New Year Small Business Checklist
Last week, in episode 137, I walked you through exactly how I spend December closing out the year and preparing for a new year ahead. If you haven’t listened to that episode, pause this one, because 137 is a precursor to what we’re talking about today. So go listen to that one and then come back here.
Alright, if you’re still listening, I’m assuming you’ve listened to episode 137 and you’ve got plans to close out 2022 well. In today’s episode, we’re going to be chatting about exactly how I OPEN a new year. In particular, I’m going to walk you through each day of my first week back, and the exact tasks that I perform each day.
Last week’s episode was much more flowing, and while I gave you guidance, it also left a lot of room for doing things at your own pace and listening to your own gut. This week’s episode is not like that at all. When it comes to opening up a new year, things are much more task-based, and I’m going to tell you every single one of those tasks in today’s episode so make sure you grab a pen and piece of paper so you can jot these down!
Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- Are you looking to improve your content without spending a ton of time and mental energy doing so? Whether you’re looking for help knowing what to talk about, setting up content systems, or improving your launch strategy, the Chasing Simple Shop has something for you. From A Year of Content Prompts broken up by type of content, to my Launch Strategy Mini-Course – the Chasing Simple Shop is the quick and simple way to take your content to the next level. And you can get 10% off any item by using the code LISTENER at checkout! Just head to amandawarfield.com/shop/ and again, that code for 10% off is LISTENER!
- This week’s action step: Set up a Trello card, an Asana board, whatever platform you use – get your own workflow written out so that you can start the year freshly and ready to go for an incredible 2023.
- This week’s book recommendation: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily and Amelia Nagoski. Explains why women experience stress differently than men and gives action steps for how to minimize stress, avoid burnout, and live more joyfully.
- Find me on Instagram and tell me you completed this week’s action step: @mrsamandawarfield
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Rather Read? – Here’s the Transcript!
*Just a heads up – the provided transcript is likely to not be 100% accurate.
Last week in episode 137, I walked you through exactly how I spend December closing out the year, and preparing for the new year ahead. If you haven’t listened to that episode, pause this one because 1 37 is a precursor to what we’re talking about today. So go listen to that one and then come back here.
All right, if you’re still listening, I’m assuming that you’ve listened episode 1 37 and you’ve got plans to close out 2022. Well, in today’s episode, we’re going to be chatting about exactly how I open a new year. In particular, I’m going to walk you through each day of my first week back and the exact task that I perform each day.
Now, last week’s episode was much more flowing and while I gave you guidance, it also left a lot of room for doing things at your own pace and interpretation and listening to your own gut. This week’s episode is not like that at all. . When it comes to opening up a new year, things are much more task based, and I’m going to tell you every single one of those tasks in today’s episode.
So make sure you grab a pen and piece of paper so that you can jot these down as we go. You’re listening to episode 1 38 of The Chasing Simple Podcast, and I’m your host, Amanda Warfield. Let’s dive in.
When it comes to being out of office, coming back into office can be really, really stressful and overwhelming because not only are you having to get back into the swing of things, but you’ve also got a ton of emails in your inbox, which is just a bunch of people needing things from you when your business already needs things from you, and it can be really, really overwhelming.
So like I mentioned at the end of last week’s episode, something that I do every time that I go out of office, but especially, especially for the end of year holiday break, I say I’m coming back into office on a certain date, but I really come back into office the day before. So moving into 2023, I am putting.
January 10th as my back in office date and I’m saying this is when I’ll be back in office. You can expect to hear from me by the end of that week, yada, yada, yada. I’m actually getting back into the swing of things on the ninth, which is a Monday, but I tell everyone the Tuesday, so the expectation is there so that they know I’m not gonna hear from her before then, and that’s fine, and that’s okay.
No one cares really, unless you’ve promised that you’ll be there for someone and you won’t be. But as long as you are open and upfront about that expectation, it’s not a big deal. But giving myself that one day where I don’t really even need to check my inbox, obviously I do because the temptation is very real, but not needing to and being able to check it and not have to respond to anything is glorious.
Obviously, if there’s an emergency situation in my inbox, I’ll respond to it, but that’s so rare , but I always say, Okay, I’ll be back in office on Tuesday, whatever that Tuesday is that I’m coming back in office and I leave that Monday to myself. It is a really great way to ease back into things. So what does that Monday look like?
Well, on Monday I am closing out the year before, and these are all the tasks that just really, one, I don’t have the mental capacity. When I’m closing out the year at the beginning of December, but also I don’t have the ability to do, because the year hasn’t exactly closed, particularly revenue type things.
Right? So when I get to this point, when I come back into office in January, my goals are already set. My quarter and most of my year is already mapped out. It’s not a matter of. Doing those things, it’s a matter of just getting into the new year and getting started and preparing myself well for doing those things that I’ve already planned out.
So on Monday, I’m closing out the year before, I’m sending W nine s to anyone that will need one for the last tax year. Anyone that hired me as a contractor and. Didn’t pay my credit card. I look up the rules on that. I’m not gonna, this is not legal advice, or financial advice, but I send W nine s to anyone that will need one.
I also email any of my contractors that I paid to ask for W nine if I need one from them, so that I already am gathering what I need for the tax year ahead or for doing my taxes for the year before I should say. Then I close out my KPIs, my income expenses, my weekly scorecards, all of those spreadsheets I close out for the year.
So I’m going through and I’m saying, Okay, here are all my December numbers for my KPIs, for my income expenses. Here’s the final look at my weekly scorecards and. Not only doing it for December, but I’m, I’m closing out whatever needs to be closed out for the year. So, okay, what were my total numbers? What were my total?
How much did I pay myself? Owner’s expenses, how much did I do in donations? How much did I spend on, you know, all the different things. I’m closing that out for the year. And then I’m basically just going through my typical first of the month KPI workflow, which I don’t know if I’ve done a whole episode on.
If that’s something you’d like to hear, let me know. But basically, this is just me going through all the numbers in my business and it’s a lot of just monthly tasks. That need to happen, like checking in on client birthdays and club content, batching members, student birthdays, and setting up different things that need just a lot of just administrative stuff that needs to happen on a monthly basis, as well as going through my KPIs and things like that.
So I’m just going through that typical workflow. I always do that workflow the first Monday of whatever month, and it’s just tracking different numbers and analytics and things like that. And then the last thing that I’m doing on Monday is that I am reading last year’s letter to myself, which I’m gonna talk about a little bit later.
But basically I write a letter to myself each year and I’m gonna go through and read it and just kind of see what I had written that I wanted in the last year. And it’s just a nice way to wrap up. This is the end of all of my, in this case, 2022 business stuff. Where did I leave me? How did I end the year?
And that’s, that’s just the last task for that. So that’s how I close out the year on Tuesday, which remember this is when I say I’m back in office, I’m doing client check-ins, I am handling emails, and that’s really it. And it takes a lot of times, most of the day just because they’re so much that can accumulate in that time, going through the inbox is time consuming, especially when it’s been left for a couple weeks and.
Clients, this is when I’m gonna be really diving back into everything that they need from me and making sure that I’m checking in on them and things like that. So Tuesday is really simple. It’s time consuming, but it’s simple. It’s just client check-ins and emails. Wednesday is what I call Purge Day and not that creepy purge movie that I haven’t seen, but get the premise of not that kind of purge but the purging of all of my random clutter.
I try. Throughout the year, and this is typically one of my KPI day tasks, right? And quarterly tasks and things like that is cleaning up the different files. But things just get out of control. It just is what it is. And this day is set aside so that I can start with a clean, fresh slate at the beginning of the year, and alls I’m doing is cleaning up files.
So I’m cleaning up all of the random notes that I have around my office, my post-its, my stickies, you know, sometimes I’ll take notes on things and then. . It’s not super pressing, irrelevant, but I, I need the information, but I haven’t had time to file it away on Trello or wherever it needs to go, and so it just gets dropped in this little pile.
I’m cleaning up all of those random notes. I’m going through the downloads folder on my laptop, and I’m organizing those. I’m. Basically clearing it out by either deleting what needs to be deleted or uploading things to my hard drive, or my Google Drive, or the folder needs to be in on my actual laptop.
But the idea is to clear out that downloads folder so it’s totally empty. I go through all of the files on my laptop itself, and I. Organize and cleared those out. Same thing with my Google Drive, clearing all that out, deleting. I keep client folders for a particular amount of time, and after it’s been a couple years, well, I can delete The oldest away basically delete those files, delete, clean up my just Google Drive cuz things get messy, just clean up the Google Drive. I go into Canva and I clean things up a little bit. There are always gonna be some of those that you just don’t need anymore and they just kind of take up space, right?
And it makes it harder to find things. Try to clean that up. Same thing with Trello. I go in and clean up the boards. What do I not need anymore? What isn’t serving me? What is just taking up space and my Dropbox as well? And that sounds. like a lot, right? It’s like, you know, do you really need to clean up Canva and Trello?
They’ve got unlimited space, yada, yada, yada. But I just like to have a clean slate and if I don’t, if it’s not serving the business anymore, it’s just mental and visual clutter. Even though it’s electronic, it’s still visual clutter. So I like to clean all that up. Now, the last thing that I’m doing on this day, Is starting and potentially finishing the process of working on the tasks that I came up with from my December audit.
If you listen to last week’s episode, I talked about the fact that I audit the three Gs, especially my goals, my gut and my guest experience. In particular, I’m talking about the guest experience audit here, the workflows, the email newsletters, the sequences, the website I went through and I made a note of all the things I wanted to change within those things, right?
But like I said, in the last week’s episode, I’m not. Working on that, those in December. I’m just making a list. I’m not doing those. I’m not improving those in December because I’m not worried about projects. But this purge day is a great day to start going through and cleaning all of those up, checking those things off that task list.
Cuz most of those tasks are going to be really quick. Like, Oh, that font looked weird. Let me go in and in two seconds, change the font on that. Or the spacing was weird. A lot of ’em are gonna be little things like. , but this is a good time to start going through and cleaning those up. Maybe you finish all of ’em on this day and that’s great, but if not, don’t worry.
We’ve got time for it. I’ll get to that in a minute. On Thursday, I am opening the new year, so Monday I close the year. Tuesday, I’m checking in with clients. Wednesday I’m cleaning things up. I’m getting that clean slate ready to go. And then on Thursday I am opening the new year. First, I’m gonna write this letter to myself.
I mentioned on Monday I read the one from last year to close out that day. Well, this is where I’m writing that letter and it’s really just kind of a, this is where I ended last year. Here’s what I’m hoping for in this year. And it’s really just an encouragement to myself. As I start a new year, and it’s not super long, it’s just short and sweet, but it just is a, Hey, you’ve got this, these are your goals and here’s where we’re going here, here’s where we’re at as we start the year.
And it’s really fun to look back on when you read the one on Monday and you say, Oh, wow, I really grew this much in the new year, so I start with that. On Thursday, I am opening the new year by writing that letter to myself, and then I’m going in and I’m creating all of my new spreadsheets. So my new weekly scorecard for the year, my monthly KPI spreadsheet, my income and expenses spreadsheet, all those spreadsheets I am creating and updating them for the new year.
Then I am looking at, in particular, Income and expenses worksheet, and I am reevaluating my monthly spending. I am deciding where to cut things out and then starting the process of cutting them. And then I’m also saying, Okay, what is my monthly average? You know, here’s what I spent last year, each month.
Add ’em up, divide ’em by 12, what’s the average, Right? Reevaluating that monthly average and then updating my savings goal. So I have a savings account for the business that just like a personal savings goal, ideally has three to six months worth of money in there for your operating expenses should something happened and.
Over time, as the business grows, your operating expenses tend to grow as well. So at the end of each year, I say, Okay, well this was my saving goal last year, because that was what my three months of monthly expenses were. Okay, well now my average is this, so this needs to be my new savings goal. And throughout the year, I work on making my way to that savings goal so that I have that money just in case anything happens.
And then the final thing that I do to open the new year is I go in and I update my website copyright. Go ahead and put that 2023 down at the bottom of your website and any of what else you may have. I know that I have a lot of pages that are hosted on Kartra and not my website, and so I have to go into those pages as well and make sure that that website copyright is updated.
But make sure you go in and update that website, copyright to the new year. And with that, your new year is open. Now, Friday is a bonus day. This is for me the day that I go in. And if I haven’t finished those tasks from that December audit, that’s when I’m gonna continue cleaning up the workflows and sequences.
If I don’t need to do that, if I did finish that on Wednesday, I just take that Friday off because we’re easing back into the new year. Right. it’s a slow process when you have taken time. You have to ease your way back in. It’s not just a, Okay, well I had time off, so I’m gonna hit the ground running and work eight hours every single.
It’s, that’s a lot. It’s exhausting. And so you gotta ease your way back in. So if you don’t need this day, don’t do it. But for me, it’s very much a what happened on Wednesday and how much more work do I have on these workflows and sequences, and I’m gonna get that finished on this day if I need to. And so that’s it.
That is how I open the year Strong Monday. I close out the year before Tuesday, clients emails, just getting all that cleaned up. Wednesday is purge day, Thursday is opening the new year, and Friday is that bonus workshop kind of day where I am just finishing up those tasks that I created for myself in my audit.
So your action step for this week is I want you to set up a, a Trello card and an Asana board, whatever platform you use to keep track of all your business workflows. And I want you to get your own workflow written out so that you can start the year fresh and be ready to go for an incredible 2023, so that when you come back into office next month, you know that I’m do this on this day, this on this day, this on this day, and this is how I’m gonna open the year strong.
And you set aside that time for yourself. So go ahead and set up. Whatever that is. Again, I use Trello, so I have different cards that I just have a template and each year I will copy the template and work my way through it when I go to start the new year and fittingly. This week’s book recommendation is called Burnout.
The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily and Amelia Nagoski and this book it was very, very interesting because it explains why women experience stress differently than men, and it gives action steps for how to minimize stress, avoid burnout, and live more joyfully. Highly recommend. It’s very much worth the read.
There’s a lot of science and psychology in there, but it’s all brought into layman’s terms, so it’s really easy to understand. Burn Out the Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle. Highly recommend, and until next time, I hope that you will go out and uncomplicate your life in biz.