You may not realize it but you’re starting to feel very sleepy. In a couple weeks, you’ll be in full “business hibernation” mode. Everything comes to a screeching halt as you go from full steam ahead to a sleepy stroll towards the New Year.
Even if you want to keep going at breakneck speed, everyone around you is already yawning and shifting into a very lazy gear. Between the holiday shopping, parties, travel and those long weekends that seem to start on Wednesday – productivity is doomed.
Customers don’t want to start anything new. No one’s in the office to review any proposals or contracts and even if you have work in progress, tracking anyone down to give you an approval is almost impossible.
The New Year doesn’t snap everyone back to attention either. It’s usually the middle of the month before things get cooking again. We are slow to wake from our winter solstice slumber.
But, if we know the hibernation period is coming, is it possible we could actually use it to our marketing advantage?
Here are some suggestions for some ways that you could enjoy the slow down but also feel like you’re planting some seeds for a strong new year.
Ponder and plan: You know you should already have your next year’s business plan done, right? You know why you don’t? Could it be because you haven’t had a free moment to think? Guess what – the hibernation season is the perfect time to dream, wonder and put at least a skeleton of a plan together.
If you’re looking for a system to turn your plans into accomplishments, check out the book Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman. I’m betting that you’ll have time to read it before the end of the year!
Reach out and connect: Think of a few people who are important to your business but you rarely slow down long enough to have an actual conversation. They might be a key vendor or a referral source. Make the time to invest in your connection. Grab coffee or a hot toddy and ask them how you can help their business in 2017. You’re going to like where the conversation goes.
Prune for future growth: Gardeners and arborists will tell you that pruning sparks new growth and I think there’s a lesson there for all of us. It’s time to trim. Trim your email lists, trim marketing tactics that just haven’t delivered the ROI and trim all the data that you’re buried under. This is a great time of year to get down to the essentials.
Spruce yourself up: You know that website that you keep meaning to update? Now’s the time! You need to freshen up your content, take down the bios of employees who’ve been gone for 10 months and give the whole site a fresh feel. Don’t forget to give the back end of the site some attention too. There are probably plugins, updates, and other technical aspects of the site that need your attention as well.
Build up the team: Everyone who works for you has been going all out for months too. Why not use the forced slow down to strengthen your team’s bond? Do something together that fosters team and holiday spirit. Adopt a family and go shopping for them together. Or work a shift ringing the bell for the Salvation Army or wrapping gifts for charity. Why not create a Toys for Tots drive among your employees, vendors, and customers? Let the holidays give you the perfect team building exercise.
Don’t get me wrong. I think you should enjoy the slow down. You’ve earned it. But, there’s no reason you can’t mix the holiday festivities with some business activities that will give the next twelve months a leg up.