How Can I Get My Bodywork Business Ready for the New Year?

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I LOVE this time of year because I've planned my year out in advance, knowing that November and December tend to be slow for bodyworkers. So I take the last two weeks of December off to recharge, plan ahead, and wrap up the year.

And today I’m going to take you behind the scenes for an inside peek at my End of the Year routine that gets me fired up about the new year, and ready to hit the ground running.

Ready? Here we go!

  1. First of all, I have a banker’s box for each year.

    One of my heroes, Twyla Tharp, said, “Before you can think outside of the box, there has to be a box.” I’m a big fan of boxes!

    I use a banker’s box because I like the way I can take the lid off easily, and it’s sturdy enough to last in my attic for the seven years I need it to (more on that in a minute…)

    I label the box with the year, and it stores all the things I need to keep sorted.

  2. That thing I just said about being ready for taxes? It’s true!

    And my secret weapon is a simple accordion file. I label each section for a business expense, and then throughout the year, I put all my receipts into the corresponding section. Receipt from the post office? Into the postage section. Not sure where this expense goes? Into the MISC section to have my accountant sort out down the road.

    This accordion file serves 2 purposes — first, I don’t have business receipts all over the place, cluttering things up. And second, at the end of the year, I just gather the receipts in each section together (I put them in chronological order, but you don’t have to — I told you, I’m a freak!), staple them together, and they’re ready for taxes and my accountant.

    I save a ton of money doing it myself instead of delivering a stack of receipts to the accountant’s office, and it takes me about 10 minutes to do the whole year. Score! All the receipts then go into a large envelope and into the banker’s box.

  3. Next, I go through all my client charts.

    I keep client records in manila folders where I have their intake forms, copies of my Summary of Observations and Recommendations for Care (you can find a sample here), and notes from their sessions.

    All these files are kept in a locked file box in a closet in my treatment room. At the end of the year, I go through all the charts and pull out files of folks I haven’t seen for a year, or folks who came in for an initial session and then didn’t return.

    I picture the person in my mind, send them warm wishes and good thoughts, and then their charts go into the banker’s box.

    Cleaning out charts gives me the space for new people to come into my practice, and reminds me of all the people throughout the year that I’ve worked with. It feels terrific.

  4. I add my Passion Planner (which I use as an appointment book) and my journal and calendar for the year, so everything is in one place if I need to go back to it for any reason.

  5. I use Quicken to keep track of my revenue and expenses, so at the end of the year, I have a tally of both. Because I’m Old School, I write them down and put that paper on the top of everything else in the box. After I’ve given all my numbers to my accountant, I put the box into the attic, and take down the box from 7 years ago. I shred most everything, except for my Passion Planners and journals, which I put on a shelf in my room.

Once I’ve cleared out everything from the past year, I take a couple of hours to plan for the upcoming year. And I’ll share how I do that in my next blog post.

See you then!

The end of the year is the perfect time to get on the VIP Wait List for the next live round of The Bodywork Project. This is where we design and implement your ideal business so that you can serve the people you love, and earn a sustainable living doing it -- without burning out or selling out. Get on the Wait List here!