Though it is a festive time of year, the period between the U.S. Thanksgiving at the end of November and New Year’s Day often is synonymous with slow business.
Workers use up vacation days, do their holiday shopping, attend parties and entertain loved ones. Most clients and employees are distracted by the hullabaloo and may not be concentrating on the growth of their businesses.
During this “downtime,” there are many actions you as a business owner can tackle, from creating new marketing materials to evaluating employees to organizing files to planning for the new year. Business coaches from Canada and the U.S. share these ideas for making the most of slow season.
Be a cleaning machine: What better time to purge your paper and computer files? Save documents and receipts needed for tax purposes, and discard what you know you won’t use again. Delete old emails and follow up on ones you neglected. You can even disinfect your computer keyboard, desk and workspace, or give yourself the gift of a cleaning service.
Teach yourself: When the phone is quiet, spend some time on your computer. Learn new or updated software that could help your business, such as a more advanced billing or word processing system. If you have a PC, you can visit Microsoft’s online training modules at Microsoft.com (click on “training and events”). Mac users can visit training.apple.com.
Send out holiday correspondence/cards: As your clients are feeling festive, send them holiday cards. You stay on their radar and let them know how much you appreciate their business.
Take a break: If most of the business world is doing so, why shouldn’t you? Take yourself to the spa or lunch with loved ones, make appointments for those doctor visits you’ve neglected (teeth cleaning, mammogram, etc.). Do your own holiday shopping or buy that new printer your office has needed for months.
Look back, look ahead: Above all, do not let the slowness of the season worry you. Use the time to catch up, clean up and reflect on the coming year’s responsibilities. You will feel refreshed and more able to savor the atmosphere. After all, you know things will pick up again.