For at least the past few weeks you’ve probably been in holiday mode at your business. But have you taken some time to think about what comes next? Q4 is crunch time to adequately prepare for the upcoming year. Here are 4 critical to do's that every business owner should be doing.
1. Define Your 2019 Goals
Have you had time to really think about this? What do you want to accomplish next year? Maybe it’s doubling your client base, opening a new location, or offering a new class each month. Whatever it might be, it’s important to set your goals now so you can structure business around them. Knowing what you want to achieve also makes tracking and reporting easier and more meaningful throughout the year. We’ll call it your business New Year’s resolution.
And speaking of New Year’s resolutions...
2. Brace Yourself for January
Gym owners will be most familiar with the “January Rush,” where New Year’s resolutions bring in a bunch of new clients, only to have most of them disappear by March. But a January rush can happen to any class-based business. Especially if you’ve been selling gift cards, you can expect to see some new faces at your business early in the year.
That means you need to be prepared for it. You may not be able to hold on to every new client (again, gyms, I’m looking at you), but chances are you can retain at least some of them. Show your new clients some extra attention to help them feel like they’re a part of your community–talk to them about their goals, show them around your facility, introduce them to current clients, etc.
Here are some more tips to improve client retention.
3. Talk to Your Staff
Your staff are a crucial part of business success. Talk to them about how business went over the past year. They interacting with clients all day long and may have ideas for how to improve the client (and staff) experience that you haven’t yet thought of.
It’s also just a good idea to check in with your staff to see how they're doing. Staff retention is as important as client retention, and it’s in your best interest to keep your good employees happy.
4. Talk to Your Clients
Just like checking in with your staff, it’s a good time to check in with your clients. Asking them how they’re doing, checking in with them about their goals, and thanking them for their business all go a long ways towards client retention. And as a bonus, they might also give you some great ideas on how to make their client experience even better in 2019.The holidays are a typical time for businesses to reach out to clients, but it’s important to keep the line of communication open always. Have a feedback system available for clients (and staff!) to leave comments, anonymously if they wish. You might also consider surveys to get more consistent feedback throughout the year.