This holiday filled month can be clouded with thoughts on time-off, being with family, dealing with COVID during your celebrations, shopping in-person or online, wrapping, decorating, and relaxing into the holiday.  However, now is a great time to prepare for much-needed time-off with family and prepare for day one back at work with your team in January, starting a new year with new goals, maybe new people, and definitely a new strategy. 

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If you truly have not written down, started planning, or been presented with a plan for January 2021, here are some things to work through this month.

1. NEW HIRES: 

Now is a great time to hire new people. 

Is your strategy is to inflict significant change into 2021? These changes could include new channel development, new or previous prior revenue streams, overcoming a deficiency in your team, or growing.

While December tends to be a slower month for all of us not working in retail, we might need to take time right now to bring on a new face. Take time to lay out the strategic plan for 2021, identify those new roles, identify deficiencies that occurred over this year, and pull together some job descriptions. Hiring in December is something that allows for new people to get a feel for our culture at it’s happiest time. There is time right now to do some training and get through the initial bumps of bringing on a new hire. Thorough onboarding allows for steadfast work to begin in January.

2.  GOALS:  We need to look at our sales, our relationships, the communication and marketing to your clients, the organization overall resulting in delivery to your clients, and continued education and training. 

These silos are great places for us to develop our 2021 goals. Start by just setting the goals. You can then start to break them down into steps towards achieving those goals. 

Remember that you aren’t the only one that needs to make the plan; your entire team should be prepared to not only create the goals but buy into them. I generally recommend 2-3 goals for each of your silos. Write them down, draft style, and get your stakeholders involved to firm them up as a bar that can be achieved with hard work. Then present them with your stakeholders to the entire team and let them know that a plan is needed to achieve those goals.

3. DESK CLEARING: 

Take time to clear your desk.  Build your 2021 kick-off task list with a single pile. Get those other piles, and other tasks weeded out. You have let this build up all year; take this time to organize yourself.  This step can help understand some of the new hires and goals you need to set as well.  Leave your desk on December 23 with a single pile and a single list. 

Organizing your task list is more challenging than it looks, and we all say, “Yeah, I really need to do that,” but now is an excellent time to do that. Prioritize that list from start to end and build your stack in that order. While some things can be done simultaneously or take longer than others, stack your list and pile to what needs to happen in what order it will guide you step-by-step come January. Be ready when you return to have a pile of emails waiting that must get organized in that pile. When you get back to work on January 4, 2021, you will be glad to come into the office to a clean desk. 

You will have a single pile of things that just couldn’t get done before the end of the year organized and in order of what to get back to first. You will have new faces ready to start work on day one because of the thoughtful steps you have taken to get them on board in advance. You will have a chart of goals, and the first step is to lead your team through building the plans needed to accomplish those goals, and quickly.  2021 we are headed right at you. Let’s make it a great year.