Clients are often unable (or unwilling) to do much business during the holidays. End-of-year obligations, family and vacations frequently take priority over deadlines and new business.
But just because business slows down doesn’t mean you can’t pick up the pace on getting your company’s affairs in order before the new year. Here are some ideas on where you can focus your efforts as the days get shorter.
Send Holiday Cards
Cards not only a way to spread holiday cheer, they also remind current customers and potential new clients to get in touch with you after the new year. Try to pick a card that thematically matches your company’s services. An even better idea? Use the card to offer a discount or free service to be redeemed in January, increasing the likelihood people will reach out.
Make Time For Your Accounting
Not as much fun as sending out cards, but you’ll be glad you got your books in order before the holiday vacation. Tally up business expenses, mileage and charitable donations on behalf of your business. Send out invoices and follow up on late payments. Balance the company checkbook.
Write Down Your Goals
Take stock of what you’ve accomplished over the past year, but don’t be too quick to rest on your laurels. Make a list of what you and your staff should accomplish in the months and year ahead. As you review your long-term goals, make sure your budget covers your grand plans.
Clean Up Your Space
Clutter accumulates throughout the year. Box up important files that can be put into storage. Set aside a day to go through the copy room and organize supplies and toss extraneous items. Clear out your desk and digitize business cards from new contacts.
Clean Up Your Computer
All those photo downloads slowing down your computer? Spend some time sorting through and dragging pictures and documents to the recycle bin. Take the time to create folders to organize your work by project or client. Archive large files onto external hard drives.
Take A Class
Whether it’s at a community college or an online seminar, the holidays are a great time to brush up your skills with a class. The downtime during the last couple months of the year are the perfect time to catch up on reading or engage in thoughtful discussions with new classmates.
Shop for Supplies
The holidays can make for some great discount shopping, especially on electronics. Need a new computer, office television or printer? Hit up some holiday sales for some great deals.
The holidays are also a great time to make sure you’re stocked up on supplies. Consider getting on Amazon and setting up a regular schedule so you can put deliveries on autopilot.
Take a Break
If you have personal or vacation days that expire by year’s end, take them. Clients are more forgiving around the holidays if you aren’t immediately available. Get some personal tasks done around the home and spend some time with family — that’s what the holidays are supposed to be all about!