Biz Strategies: Setting yourself up for success in 2018

Early snowfall has us off to stellar conditions on the mountains this season and now it is time to greet our holiday visitors.

While Whistler is obviously a resort community, many businesses that aren’t directly tourism-based slow down. That presents the opportunity for a well-deserved break and if you plan it right, you can welcome the New Year with momentum. Here are tips to set you up for success.

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Let your clients know what to expect by notifying them of your revised holiday schedule. Take care of their needs beforehand or book them in your calendar for when you return to work.

If it isn’t an option to totally turn off through the holidays, put someone in charge to give you the down time you need.

If you are a solopreneur and delegating responsibility is not an option, make a schedule of when you will do the necessary tasks and stick to it. Make a commitment to shut down: turn off devices, close your office door and ask someone to hold you accountable for that down time.

Update your phone message and email auto-responders with your holiday schedule.

Marketing tools enable us to plan ahead and consequently, deliver relevant information to our clients at the right time. Set aside time to write blog posts and pre-schedule social media updates. If you have run out of time to write new blogs, pull from past posts that are still pertinent.

Craft a newsletter ahead of time and schedule it to go out at the beginning of the year. It’s a timely reminder of your services, just as your clients shift their focus back to business.

Wrap up 2017 and set yourself up for 2018. Clean through your inbox, archive your computer and paper files and do a quick office purge, cleaning through drawers and file cabinets. Get your invoicing up-to-date, pay outstanding bills and generally make sure you are on track financially. Giving your office space a thorough clean and clearing clutter is a great way to start the year with renewed energy.

Create a short, one-page business plan for 2018 that will walk you through your wins and challenges from last year, then move on to projecting revenues, budgets and setting business goals for the future. From there, you can break that in to an annual calendar and action plans to chart out tactics.

If you are more inspired by visualization, design a vision board. This imaginative concept can be done with the traditional cut-and-paste technique on paper or by using one of the excellent online resources for a digital vision board.

Rather than make resolutions that quickly fall flat, set actual goals and break them down into smaller, achievable steps to give you the opportunity to overcome obstacles as you move towards the bigger achievement.

Lastly, relax and know that work will be there when you return. Many business owners don’t take the time to rejuvenate and ultimately, that doesn’t serve you or those around you well. Let go and focus on your health and happiness during this joyous time of year.

Enjoy the holidays and all the best for a prosperous and happy New Year.

At Lighthouse Visionary Strategies, Cathy Goddard offers business and life coaching, workshops and is the founder of Lighthouse Mentor Network, a mentor program nominated for Small Business BC Awards for six consecutive years. Learn more at

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