The Christmas/New Year break is fast approaching and as a business owner, sometimes you can easily forget important actions you must do before you take time off.
December and January is a peak season for many Australians and other countries around the world to have a much needed break.
To reduce stress and to ensure you are setting yourself up for a relaxing time away and best possible start for the new year, here are some action you can take:
Firstly, it’s important to consider the year that was. Whether you do this in preparation for the holiday season or over the Christmas/New Year break. What were your top achievements? What worked well? What could you improve upon? Take 5 minutes per question and write down as many answers as you can. By doing this, it will open your mind to consider the best of 2016 and the learnings that you can take into 2017.
What do you want to achieve in 2017? By being clear about the goals that you are aiming for in the new year, this will help you to plan what you need to be working on right now to make sure you hit the ground running in January. For example, if you want to launch an event in February, you need to at least have the date confirmed, venue booked and sales page live.
Make sure you plan at least the first quarter of next year, so that you’re not fumbling your way and losing January figuring it out. This includes any time off, events, projects and specific goals that you want to achieve. This plan must keep your bigger goals in mind so you’re setting yourself for success from the rest of the year.
Notify Your Customers
Let your customers know a few weeks before your holidays start that you are going and how long for. Make sure you let them know if there are any implications on service/delivery over that time. Also, connect with your customers and find out what their plans are. Who knows, they might be holidaying at the same place you are, that you can catch up! (That happened with one of our clients, we were holidays in Bali at the same time and caught up and met each other for the first time in a different country!).
Notify Your Suppliers/JVs
It’s also nice to give the heads up to your partners that you work with, so there are no surprises if they need you.
Have A Christmas Do!
Take time to celebrate the year that was! If you don’t have a team, or perhaps you have a remote team, connect with some of your fellow solopreneurs or small business owners in your community and have your Christmas do. This is one thing I definitely miss from the corporate world, is having some time off to enjoy and celebrate the year that was. Make sure you plan it in as soon as possible!
It’s a nice time of the year to thank your customers, suppliers, JVs and/or others in your business community for the year that was, whether you send them a card or give them a call. The gesture will go a long way.
Run A Promotion
Do you have a special promotion you’d like to run before the end of the year? As some industries wind down, otherwise are crazy this time of year. If it is a slower time, are there any promotions or bonuses you can push to close out the year to generate additional sales? For example, can you sell your online course and bonus in a strategy session to help your clients plan for the next year? Think about what you can do to bring in dollars but add value with a potentially irresistible offer that can create more revenue.
Social Media / Email
Plan your social media posts and/or email over your holidays so that you still interact with your prospects/customers while you’re away.
Will you be operating with skeleton staff while others are on holiday? If so, are they clear on what needs to be done over that time? This is often a perfect time to get stuck into projects as typically there are less enquiries and distractions. Make sure you plan more than enough tasks for your team and that these tasks are clearly explained so that they can run with these we’ll you’re swimming at the beach 😉 !
Out of Office
Remember to put your email out of office on and let people know when you’re starting your leave and when you’ll be back. Typically, I do this a day or two before I go to give people the heads up in advance (as it’s often too late if you’re already gone). Also update your voicemail on your phone. Holidays are a very important time that we all need to recharge our batteries. Make sure you provide options, for example if it is an emergency what they must do, otherwise let them know when you’ll be getting back to them.
Plan Your Holiday
One thing that I’m always mindful of, when you take a holiday, you get back and it doesn’t actually feel like you’ve actually had a break! Does that happen to you too?!? Invest some time, maybe even 20 minutes today and think about what you really want to get out of your holiday. How do you want to feel at the end of it? After the year that was, what does your body, mind and soul need most? Sometimes it can get a little crazy with family and all the Christmas activities, but quieten your mind for a moment, and ask yourself what do I really need to do for me this holiday? How can you make that happen?
Got some more actions to take before Christmas? Let us know and we can add them onto this list!
If you don’t plan on taking time off, OR you want to take advantage of a great opportunity. The period between Christmas day and the New Year day, news is really slow. Therefore, if you’re up for some free publicity, make sure you have a great newsworthy story and send it into newspapers or television news. Most of Australian businesses are on holidays at this time of year, therefore it’s a perfect opportunity to get exposure for your business!
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