Office supplies including a calendar and stapler
The new year has begun and the holiday excitement is quieting. This is the perfect time to inventory your communication and marketing items.

A New Year’s Checklist

Recently I was on my way home from picking up a few supplies for my office when I realized I forgot the one thing I had needed the longest: paper for my printer. That happens to me when I forget to write things down.

As a business owner, it’s easy to forget those little things our business needs. Things that are so basic that we simply forget to keep track of them. Personally, I’ve become the queen of checklists. For some I use Trello (a digital project organizer), for others I use paper lists and for yet others, I will use digital reminders on my phone or calendar. It’s all about remembering the small things my business needs but that I don’t need to think about most of the time.

With that in mind, I’ve put together a checklist for those communication items you might forget about until you need it. This is a basic checklist. Over the next few weeks I’ll be posting more in-depth information on these items so you can really dig into what you need, when you need it and what you might not have even thought about.

TIP: Okay, I’m going to throw some basic math at you, but the best way to figure out how much you need is to figure out what you’ve used.

Let’s say you ordered 500 business cards six months ago (rounding: 24 weeks) and you have about a quarter of the box left (about 125). That means you’ve used 375 cards. Divide 375 by 24 and you’ve given away about 16 cards a week (nice job!). If you divide 125 cards by 16, that means you have about eight weeks’ worth of cards left.

New Year’s Communications Checklist

Business Collateral

I really mean three things here: business cards, letterhead and envelopes. You might not use all three but pull the boxes you do have from the drawer they’re hiding in and take a look. Do you have enough of each item to last you at least three months?

  • Business cards (check for everyone! The quantities may be different)
  • Letterhead
  • Envelopes (check all sizes: #10, #11, 6×9, 9×12, etc.)

Website

I’m sure you’re already checking your website on a regular basis (right?!?), but the beginning of the year is a great time to give it a complete once-over.

  • Is the year correct?
  • Is the information accurate?
  • Is the information current?
  • Have you added new information (staff, products, services)?

Marketing

A lot of items fall under this category, but now is the time to think about what you have, what you’re out of and what you need. Do you have enough to get through three months? Does anything need to be updated or created?

  • Flyers
  • Signs
  • Posters
  • Gift Cards
  • Packaging
  • Labels
  • Postcards

This is also the time to plan for the year.

  • Will you be sending out emails? Do you have the content planned?
  • Will you be advertising? When and where?
  • Will you be sending out postcards, flyers or invites?
  • Do you have any big events planned for the year? What marketing pieces will you need?

I can’t wait to dig deeper into each of these communication channels over the next few weeks. In the meantime, I hope 2020 is successful and filled with joy and laughter.

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