Using Holiday "Slow Time" to Plan for 2017

The holiday season is here, and that means holiday shopping. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday – all roll into the rest of December for the most busy and profitable time of the year.

If you’re in the retail business, that is.

For pretty much everybody else, the holiday season is a real drag. And a lot of small businesses especially have trouble weathering the slow-down, anxiously champing at the bit to get things moving again.

But, just because business has slowed down, doesn’t mean you have to. There is a lot you can do for your business to stay productive, and to give your company a shot out the gate for 2017. Here are some of our favorites:

Prepare Your Taxes

We know, we know. You hate doing your taxes. Everybody hates doing their taxes. Here’s the thing though. They aren’t QUITE as bad when you are doing them ahead of time instead of cramming them in in a panic at the last minute. And by the time December hits, you’ve got nearly everything you need for your 2016 taxes. So, gather those receipts, add up that mileage, send final invoices – do whatever you have to do to take care of your taxes now when you have time, as opposed to having to do them later when you could be doing other things for your business.

Check The Back-Burner

Ah, the back-burner. The “not urgent” list. The passion projects. All of those ideas you have throughout the year that you’d love to implement if only you had the time. Well, guess what? Now you do. Whether it’s starting a blog, developing a new product, implementing a new strategy, etc. Now is the time to check some of those long-standing items off of your wish list.

Reach Out To Customers

Customers, clients, partners, vendors – anybody who your company does business with and is important to your success. Now is a great time to reach out to them, check in, say hi, let them know you are a thinking about them and that you care. Holiday cards are a great way to get in touch, and people always appreciate a friendly hello, especially at a time when you aren’t asking for anything, just letting them know you appreciate them. And, if you can gather any useful feedback about your business in the meantime, all the better.

Perform An Audit

Another favorite activity. But again, this may not be fun, but it is necessary and can be a huge help to your business. Look for ways to cut unnecessary costs, and increase efficiency for common tasks. That might require thinking of new methods, or perhaps purchasing new software or a new piece of equipment, adding another employee, or beginning a partnership with an outside company who can help with tasks like marketing, sales or design.

Education And Training

Depending the size of your company, this could be training for your staff, or perhaps educating yourself. There are loads of great workshops, webinars and ebooks out there to help you bolster your capabilities and expand your knowledgebase. Use this slow time to give yourself some new ideas and be able to work smarter in the new year.

Set New Goals

The coming new year is a great time to take stock of how you’ve done in accomplishing your current goals, and setting some new ones. Starting out 2017 with new, interesting, attainable goals can be energizing both for you and your staff, and can make the new year feel like a fresh start.

Need help strategizing about how to take your business to the next level in 2017? Contact us today!