I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy! Tash

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Work all year on annual reports

Whether you run your own business or the communications for a business, if you are involved in the annual report process, have you started work on it yet?

I have learned not to just leave preparing an annual report until July. It is so much easier and quicker to write if you have been keeping notes all year. I have an annual report document where I jot notes all year (for example ’10 November new product launched, 12 December legislation changed, 10 February started our blog’).

When you come to writing the annual report you then have a list of things from the past year to potentially include in your report. It is so easy to forget something that happened early in the year so having the list reminds you.

It has also saved me time many times because the date is listed and I don’t have to search it up. Knowing the date is useful for looking up related emails or news, assessing statistics (e.g. why did website traffic spike in March?) and just for reporting the date in the annual report (e.g. ‘We launched our blog in February and are pleased with it’).

Make preparing an annual report an all year project and you can save yourself a lot of stress and worry, and produce a comprehensive report as well.

P.S. The notes are sometimes useful for other tasks, not just for writing the annual report. Have you wasted time looking for dates or trying to remember what happened in a certain timeframe?

Advertising the past is pointless

I just received an email newsletter – one I’ve been considering unsubscribing from anyway – which amazed me. It had a very long introduction, then some ads and then a list of seminars they are running.

However, the first two seminars listed were in December 2008! And the third was for today!

Ok, today’s one would have some hope of attracting some extra people to the seminar, but what is the point of advertising something I can’t go to no matter how much I would like to? It wasted their time and mine for absolutely no gain – in fact, it has annoyed me so I’m less likely to believe in what they say.

Once an event is finished, there is really no point advertising it – as far as I know, no one has invented a time machine yet! Discuss how good it was, lessons learned or give testimonials afterwards by all means, by advertising it may hurt your business more than help it!