Snowed In? Twelve Action Steps That You Can Take For Your Business Right NOW

I just heard the weather man report a 100% chance of snow. When a snow storm occurs our schedules become interrupted with cancelled 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.

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 your my customer.” card. They’ll appreciate getting something in the mail that is not a bill.

Organize your work space. 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 to achieve your goals.

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 and you want to make sure you are fully covered.

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 periodicals? 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 your professional image. Make sure that the information in your bio is current and relevant to the work you’re doing now. Your photo should be updated every 3-5 years. (download my ebook called “How to Create Your Bio” here: http://pittsburghprofessionalwomen.org/helpful-business-resources)

Eliminate Clutter. Take a good look around your home, office and car. Do you have too much furniture? Too many clothes? Piles of paper? You cannot be successful if your environment 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 data base. 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 twelve 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. (Listen to my free recording “How To Create a Complete Publicity Plan For Your Business” here: http://www.bethcaldwellpublicity.net/resources/.

Schedule time to learn. Have you been invited to attend business conferences or other workshops? You know that if you don’t put these items on your calendar and register now, less important things will fill your calendar. Decide what events you’re going to attend, put them on your calendar and register today.

Now that you’ve invested some of your down time 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.

Here’s to a productive day!

Beth Caldwell is an author, speaker and business strategist. She owns a public relations firm in Pittsburgh, PA where she specializes in working with small business owners and entrepreneurs. She is a “40 under 40” Winner, having been recognized by Pittsburgh Magazine as one of the region's most influential young business leaders and she was recently recognized in Washington DC with the national "Radical Woman of the Year" award. Her books include I Wish I'd Known THAT!, Inspired Entrepreneurs, EMPOWER and Get Paid What You're Worth. Beth's passion is to help professionals and entrepreneurs succeed in life and business. Learn more at www.BethCaldwellTV.com.

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