I’m big on year-end reviews. In fact over the years I’ve developed a specific way of doing them when it comes to my business.
I think our businesses can talk to us from year to year and help us see what’s next, what needs tweaking, and what needs abandoning altogether. We just need to take some time to reflect and listen before we jump into the next year.
When I start my review, one of my favorite places to look for clues about the year is in comments my clients made.
Where do I find those? They’re in emails, handwritten cards, verbal comments made during an appointment (and I jotted them down real fast), in texts, or in phone conversations (and I jotted them down real fast!).
In the reviewing portion of my 10 Steps to Help You Reflect on Your Year and Prepare for the Next process, you just write as many of those down as you can.
When you shift to the planning portion of the process, you look closer to see if there’s anything about those comments that might help you plan for next year.
Something came out of my client comments that really has my attention. It was something I did back in June and it all started while on an office supply run to Staples. I went for pens and left with so much more!
Finding the Fun Pack Supplies
One Office Tuesday in early June I was at Staples when I spotted the cutest little plastic box that was a mini-version of a bankers box. It was adorable! (It’s the purple box on the right in the photo and has a mini green Sharpee highlighter pen on top of it.)
Suddenly in Aisle 10 I got the idea to create a Summer Fun Pack for my clients. I looked for other mini-sized things and found plenty: mini notebooks, highlighter pens, Altoids, and Post-Its in the shape of sunglasses.
I then went to CVS to look for other little things that reminded me of “summer fun” and found packets of seeds, bottles of soap bubbles, lifesaver candies (they remind me of inner tubes used at the lake), and chocolates. I bought simple paper lunch bags and colorful curly ribbons.
Caitlin, my office manager, helped me assemble them. We decided it would be best to let my clients know why I’d put these items in these bags. So this is what I printed out on green paper and slipped inside each bag:
Your Summer Fun Pack
Bubbles, because it’s summer!
Notepad for jotting down summer fun ideas
Emergen-C to protect you during summer travels
Sunglass Post-Its to remind you to wear your summer frocks
A highlighter to highlight passages in summer books
Chocolate and candy because you are so sweet
Storage case for storing precious small things
Altoid mints for after your summer BBQs
Seeds that will sprout joy
Love, EK and BK
Here’s what my clients had to say
Check out these emails I reviewed last week when I was compiling the info from 10 Steps.
From an email
Dear Brenda and Erin, LOVE my summer goodie bag (Peter too). What a wonderful surprise to find it inside my gate hanging from ribbon!!! How thoughtful and FUN. Many thanks to you both and hope your summer is warm and beautiful. xo, M
From an email
Hi Brenda, The ”new” me is loving the outfits you and Erin put together Wednesday. It was so much more fun to get dressed these past three days. Thank you! Thank you too for the fun summer treat bag. I particularly love the eyeglass frame Post –its. Xx S
From an email, a poem
I am prepared with lots of glee
To enjoy the things that you brought to me.
A bright red heart. Such a special start.
And bubbles and notepads filled the cart.
A highlighter and case, mints and sweet things.
WHAT a joy your gift bag brings.
THANK you, EK and BK dear.
You’ve jumpstarted a summer full of cheer.
Just last week a client brought out her notepad. And another told me she uses the purple box to carry earrings on business trips. Clearly, it was so memorable!
I’m guessing when I get to the planning side of the 10 Step process and come across Step 1: Turn positive comments into marketing tools, I’ll be thinking about doing something like that again!
Are you interested in reviewing 2014 and planning 2015? You can check out my eBook for details about this year-end-review. Enjoy!