You're Perfectly Up To Date, So Don't Read
This. (Or, 5 Things To Check At Year's End)
November 18, 2014
By Dave Courvoisier
Voice Actor & TV News Anchor
Holiday "creep" is upon us ... and it starts sooner every year. Sheesh, WalMart had Christmas trees up at the end of July!
Look, I know you're perfect, you don't procrastinate, and you follow all your goals to the letter, so don't go another word further reading this article. You'd just be wasting your time.
The rest of you, read on.
Caution: Do as I say, not as I do, 'cause Lord knows I'm behind on a number of tasks I'd hoped to achieve by now. But let me offer just five thoughts that might put you in better shape come December 31, 2014.
1. Have a chat with your accountant.
Or at least check with your financial planner, or your CPA, or your spouse - or whomever it is you plan your business finances with. Chances are some tax codes have changed, you're behind on posting transactions to your accounting software, or at the very least, that accounting software has an upgrade you need.
Pay attention to this. By January 1st, it may be too late to take advantage of some nuance in the law that could save you money.
2. Check your automatically recurring charges.
I keep an Evernote file on all the online charges I've scheduled to be paid automatically. Review the PayPal transactions you've set on auto-pilot.
And you might want to consider whether it's even prudent for some of those charges to be on automatic renewal. Hard-Drive back-up (Carbonite?) Yup. Anti-Virus? YES!
But do you really need that subscription to SmugMug or PhotoBucket anymore?
3. Purge the crap.
I'm particularly guilty of this, 'cause I'm a pack-rat. By purge, I mean consider the unused equipment gathering dust in your studio, unnecessary files in DropBox, old file folders full of paper scripts on the shelf, the old receipt from seven years ago, audition files from 2010. You get the drift.
Once you get into the spirit of "purge the crap" it gets to be almost fun.
4. Update your .csv, .xls, or email lists.
This may be a low priority for you, but you know it's hanging around back there in the cobwebs of your mind, and needs to be done. Especially lists of current/past clients and prospective clients.
If you're set up to constantly update this list as each day goes by, congratulations, you're actually organized and shouldn't be reading these five suggestions anyway! :)
The rest of you/us probably have an email file FULL of names/addresses that need to be added to a mailing list somewhere.
5. Have someone listen to a sample of your audio chain.
Seriously. When's the last time you did this?
Maybe your clients haven't taken the time to mention that something sounds kinda fuzzy lately. Wires, cables, contacts, plugs, switches, and all manner of electrical connections CAN degrade over time, and the next thing you know, you have a less-than-optimal sound coming out of your studio.
This is something you should do as a matter of course every few months, anyway.
Honorable Mention: Start planning your 2015 calendar now.
The new year will bring even more voice over conferences, classes, webinars, weekend workshops, conventions and meet-ups than you can count - so check your travel budget, your available weekends, and make some commitments ahead of time.
And there you have it. Five ideas you probably knew already. Or you knew them, but were ignoring them. Or you knew them and have several suggestions to add to the list. Great! Let's hear 'em!
Dave Courvoisier is an Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, writer, producer, voice actor, and the main weeknight news anchor on KLAS-TV, Channel 8, the Las Vegas CBS affiliate. He also writes Voice-Acting in Vegas, a daily blog of voice over adventures, observations and technology, and is the author of More Than Just A Voice: The REAL Secret to VoiceOver Success.
More Than Just A Voice: http://courvo.com/more-than-just-a-voice
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