considered what fresh batteries you might put into your practice for 2019? Whether 2019 will bring about some serious change, or will be more about maintaining momentum, the New Year is always a great anchor point for a business refresh. Dust off your 2018 business plan, and take the time to assess what goals you achieved, which ones you missed, and what items just fell off the radar. Consider the following aspects of your business as you gear up to prepare for the year ahead:
1. Pull out your practice wish list.
When was the last time you took one of the various ideas you’ve wanted to implement to improve your practice, and actually did it? As you strategize for 2019, pick out one or two of the ideas that have been rolling around and make a plan for how to execute on them in the upcoming year. The beginning of a calendar year is the perfect time to weave in a fresh new idea (or two) and then measure the effect it has on your practice.
2. Focus on your team.
The New Year is a perfect time to assess your team: what’s working, if the communication is clear and open, and if there is the necessary trust and respect. Schedule a formal offsite team meeting, to review last year, consider this year’s goals, and build a written plan to execute. It’s also a great opportunity to remind your team what your value proposition is, clarify roles and responsibilities, and set team goals for 2019.
3. Assess your business continuity plan.
Do you have a business continuity plan? Financial advisors usually help their clients with estate planning, but don’t put as much thought and detail into their own business succession plan. If you don’t have one, start taking the steps to develop a plan, or if you already have one, take time to review it and make any necessary changes or updates.
4. Don’t forget to celebrate.
When you look back at your 2018 plan, don’t just focus on the things you didn’t achieve, but take stock of all you did accomplish as well. Oftentimes, we don’t push “pause” for even a few moments to consider the great accomplishments that we’ve had, or the incredible work we’ve done for our clients. The act of saying “we did it” can be incredibly energizing for the entire team, and be sure to carry this attitude into 2019.
As the year ends and we move into 2019, make sure you recharge your own batteries as well. Relax over the holidays, spend time with your family, and, if you are so inclined, put a fresh set of batteries in your home smoke detectors while you are at it!