It’s fall y’all! Or so goes the saying in my transplant state of Texas – never mind that daytime temperatures are still in the 80s … high 80s.

Pumpkin Spice everything is popping up all over, giant bags of herb and cornbread stuffing are starting to appear in my local grocery store, and I even saw Santa wrapping paper over the weekend (*gasp*). While it might be a little early to start planning my own New Year Resolutions – that’s what December 31 is for, right? – now is the perfect time to start thinking about how your organization will hit the ground running in 2018.

No matter where you are in the planning process, we have a few tips to help your organization get in shape for 2018.

Get a Little Help From Your Friends

Sometimes we can all use an extra set of hands – like when we’re getting up on the roof to hang those Christmas lights. At the office, you might need a little help with regular administrative tasks, or just extra hours during these peak busy months. While you could consider re-prioritizing longer-term projects to focus on short-term, end-of-year needs, or hiring some part-time seasonal help; there’s another option – outsourcing. Professional outsourcing can provide a much-needed extension of your team. 

Dust Off the Mailing List

It’s usually the day before I plan to send out my holiday cards that I finally get around to looking at my address book, trying to remember who moved during the year, and finally wondering if I actually updated their address. Ideally, your organization’s address book is in better shape than mine. In fact, if you take advantage of bulk mailing rates, the USPS requires that you use a service like National Change of Address (NCOA) to ensure the accuracy of your mail list. With an NCOA updater service, like CorrectAddress©, you can be assured your member data is updated regularly and according to USPS standards. So, you can send all your communications with confidence knowing they’ll reach the right audience at the correct address.

Take Stock of Where You Are and Where You Want to Go

While New Year’s Resolutions may be trite, I do find a lot of value in taking time to reflect on the good, the bad, and the ugly of the outgoing year and setting priorities and goals for the incoming one. This is a great habit professionally, as well. Not only are there likely new strategic initiatives to prioritize in the new year, chances are at least one of your technology solutions released some cool new features you want to start using too. Whether you’re ready to hit “go” on upgrading your system or you want to take some time for more in-depth reflection, having a plan, and asking for additional knowledge and expertise when you need it, can help set your organization up for success.

Get in Those Reps and Feel the Burn

It’s a cliché that New Year’s Resolutions often include exercise and weight loss goals. It’s also true that the gym is always the most crowded in January. Go figure. But, in this case, I’m talking about exercising your brain and working out your skillset. Whether you’re onboarding a new team member, needing a refresher, or are looking to dive deeper into specific functionality, there’s always something new to learn! By planning now and earmarking time and budget, you can make sure to support professional development and education throughout the year.