It’s time. Time to start anew, which in our world at PI means purging the old information and updating what we want to be new. Each partner has their own style of managing their business, but to work together, we need to keep a common file and project system. Since I like to organize files and am a procedures queen, I take the time to take care of what we’ve already got. And together we decide where to focus our efforts in the new year and what goals to pursue. Both taking care of the past and planning for the future are necessary to keep our collaboration successful.
My PI to-do for the new year includes running through the shared admin folder on Dropbox and allocating to our hard disk reserve or deleting any folders or files we don’t use and won’t be using later. Old clients who don’t exist, vendors we don’t use, images that are obsolete, etc. It’s just so much easier to find things when only the information we are actively using is visible.
For the future, I check our little collection of how-to procedures (orienting new associates or partners, how to find things online that belong to PI, etc.). I also update any of the short procedures documents that we have to reflect current practice. All time well-spent since it will save time later having the most current login info for our online world, for starters.
We also take the opportunity to use our semi-monthly staff meetings to make our marketing (client diversification) plan and update our information on the website and in social media outlets. Clients come and go, so it’s important not to rest on our laurels, and also to focus our work in areas that create business and are of interest to us.
As a freelance publishing services individual, I (Joanne) also make time to purge the past and plan for the future. In addition to archiving old files on my own computer, I also still have a few paper files left to keep track of for tax purposes, so a new year means going through and shifting things around to make room for the new. I get some illusory sense of control from this exercise. 😉
It’s also password changing time! I do this twice a year, with different complex passwords of my own design (phrases I can remember with numbers and special characters). Lastly, I outline my goals as to what types of material I’d like to work on for the coming year and what I’d like to let go of as well.
Our PI Partner, Meghan Brawley, has a slightly different focus for new year plans and activities (I probably need to do her stuff, too): “I don’t typically do anything administrative, but I do like to sit down and outline my quarterly goals. This year, I identified three areas I want to focus on—learning, doing, and marketing. So each quarter, I’ve picked something from each to work on. Learning could be improving my skills with a software program, or working through an ASI online learning course, for example. For doing, it could be a presentation or publication, or even just a big admin project for PI. And for marketing, it could mean working on my daily rhythm and routine, or it could mean taking a look at the clients I would love to work with. For example, I did a couple of travel and outdoors books in 2017, and would love to expand that list this quarter.
I (Joanne) had not thought of the fridge. Another place to get that sense of order and completion. I like it!
Think about what will make your business lighter weight (from purging the past) and more productive and fun (planning for the future), and share your ideas in the comments.
Happy and Prosperous 2018!