While many business owners are “just waiting for 2020 to be over,” others are taking advantage of pandemic business opportunities to make sure the year is a productive one.
I was struck by this after seeing an ad from Comcast saying: “Don’t just bounce BACK. Bounce forward.” And that’s what we at DeWinter Marketing have been doing. In addition to work to help our clients grow, we’ve used this year as an opportunity to get a ton of business tasks done that we just didn’t have time to do in other years. As a result, it’s likely that 2020 will be one of the most productive years DeWinter Marketing & PR has had, and we’ve been in business for 23 years and counting.
This month’s blog is designed to get business owners, managers & staffers thinking about what you can do to make the remainder of 2020 super productive…despite the pandemic, lockdowns & economic hardship.
Taking Advantage of Pandemic Business Opportunities: 10 Actions You Can Complete in the Fourth Quarter To Make 2020 A Productive Year
Here are a series of to-do’s that you can pursue to make sure that 2020 is a productive year for your business despite the pandemic:
2020 Fourth Quarter To-do # 1: Shred Old Tax Receipts
The general rule of thumb is that you need to keep all your receipts & invoices for the past 7 years in case you get audited by the IRS. So, if you have boxes or files of old tax receipts from years prior to 2013, keep the actual tax returns but spend a rainy day, evenings, or weekends shredding all those old receipts, invoices & payment stubs. Check with your CPA before you start the shredding process. It will feel good once you have a bunch of dusty, old boxes or dog-eared files cleared out of the office or storage room, and you’ll have more room!
2020 Fourth Quarter To-Do # 2: Start Work on Your 2020 Taxes
Granted there are still a lot of unanswered questions on taxes and the Payroll Protection Plan, but any spare time you have from lowered business volume can be put to use working on your 2020 taxes.
2020 Fourth Quarter To-Do # 3: Start Developing Your 2021 Sales & Marketing Plan
The fourth quarter is a great time to start assessing the current year to determine: What worked? What didn’t? What are customers most interested in purchasing from you? What do they need? Then build your sales & marketing plan for 2021. For more information on this, read our Expert Article on the importance of marketing planning.
2020 Fourth Quarter To-Do # 4: Consolidate Your URLs (Web Addresses) With One Domain Registrar
We see this all the time. Companies often have purchased web addresses for their company through a variety of domain registrars such as Network Solutions, GoDaddy, and a host of other companies that sell domain names for websites. 2020 should be your year to find all the domains, where you bought them, choose the domain registrar where you want ALL the website addresses located, and consolidate them into one location. Then do the work that’s required to transfer all website addresses to one master account. Here’s an example: Let’s say most of your business website addresses were purchased through your account with GoDaddy. But there are a couple of “straggler” website addresses that are registered with Network Solutions. As you have spare time this year, make it a goal to transfer straggler domains into a master account where all the rest of your website addresses have been purchased. Of note, Network Solutions is usually more expensive than GoDaddy for example. So be sure to check pricing, and consolidate all your URLs at the domain registrar with the best prices.
2020 Fourth Quarter To-Do # 5: Consolidate & Organize Your Security & Login Information
This is another problem we encounter with clients: missing login information. There’s always some account, whether it’s Google Analytics, the domain registrar, association memberships, where no one at the company knows the login user name & password. Make the fourth quarter of 2020 the time when you organize & gather all the accounts & services for the business that require logins & passwords. Organize them alphabetically and store them in a secure location.
2020 Fourth Quarter To-Do # 6: Set Up or Test Your Computer Back-up
This year, we’ve heard stories of massive computer crashes resulting in lost data at least a half dozen times. When data is lost, it either means that data back-up wasn’t in place, or that the data back-up didn’t work. Make the fourth quarter of 2020 your time to get your tech support person to either deploy a data backup system for you, or test and make sure your data back-up system is actually working.
2020 Fourth Quarter To-Do # 7: Review & Upgrade Your Sales Materials As Needed
The fourth quarter is a great time to brainstorm with your sales manager and sales team as to what sales collateral needs an update, and what new sales materials would help the sales team sell your product or services. While you’re at it, review all your sales materials, and make sure they are consistently branded with the same look and feel.
2020 Fourth Quarter To-Do # 8: Clean Up Your Customer & Prospect Lists
A CRM (customer relationship management) system is only as good as the data that populates it. If no one has looked through the customer & prospect database in the past year, set aside some time to access your CRM or your customer & prospect lists and cull them down to what’s realistic and relevant. For example, if you have not had any contact with a prospect in 5 years, you can probably delete them from your list.
2020 Fourth Quarter To-Do # 9: Review Your Processes
In many cases, companies have been following the same processes for years without reviewing if they’re effective or not. This includes the sales process, customer follow-up, payment processes, invoicing processes, and more. Whenever you have free time that needs to be put to use, schedule a brainstorm with company managers & staffers & use the free time as an opportunity to streamline processes & make them more efficient.
2020 Fourth Quarter To-Do # 10: Thank Your Existing Customers
As we move closer to the new year, the fourth quarter is an ideal time to thank and acknowledge your existing customers. Be sure to thank them for their business during this difficult year.
No question, 2020 has been a disastrous year for many businesses, with many surviving purely because of various programs such as the Payroll Protection Program and business hardship grants. As a result, the pandemic business opportunities of 2020 will revolve around putting the extra time you may have to good use – so your business can hit the ground running in 2021.
Need help with sales or marketing planning, sales collateral, or moving your business forward in general? Contact DeWinter Marketing & PR for cost-effective, practical strategies that can help your business survive, thrive, and grow stronger.