End of Year Checklist – 13 Things to do Before the New Year

Office Operations | 1 comment

As you close out the year and celebrate with friends and family, I realize the LAST thing you want to think about is your business. So I’m giving you my End of Year Checklist to make things a little easier for you.

It’s about

  • tying up a few loose ends and making sure things aren’t falling through the cracks
  • making sure that when someone visits your site, it’s polished and professional
  • making tax time, only a few short months from now, easier to deal with and saving you money

Download your End of Year Checklist, grab some coffee, wine, or your beverage of choice, and follow along as we wrap up this year on a high note – all organized and stuff.

Hi there, it’s Lisa Wells with Virtual Assistant Trainer. Thank you so much for your support and your feedback this year. We are going to end this year like I do every year, with an end-of-year checklist. These are things you need to do before the new year to start off fresh and organized. And if you want to follow along, be sure to get your free End of Year Checklist right below the video. Here we go…

The first thing you are going to do is change the dates on your website. Most people have these copyright dates located in the page footers, on the bottom. Some people put the word present instead of the year, or they may just keep the year that it was originally published. The bottom line is that it doesn’t really do a whole lot for your website but I have heard that it does provide some level of protection in case you do have to fight off a copyright issue. For me, it’s more about building trust. If someone visits my site, they can see that I care about the little details by adding a current date. I know it may seem like a small issue, but I’m all about being congruent. And if my focus is systems and helping and training you to be an incredible partner to your clients, I can’t very well have a messy website. For the longest time I had to do this manually but these days I use Divi theme and here is what I have in my global footer layout. This should be an easy fix for you to do, just make sure it’s done sitewide.

#2 Check your opt-in forms. If you have web forms or opt-in forms on your site, do a quick check to make sure they are working. They are notorious for breaking, especially if you are copying/pasting your html code from your autoresponder over to your website. They break all the time, so do a quick check, especially on your lead magnets. Also, if the only way to get a hold of you is via a web form on a contact page, make sure to test that too. Nothing worse than going to a site, liking what you see, going to the contact page, and then never hearing from that person.

#3 Check your phone number. If you use your regular cell phone number on your site, then it’s probably not an issue because you’d notice if you stopped getting phone calls. But if you use something like Google Voice which you have to refresh every so many days, maybe you missed the reminder email and it’s no longer forwarding your calls. Even if you are getting calls, call your Google Voice number to check the greeting, make sure it’s not telling callers that it’s full, and that your greeting sounds clear.

#4 Check for broken links. If you have a WordPress site this is pretty easy because you can add a plugin that will crawl your site looking for broken links on pages, posts, and comments and then will notify you so that you can fix it.

#5 Simplify contact info. What I like to do is have one page with all of my contact information there. That way, in case I have a change anything, I only have to change it in one spot. On my page, I have links to my social profiles, phone number, email, and mailing address.

#6 Check for dated or obsolete material. What I mean by this is if you have a place on your website that has upcoming events and those events have passed, you can update that area. Or if you’ve had a “coming soon” page on a certain section of your website for months now, get rid of it. If you have a shop, go through the products and remove outdated or obsolete products. This will likely take you the most time, but see where you can revamp, remove, refresh and update.

#7 Prune email list. This only applies to those of you who have a subscriber mailing list and just like how you have to prune dead leaves off of a plant to help it grow, cleaning up your list periodically and removing inactive or no longer interested people is a highly recommended practice these days. I’ve got some helpful processes and videos that you can run through to help you with this so be sure to visit those.

#8 Ready your bookkeeping for year-end financial reports. If you use something like QuickBooks, this is pretty easy. For my own information, I run reports to see if I have any outstanding invoices due as well as where I made money and what I spent my money on to start planning for the following year.

In addition to getting ready for tax time, this also gives you an opportunity to look at the big picture, see what worked, what didn’t, and make business decisions.

#9 Make business purchases NOW. This is a really smart move because many people are having year-end sales so, not only can you save some money by making purchases within the same calendar year, it just keeps the money in your pocket as long as possible. My favorite things to buy are office supplies such as new Sharpie pens and highlighters, content such as stock photos and private label rights, and you may even find a really good deal on a new laptop and software because of year-end deals. Also, check to see if those programs you pay month to month for has a price break if you pay annually. I do that with Dropbox, MeetEdgar, QuickBooks, and Carbonite.

#10 Update your team information. If you have a team, send them a task to review their contact information and make sure it’s up to date. A quick process is to put the team document in a centrally located place, such as a folder in Dropbox, and send a task to the team to have them check their contact information. People change cell numbers, get rid of landline numbers, and change their personal emails quite often so make sure it’s up to date. You can also enhance the document and add things like birthdays, family member information, or emergency contact info.

#11 Update online profiles and passwords. What I like to do is go through my socials such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest and check the bio sections and About sections and update if necessary. And if you don’t yet use a password manager like LastPass, make this the year. You will save yourself hours of time once you start to centralize this part of your business and personal life.

#12 Do a digital declutter. This is for those people who have too many Facebook pages to manage, their own Facebook groups that are now obsolete, or, and I’m sure of this, there are others’ Facebook groups that you want to Unjoin. Maybe you have multiple sites or domain names that no longer serve a purpose for your business that you can consolidate or remove altogether. Check your software programs that you pay for, do you still use them?

#13 Finally, take time off. If anything, just know that everyone else is going to get some rest so they can reenergize so you may as well, too. Take some time off for yourself so that you can show up in the new year with more energy and enthusiasm.

All right my friends. I will see you soon with new episodes of Systems Sunday. Have a very safe and happy new year!

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End of Year Checklist - 13 Things to do Before the New Year

1 Comment

  1. Monique

    Thanks….appreciate all the work you’ve done in pulling lists together…very Helpful!!
    This list just adds to my other lists of year end projects- All are so important!

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