The holidays are fun; gift giving, parties, office lunches that leave you wanting to nap at your desk, and an endless list of other distractions. These are all great but can have serious impact on your business. So, how do you make sure that you can still enjoy the holidays without sacrificing all the things you have built over the last 11 months? Simply by planning and being mindful that your business has to be ready for the new year.
Here are a few tips and tricks that can help you own January (even in December):
Our natural tendency is to “clear our calendars” and reset. While it is good to get closure on projects etc., it also gives you an excuse to whittle the last few productive days away with the thinking of “let’s tackle that next year.” Give yourself a few small projects that will keep your gears turning and that can provide a little momentum to something you want to tackle in January. The little things that you normally dread doing are great when you have some downtime and don’t want to tackle the BIG tasks.
Set a Goal
Yes, this is basic. But don’t set a yearly or even a first quarter goal. Give yourself a two week goal. It’s very easy to set a first-quarter goal and slowly enter the new year dawdling because you have a few weeks to ramp up. Instead focus on what do you want to accomplish when the tree is put away and the New Year’s cocktails are dry. Giving yourself a very short-term goal allows you to come back from the holiday rush with focus and something clear to shoot for. It also gives you the motivation to jump in and not “ease” back into work.
Work On The Business
Unless you’re in retail, the holidays are usually going to be slower than other times. Now is a great time to find something in your business that you can improve. Whether it’s finding new software, creating better processes or just cleaning up the office, now is the time to work on the business and not in the business. By tending to some of the things that get neglected during your normal day, you can enter the new year with an improved business and get ready to tackle the next year.
Don’t shut down your advertising or promotions; the opposite is true! Get out there. The holidays are slow for news cycles, advertisers – everybody. Take advantage. You can find good rates on advertising and fill in some inventory gaps. Have a new product launching next year? Get in front of it with some PR. It’s probably easier to pitch your journalist friend (those who are working) with something that normally wouldn’t get paid attention to, because they need to fill space too. Find those hidden opportunities in marketing so you have a little lift come January.
Of course everyone deserves to relax, especially if you’ve spent the last year building and grinding your business to the top, but if you do a few small things this holiday season you can jump start January and own the new year!
This is a guest post from Formstack’s Chris Lucas. Chris is the VP of business development for Formstack, a simple way to build online forms and collect and manage data. When he’s not busy dropping knowledge about Formstack’s online form builder and other small business tools, he’s probably playing a few rounds of ping-pong. Want to connect with Chris? Follow him on Twitter.
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