by Ali Brown
Many business owners slow down to a crawl as we get closer to Christmas, figuring sales are going to ramp down anyway. But, the holidays open up some quality time to evaluate your business and set yourself up for a successful first quarter of the New Year.
Here are 7 things you can do to help your business during this slow period. Don’t worry—even if you decide to do just one so you can focus on your family this year, you’ll still be one step ahead when you ring in 2014!
1. Evaluate your virtual team and make changes if necessary.
Are administrative tasks taking up most of your time and keeping you from working on YOUR business? Then hire an assistant. Are you paying too much in taxes? Meet with your accountant to talk about getting more aggressive with write-offs. Remember, your virtual team can include web designers, lawyers, and PowerPoint wizards—anyone who can lighten your workload, so you can focus on the money-making work.
2. Learn how to get more business via your website. Your site could be building your list, getting you sales, and making you money!
Want to generate business leads and sales 24-7? Then look at how your website could be working better for you. If it’s time for updates or an overhaul, map out a plan. (Check out my many products to help you do this here.)
3. Revamp your ezine or launch an ezine.
Remember that having a ready list of warm prospects is your goldmine, and having an ezine (email newsletter) positions you for more sales on a regular basis and for the long-term. The beginning of the New Year is the perfect time to release your first issue!
4. Clean out that e-mail inbox once and for all!
Unanswered e-mails, people to follow up with, information not recorded or filed in the proper places—when does it end? Vow to get a handle on your inbox. Delete e-mails that are more than a few months old. Set up e-mail folders to help you stay more organized in the future. And if your program allows, set “rules” to automatically sort incoming e-mails into those folders.
5. Clean out your office, bookshelves, desk, and cabinets.
Is your office a fire hazard? Will your spouse not even enter the premises? Have you lost your pets in the mess? Put on some good music, start digging, and make piles. Make sure to have plenty of trash bags and cardboard file boxes on hand. (And a good glass of wine always makes it more fun!)
6. Upgrade or clean up your computer.
Your computer probably holds most of the information that’s crucial to your business, so take care of it! Upgrade your operating system, get rid of unnecessary files, and archive old files to an external hard drive or cloud. Ensure you have ongoing backup. And end-of-year is a great time to gift yourself a new laptop! 😉
7. Let your clients know how much you are thankful for their business.
Whether you choose to send holiday cards or thank-you notes or perhaps a unique gift, this is a good practice for both your business and yourself. Letting others know you’re grateful for what you have will only bring you better things in the future.
BONUS TIP: Remember to enjoy it all!
In the past, I ran around like a nut every December, and the next year would always hit me before I could even blink. I’d be back to the grind shortly thereafter. But, as a business owner, it’s crucial that you give your body and soul a rest. Remind yourself what the holidays are for—appreciating what you have, enjoying your family and friends, giving to others, and being good to yourself.
So take that walk in the snow, go to that tree lighting with your kids or get that fabulous massage. You’ll be back to work before you know it. Remember, we only have so many Christmases in a lifetime.
QUESTION: What are your favorite ways to work on your business during slow seasons? Share your best tips below.
© 2013 Ali International, LLC
“Entrepreneur mentor Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow a profitable business that make a positive impact. Get her FREE CD “Top 10 Success Secrets for Entrepreneurial Women” at www.AliBrown.com“
Melissa Stewart is the founder of SheOwnsIt.com. She is a Purveyor of Possibility, Entrepreneur Advocate and Coffee Addict. She believes that behind every successful woman is her story. What’s your story?