It’s almost the end of October and the first of the emails about Christmas parties are coming in. I’m sure you are thinking that Christmas is so far away, however, this is the time that you should be planning and actioning your pre-Christmas business activities (if not already done) so that you can enjoy the Christmas parties and a well-earned end of year break. Is Christmas a traditionally quiet period for you? Does it need to be? Your business may be seasonal, but what you do now could have a positive impact on the bottom line of your business. Look at your clients from the last few years at this period, who was active? Are there any that have dropped off your radar? Are there steps you could take now to gain additional work from existing clients leading up to the end of the year? These are my top tips for what you should be doing now to ensure you end the year strongly:
1. Check In With Your Clients/Customers
Do a review, a quick survey (Survey Monkey is great for this and it’s free). Keep it simple and make sure it’s relevant to the business you are in and gives you concrete feedback that you can act on. Better still, book a face-to-face and confirm what their goals are for the end of the year. Don’t do it in December or January, they get way too busy.
2. Get Rid Of The Bottom Feeders
You know those clients that drag you down. Think about how much happier and more productive you will be and how much more time you will have to spend on new business and organic growth from your existing clients if you get rid of the dead wood. Make a plan of attack to replace them.
3. Plan For Christmas Expenses
Cash flow might be tight in January, if it is make a contingency plan. Put some money aside now, or better still send out all of your January invoices before Christmas so they can get in and processed. Order Christmas gifts now to take advantage of better pricing and/or shipping.
4. Plan For Support
Something that has worked for me has been setting up a working group of like-minded colleagues. This is a good way to keep yourself on track and accountable for the plans you have made for 2014. You could also consider a business coach, business mentor or advisory board. Other support options can be lifestyle coaches, vitality coaches or personal trainers. Find these people in your network to help support you and to assist you in achieving your goals for the remainder of the year and beyond.
5. Send Your Christmas Gifts in October
Send a little something now to your important clients to make sure they have their Christmas campaigns locked in. It sends them a gentle reminder that you are there and ready to help. Hand delivery is even better; it gives you a reason to see them face-to-face. If you follow these steps now, you will be able to enjoy the festive season, safe in the knowledge that you have done all that you can for your year-end business success.