Traditionally, the end of one year is the time for resolutions. The start of spring is the time for deep cleaning. There is, however, nothing to stop you from giving your business a gentle, new year’s refresh. In fact, it can be a great way to shake off that “back-to-work” lethargy and get you in the mood for action. With that in mind, here are some tips.
Prompt everyone to update their details
People know perfectly well that they’re supposed to update their details as soon as they change. In the real world, however, unless there’s a direct impact, it’s one of those tasks which often gets left “until tomorrow”. Send a “new year’s prompt” out to anyone relevant to remind them to check that their details are still correct.
Review your onboarding process
Hopefully, 2021 will see the end of COVID19. Realistically, however, it will probably be several months at least before scientists are happy that the world is clear of it. During this time, businesses have to keep going. In fact, ideally, they should be sticking as closely as possible to “business as usual”.
For most companies, “business as usual” is going to mean some element of onboarding. That could be new customers, new staff, or even new suppliers (especially if you extend the definition to freelancers). In some cases, you may be able to delay this. In fact, in some cases, you may have no real option but to do so. In other cases, however, this could do more harm than good.
This means that all businesses should really be looking at having fully-remote onboarding processes. Firstly, these will help to ensure that business really can keep going (roughly) as normal until COVID19 is finally eradicated. Secondly, these will add a lot of future-facing adaptability and scalability for the coming decade and beyond.
Getting a really smooth remote onboarding process may take a bit of work. This work will, however, start with an initial assessment of what needs to happen. The new year is arguably the perfect time to do this.
Update any legal signing processes
Even small businesses generally need to sign off on some legal paperwork every now and again. It’s the sort of job which may not come up often, but, when it does come up, tends to be important. Again, this is now an area where you generally want to make use of digitization and online services as much as you possibly can.
It’s often straightforward enough to consult with a lawyer remotely. You may, however, need to keep data security in mind when sending data over the internet. Up until recently, the challenge has generally been having documents and signatures validated remotely. These days, however, you can use a remote notary service for attorneys to deal with that.
Getting all this set up during a quiet period means that it’s there ready for when you need it. This can remove a lot of stress in high-pressure situations. Even if it doesn’t, anything which makes the wheels of a business turn more smoothly (and quickly) has to be a win.
Do a digital declutter
Depending on how your business is set up, you can do this at a business level or just at a personal level. Digital declutters can be done at any time because there’s no need to think about how you’re going to deal with the removal of physical items. Post-new-year is a great time to do them because it can help clear thinking space as well as digital storage space.
If you’re one of those people who struggles to throw anything away, including digital files, try making a “2020 archive” of all the files from the past year (and beyond). Then check and move out any files you’re sure you’re going to need. Give yourself 6 months to a year and then bin any files which are still in your archive.
Obviously, this sort of digital declutter can only be done on general files, i.e. ones which are outside the remit of compliance programs (e.g. HIPAA). These do, however, often account for a lot of the “digital clutter” in any business.
Set up your calendar
Go through everything you can find with time-sensitive information and put as much of it as you can into your calendar now. If at all possible, put everything related to the event in the calendar entry. If that’s not possible, make sure the calendar entry states where to find the necessary information.
You may want to consider filling in your calendar with possible appointments and events to note as well as definite ones. If you do, remember to use the status to indicate what is definite and what is tentative. This will convey the information to other people when they look at your calendar. You can use color-coding as well but generally, only you will see this.