If you want 2021 to be an awesome year for your VA business, you need to start your preparations now. For many businesses (VAs included!), the end of a year can be a bit of a double-edged sword. It’s traditionally a time for winding down after a busy year, but it’s also tinged with excitement over what the new year may bring. This can leave many VAs and business owners generally, conflicted over how they feel about the year end. Many may also be confused over how to adequately prepare for the year ahead – especially if they’ve been busy looking back and reviewing the past years achievements.

In part, this confusion is client driven. At this time of year, many VA businesses are in two distinctly different productivity camps. For some, this time of year is their busiest, as they help their clients during the busiest season of the year. These VAs often don’t have the time to think about their own businesses, as they’re so busy with clients. When they do finally close for Christmas, they need time to unwind and reflect on the busy year they’ve had.

For others, their clients are already winding down for the year end and have no real need for their VA during this time. These VAs have time to then wind down themselves, often turning inwards, as they relax with family and reflect on the year they’ve just completed.

A review is only important, if it’s paired with an action plan for the year ahead

No matter what camp you’re currently in, it’s important that you do take time to wind down and reflect back on the year you’ve just completed. However, if you want to benefit from that review of your year, you need to use it to come up with an action plan for the new year ahead.

Looking back is how you learn what did and didn’t work for you. It serves to remind you to both notice and celebrate your achievements. Looking back, you can ascertain what goals were aligned with you, as well as those you haven’t yet achieved. You’ll also learn what changes you need to make (to yourself and your business), if you want to step up and grow.

But all of this reflection is only good, if you use it to propel yourself forward – and implement an action plan for the year ahead.

So, once you’ve carried out your review, how can you adequately prepare your VA business for the New Year?

Reconnect with your why

This is the underlying reason for everything you’re doing. What is it that drives you forward? What is your reason for having a VA business? Who do you want to help and why them? Your big why is what gets you up each day and, by reconnecting with it, you’ll be able to steer your VA business in the right direction.

You may find it useful to sit with a cuppa and a notebook or journal, and write out your thoughts around your business why. You can then also describe how you see your typical business day, once you’ve achieved your end goals. It helps cement in your intentions for the year ahead, as well as attaching feelings and images to them – helping to ramp up your motivation and desire to achieve.

Have a tidy up

It can be incredibly therapeutic, tidying up your office space! We tend to do this throughout the year, but having an end of year tidying up session can help create a more productive and positive feeling, ready for the new year ahead.

Next week we’ll be looking at how you can review and refresh your VA business, but for now, I want you to focus on you at a more personal level. As a result of your year end review, are there any habits and working patterns that you need to tidy up or clear out? What new habits and routines can you start implementing now, ready to kickstart your New Year?

Get a head start on your content creation

Talking of giving the New Year a kickstart, the time between Christmas and New Year gives you a perfect opportunity to get ahead with your own content creation. Write some blog posts and schedule them for the new year. Create some social media content based on those blog posts, so you have something already scheduled on the different social media platforms.

If you really want to get ahead, plan out your entire blogging and social media strategy for the year. You can then check out awareness days, to give you ideas and create suitable graphics and posts. Plan out your blog posts for the next 6-12 months, if you want to be super-organised.

Decide on your big 3 for the year ahead

What are the three main goals you want to achieve during 2021? Deciding now, will enable you to both hit the ground running and be focused, right from the outset. Whether your goals are financial or numbers-based, personal or emotional-based, it helps to know what it is you want for the year ahead so you can break them down into actionable steps.

I find it incredibly helpful to write my goals somewhere I can see them, such as in the front of my journal or diary. Another good idea is to create a vision board around them, so you can use words and images to illustrate what they mean to you.

Plan your first 90 day goals

Once you have your big three goals and have broken them down, you can easily plan out your first 90 days. I find it useful to focus again on three main things I want to achieve within a 90 day period. Each of those things relates back to my big year goals and helps implement them in some way.

Once you have your 90 day goals, get them scheduled into your business journal. It’s important to block regular time off to work on both these goals and your business generally, so you’re not neglecting your own business. As service-based businesses, VAs can tend to become so focused on helping our clients, we forget to help grow our own businesses!

Have a break

Another thing service-based businesses tend to forget, is they need to look after their own health too! The life of a VA can be a hectic one, especially if you’re also juggling being a parent and partner. Take time during this year end, to look after yourself. Have a period of rest, prior to ramping back up, ready for the year ahead. Remember, you cannot be there for anyone else – if you’re not there for yourself first.

If you want the New Year to be an awesome year for your VA business, there is a need to reflect back on the year you’re now finishing. However, you need to use what you’ve learnt, to adequately prepare for the year ahead during this period, too. By following the advice above, you’ll not only know how to prepare yourself and your business for the year ahead, but you’ll also have given yourself the best possible head start, so you can hit the ground running!

If you’re looking for additional help and advice to help make 2021 an awesome year for your VA business, make sure to follow me on social media. I’ll be sharing some great tips, advice and resources to ensure your VA business grows and thrives during 2021.  Or why not give you and your business the gift of the VA Membership, our monthly membership community has a pay as you go option, and inside you will find it’s not just a training course that you won’t open.  The VA Membership is packed with in-depth, practical training courses, webinars, resources and swipe copy on all aspects of building and growing a Virtual Assistant business.  Plus it provides the community support you need to ensure your VA business is successful, a place to come and ask questions (there are no stupid questions), seek advice, share wins and share those days when all you need is a virtual hug!