I hear a lot of small business owners and entrepreneurs talk about the holidays being a slow time or down time for their businesses. If that’s true for you, I want to help you think about how to leverage this time to push your business forward. There are a lot of things you can do, and here are 7 things to get you started:
- Get a head start on tax preparation. It’s a great time to tidy up your accounting of 2016. Balance those final credit card statements, enter your last minute expenditures in your accounting software and pull together all the documentation your tax preparer will need when you file your taxes. Yes, there will be more to do later, but get a jump on it now to lighten the load during the time period when your business is booming.
- Do some Strategic Planning. Don’t roll your eyes. It’s good for you and your business. Establishing and communicating annual and quarterly goals will increase your likelihood of actually achieving those goals. If you don’t have any idea where to begin, start here when thinking about your business: a) What do you want to grow or increase this year? b) What do you want to improve this year? c) If you generated a lot of ideas, narrow them down and identify some priorities. d) Assign your priorities to one or more quarters of the year. e) Determine the action steps you want to take in each quarter to achieve your priorities. That will get you started. If you want to spend more time and really dive in, give us a shout.
- Organize your files and office. Now’s the time to throw out the crap and simplify your life. You don’t need 20 copies of that document. Consider creating electronic versions of files and organizing them online for easy access later. You have binders of information? Scan them and free up some shelf space. Drawers where you can’t find what you need? Treat it like your closet and throw out anything you haven’t touched in a year. You’ll feel better. Promise.
- Network. Have you wanted to meet someone for coffee, but couldn’t find the time? Pick up the phone or send the text. Trying to re-connect with a former client? Take them to lunch. The holidays are a perfect time to build or repair relationships. Put together a quick plan that outlines how you plan to meet, get to know and make specific people and their businesses your client.
- Say Thank You. Say thank you to the people in your life who helped you navigate, build your success or just listened to you throughout the year. Gratitude makes everyone feel better, even the person expressing it. Don’t let the end of the year pass you by without considering how you will show your appreciation for all others have done for you.
- Update your CRM. You might have been so busy all year long that you really haven’t taken the time to ensure your CRM contains the latest information on your clients and potential business opportunities. Take part of a day and add notes about your clients’ latest business involvements. When you kickstart your biz dev efforts in the new year, you’ll be glad you did.
- Stock up. Stock up on needed office supplies. If cash flow permits, go ahead and stock up on the items you are going to need in the new year. You’ve got time to organize them and put them away, so get it done. The added benefit is that you’ll also get the expense on the 2016 books.
Don’t sit around and binge watch Netflix. Get a jump on 2017. You’ll feel so prepared and let go of the fear that you wasted December. You’ll also enter 2017 with confidence. Feel free to leave other ideas for Holiday business activities in the comments below.
2017, here we come!