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Get off the hamster wheel and think

My new year’s resolutions include taking stock of the business regularly, getting out more, revisiting existing clients and not undervaluing my services, says Sue Read, consultant, James Marshal & Co

By now Christmas will probably be something of a dim haze, with the office party hopefully long forgotten and you back at your desks raring to go.

I, of course, am keen as mustard to get back to reality and hit the ground running but not without the help of my carefully considered new year’s resolutions.

So, like the Queen at Christmas, I feel obliged to share with you my reflections on events past, having had enough time off to take stock and make decisions about my future.

I almost always feel a sense of slight regret and ‘what might have been’ with regard to my business when looking back over a year.

It’s all too easy to get trapped on the work hamster wheel and I find it difficult to jump off and review the direction my business is going.

So my first new year’s resolution work-wise is not only to plan my work but also to work my plan. I am going to be proactive rather than reactive.

Jumping off the wheel on a regular basis and checking how we are doing as a company won’t just mean looking at the monetary amounts of business we are writing, but also how we are developing as a team and a business.

I want to identify ways we can help each other more to ensure that we’re continuing to maximise opportunities.

My second resolution is to get out and about more. Although my boss will probably say that I am out of the office enough, that is not true. Clients and colleagues know that I am pretty much always there for them so I want to network more.

People who know me may find it hard to believe that I was once a shy person until I realised that in order to get where I wanted to be in life I needed to overcome this trait.

I would recommend my new-found self-assurance to anyone wanting to represent themselves and their firm in a confident, competent and friendly way which can only, hopefully, lead to more business.

Accordingly, I am going to attach more value to my services by making charges that are not only fair to my clients but equally fair to me.

I am neither going to undervalue myself as I have done in the past, nor am I going to be afraid to tell them how much time and effort goes into doing a good job for them.

Finally, I am going to revisit my existing clients. It’s true that they are often one of our best sources of new business. In financial services, as in life, auld acquaintance should never be forgot.

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