Just Because It's The Holiday Season Doesn't Mean You Should Slow Down!
A common belief is that as the year-end approaches everything slows down. Particularly in Australia, after Melbourne Cup. People start leaving for home early to catch up on last-minute shopping for Christmas and New Year, a lesser number of phone calls are attended because employees are either on leave or celebrating early, new jobs are postponed until the new year starts etc. All these are indicators of slowing down. But what you don’t realize is that it’s the people who are slowing down and not the business itself. Just because it’s the holiday season doesn't mean you should slow down. It just means it’s time to focus elsewhere. What you need to focus on are those activities that don't expire or have an end date when you have more time. You will get no other better opportunity to play catch up.
Utilizing The Holiday Season
There are many ways in which you can make good use of the holiday season without slacking. Production, processing or manufacturing is not the only work that needs to be done. There are many other activities which if done now will save you a lot of time and tension later.
1. Wrap Up The Loose Ends - There’s tons of paperwork that needs to be completed and filed, licenses to check and new ones to apply, updating digital copies etc. All this might seem inconsequential but the penalty for not completing them is quite high. Financial repercussions you might be able to bear but what about the loss of your business reputation? That is a hard place to get back from. The holiday season presents the most opportune time to finish all these menial jobs which are important for a successful run. You can even use this time to draw up contracts for the coming year and study older ones for discrepancies etc.
2. Build Relationships By Reaching Out - We assume that at the year-end or during the holiday season everyone is busy. Busy they may be but not always. Being busy does not mean that they are cut off from all and sundry. Studies have shown that most lasting relationships are built during the holiday season. Use this time to reach out to your top customers to take their feedback and to wish them happy holidays. A little personal touch from you will make them feel special and important. You can also reach out to prospective leads and introduce yourself and your business. As you strengthen your business relationships, the bonds of loyalty grow stronger. You get a dedicated customer base and the promise of more business guaranteeing a successful run for your growing business.
3. Advertise - When all are resting you can take advantage of the lull. Gear up for a 360-degree impact on all senses through advertising. Be there...everywhere. Handle the holiday season advertising with compassion, care, and obviously holiday cheer. Reach out to a wider audience and let your presence be known. Towards the end of the year, there are lesser distractions. Through strategic advertising, you can leave a lasting impact on the minds of the masses. The rest of the year you are laying focus on your products, or services, use this time to drive focus on your core values. Let the people know all that you care about and why they should support you. Once you find that common thread which connects you with your customer you will have a goldmine in your hands.
4. Plan For The Coming Year - Often planning is relegated to the beginning of the next year. Before you even think of doing that know you are making a grave mistake. A year which can begin on a high note fizzles and shrivels into another yesteryear before gaining momentum. However, had the planning been completed during the holiday season you would have started out big and gained a considerable advantage over the competition. When it comes to business, of any kind, time spent translates to money. Time which you waste by slacking is lost opportunities. Now, when its the holidays, it's time to plan and forecast, get ready to begin just right and do all the initial prep work, if any.
5. Strategize - Once the planning is done, it is time to strategize. The best time to build strategies is the holiday season. You have more time on hands and a relaxed mind to work with. With no other pressing requirements, you can work dedicatedly to build effective strategies which will help reach the company goals. Calling in your top players for brainstorming will give you more to work with. Study your competition and analyze their processes to know how you can become better than them or pivot your marketing to no longer be in competition. You can gain advantage and come out at the top by being an underdog who slaved while the others slacked.
Think up new innovations, procedures, and products
New Deals And Negotiations - Signing up new deals at the year-end will let you begin fresh when the new year starts. You will be gearing up to start work whereas others will be looking to sign contracts for new work. The holiday season is the best time to work on negotiations be it with new clients, raw material suppliers, transporters, employees etc. Regardless of the person, negotiations will give you a chance to extract more value for money. You can get better options and discounts as well.
Working On Your Business
The holiday season is the best time to think up new innovations, procedures, and products. It is a time to dream for your business and fly high. You come and work every day but, each day, you rarely get time to think about how your business can become better. Now is that opportunity to pick up the strings and tighten your hold to fill in the gaps. In the end, it takes hard work and discipline to finish strong. Try to get the most out of the holiday season this year so that you are ready to jumpstart the coming year.