Today, I want to share some easy actions to improve your image, feel organized and stand out from your competition.
I know many of you are snowed in right now. For those of us that do have power but are unable to get out, it can be tempting to waste away time on social media or binge-watch television. Here are some alternative suggestions, and please, friends, pay close attention to the last paragraph.
When a snowstorm occurs, our schedules become interrupted with canceled appointments, kids home from school, traffic delays, and unexpected blocks of free time. Once you’re done shoveling, you may be tempted to watch TV, scan social media or eat something you’ll regret. Instead, here are some action steps you can take for your business today that will help you improve your image, feel organized and stand out from your competition:
Refresh your website. How many times have you looked at your own website and felt just a little embarrassed? Now is a good time to take care of that. If you don’t know how to change or update your website, grab a good old-fashioned legal pad and write out the changes you want page by page so you'll be able to communicate what you want to the designer.
Send your clients a thank-you card. This is a great way to set yourself apart from your competition. Take a look at your client list and send each of your clients a genuine “Thanks for doing business with me, I’m glad you're my customer” card. They’ll appreciate getting something in the mail that is not a bill.
Organize your workspace. Do you feel just a little overwhelmed when you open the door to your office? Today is a perfect opportunity for you to roll up your sleeves and take action. Create three piles: To Do, To Read, To Recycle. Donate those business books, office tools, and gadgets that you’re finished with and never plan to use again.
Re-set your business goals. Did you set some new-year goals for your life or business in January? We’re three months into the new year now. Review your goals and if you’ve gotten off-track take this opportunity to re-set and make sure you’re on track.
Review your business insurance. Is your business protected? If not, make some phone calls today to take care of that. If so, review your policy and make sure it’s updated and fits your current needs. Chances are you’ve added new people or new equipment, so check with your agent and be sure to have adequate coverage.
Read. We spend way too much time in front of our computers. Successful people read and learn every day. Take some of those books that you’ve purchased but never got around to reading and set one on your desk, put one by your bedside and place one in your briefcase. Do you have a big pile of business journals, printed ebooks, magazines, and newsletters? Today is a great day to catch up on your reading!
Write or update your bio. A bio for you or your leadership team is essential for a professional image. Make sure that the information in your bio is current and relevant to the work you’re doing now. Headshot photos should be taken by a professional photographer and updated every three to five years.
Eliminate Clutter. Take a good look around your home, office, and car. Do you have too much furniture? Too many clothes? Piles of paper? It's hard to feel productive in an environment that is filled with junk. Remove items that you no longer have use for.
Update your address book. I’ll bet you have a stack of business cards somewhere of people that you have been meaning to add to your database. There are probably some contacts in there who have moved or changed jobs. Perhaps you’ve been planning to create a media list for your publicity plan. You will feel better when your database is updated and current.
Create a publicity plan for your business. Most of us already have a business plan and a marketing plan, but neglect the idea of planning for publicity opportunities. Be strategic with your publicity and create a plan. It’s not as difficult as you may think. Begin with next month and list the next twelve months. Then list 12 topics around your area of expertise and categorize them in the appropriate month. Consider seasonal topics, obvious holidays, etc. Write out your announcements ahead of time, choose a date, and add this task to your calendar for each month. You can find my recorded workshops with helpful publicity tips on this page.
Now that you’ve invested some of your downtime up-leveling your business, you can spend time with the people you love. Don’t forget why you work so hard. An unplanned break in your schedule gives you the opportunity to spend time with the people you care about. Don’t miss the opportunity to have some fun in the snow. This may be the last snowfall of the year. That is a good excuse for some time away from your desk.