It’s fast approaching that time of year when the entire business world almost comes to a complete halt and everything shuts down, and for weeks on end. The festive season can be incredibly disruptive for any entrepreneur, and here we’re going to take a look at some of the things you can do to keep your business strategy well on track into the New Year.
1. Your obligations
First of all, let’s examine the responsibilities we may have, legal and otherwise, to our employers at the end of a year that’s hopefully been highly profitable. Are you going to be giving bonuses or gifts to your workers, or giving or receiving them from suppliers or clients? If so, make sure you’re fully aware of the legal obligations, including from the tax man (https://www.gov.uk/expenses-and-benefits-christmas-bonuses/what-to-report-and-pay).
2. All that downtime!
Many an entrepreneur, and especially those among us who have established a new business and are hungry for quick success, can often look on the Christmas and New Year holiday period with dismay. There’s so much to do – and practically no one but yourself to do it! Here at Delphinium Business Coaching, we say use this quiet time to your advantage. For instance, take a while to appraise your business and see, for instance, what worked well (and didn’t) this year in comparison to previous ones. This way you can adjust your business strategy for even better success.
3. Policy check
Also look at how your HR policies have you covered, or not, at this time of the year, so you’re not left exposed. There are all those parties and nights out, and the eventual no-shows at work the next day to consider. Plus, how are you set up to cope with all the many seasonal illnesses that will inevitably occur? Go over your HR policies, and if necessary adjust them, so you’re not left out in the cold.
4. Taking stock
In fact, all this free time at Christmas and New Year can be a godsend to many businesses. If you’re in retail, for instance, after you’ve shut up for the holidays, examine your stock levels in detail, and work out what you will need for busy sales periods far ahead of time. Missing out on big sales during peak times because you simply don’t have adequate stock is not going to lead to much success in the coming year.
5. The once-over
At this time of year, many business owners carry out a comprehensive appraisal of all elements of their enterprise – including the premises and all the various equipment and machinery required to keep it running. Scheduling a check of your IT infrastructure is one way to ensure you’ll be primed to power ahead once the holidays are over.
6. Delegate, if you can
As a successful entrepreneur, you’re probably used to doing everything you can. You may have learned that while your business is your baby, it’s all too easy to quickly burn out while managing absolutely every aspect of your company. Use this holiday time to see what tasks you can offload onto competent members of staff, and set yourself higher management goals for the year ahead.
7. Take a break!
We’re not suggesting you spend all the upcoming Christmas and New Year holiday period furiously working on your business strategy and preparing for Day One of new trading. Do yourself – and your company – a favour and also take some time off. You’ll come back refreshed and ready for anything the tumultuous business world might throw at you.
In the meantime, we wish all of you a very happy holiday season – and a very profitable 2017!