Each January brings a lot of exciting opportunities. The new year is a great place to set goals — both in your personal and professional lives. Here we will talk about your calendar-based business and what you can do to get ready to take 2023 by storm.

Businesses that rely on a calendar to schedule meetings with clients have to worry about slightly different things than other types of companies. There’s a stronger focus on customer service and relationships, for starters. The following points highlight some of the essential things a calendar-based business can do to prepare for a new year:

Make Sure Your Database Is Up to Date

You have seen lots of different clients in the past year. In doing so, you have accumulated a trove of customer data. All of these details can get pretty overwhelming if you don’t take the time to review and organize them. You should add this to your to-do list to prepare for 2023.

Fortunately, much of the heavy lifting can be handed to your clients. For example, offer them the option to update their personal information if it has become outdated. They can either confirm it is correct or point out which changes need to be made for complete accuracy.

The rest will be left up to you. Do you need to thin out some contacts that you no longer need? Will it help to organize clients into groups based on schedule needs or demographics? These decisions will depend on your business and preferences, but they will help you get your feet set headed into 2023.

Start Creating Next Year’s Calendar

Just because it’s still 2022 doesn’t mean you can’t start scheduling meetings for the upcoming year. If you’ve already set up some meetings for the turn of the calendar, you can hit the ground running immediately.

You may even consider running a special promotion to incentivize continued customer loyalty at the beginning of the new year. For example, clients who already have meetings scheduled in January can qualify for special discounts on products or services regardless of which session dates they select. In addition, you might be able to add in some meetings several months in advance to lay a solid foundation for 2023.

Of course, you must have a sound reminder system in place as you begin creating next year’s calendar. A lot can happen that cause people to forget about meetings or change their original plans. Touch base with them at least a week in advance to ensure all of your scheduled events stay on track.

Square Away Payments

If you have any outstanding invoices from the past year, you should do your best to get them squared away before 2023 hits. Clients who take forever to complete payments are unlikely to schedule another meeting or appointment until they do. The longer it takes to collect payments, the more room customers have to try and wriggle away without paying at all.

This issue is significant for small businesses that work more intimately with their customers. For example, massage therapists who make house calls might expect payments to be made online through Venmo or Paypal. That can take some time. The better your business can prepare by getting ahead on things like this, the smoother the transition into 2023 will be.

Look through your records and see whether all payments are present and accounted for. If a payment or two is missing, reach out to the customer or client to gently remind them. Once your checkbook is completely balanced, you’ll have one less thing to worry about come 2023.

Keep an Eye on New Trends

With the coming of a new year, you can expect recent trends to emerge. While it’s essential to maintain a consistent business model, it’s also important to be aware of developments in your industry. Then, you can capitalize on them for short and successful marketing campaigns or pinpoint an upcoming trend that might become the next big thing.

Social media is a goldmine for coming and going trends. Is there a product or song that is trending on TikTok this week? Is there a movement you can support that’s been a trending hashtag on Twitter? Remember that online interactions are very transparent, so think before posting or commenting on anything under your business’s name.

Another place you can look is Google Trends. Here you can see what people around the world are searching for online. For example, has there been an increase in web searches for a particular hairstyle that you can advertise at your salon? Google might be able to help you time that right.

Make Sure Your Calendar Software Is Up to Date

Regarding your calendar software, it’s essential to ensure it is secure and that everything functions as it should. If there are software bugs, make sure to fix them. If there are usability or security issues, be sure to diagnose the problem and proceed to update the software to be sure these issues have been resolved.

Security breaches happen when businesses are caught unaware and assume things are good on their end. However, they can protect themselves and their clients by taking precautionary steps to ensure their software is secure and up-to-date. So, whether your calendar software is in the form of a desktop application, an internal website function, or a mobile app, there should be consistency throughout.

Be sure to have internal usability testing to ensure your software functions correctly. In addition to that, make sure your clients are also able to schedule successfully. Usability on various platforms can be a make-or-break factor for your clients. Overall, be sure to perform periodic software updates, especially if any of these things are out of line.

Set Goals and Aspirations

The final and perhaps the most important thing you should do in preparation for 2023 is to set some goals for the year. You can make faster progress in growing your business by setting appropriate goals and aspirations. Conversely, if you fail to set goals, you won’t have anything to work toward that will spur improvement.

Goals you can set might include:

  • Increasing your client base by 25%
  • Boosting annual revenue by a third
  • Expanding your brick-and-mortar business
  • Hiring another full-time employee
  • Making your business space more energy-efficient
  • Expanding your service lines

The most important thing about setting goals is to make them measurable and realistic. For example, everyone would like to double their annual revenue, but that’s likely too far-fetched. So instead, start with a goal more within reach, like one-third, then identify the steps and strategies to get you there. Measurable objectives should have milestones and plans that get you from point A to point B.

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve had some insight on how to prepare your business for next year better, consider ways you can implement these tips. Take the time to review how each of these steps has already been –or can be–integrated into your business. Most importantly, be sure to follow up with the proper actions to prepare your business as needed.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio; Pexels; Thank you!