Each year in the end of December, many businesses and for that matter industries close down entirely. The economy shifts to holiday activities from parades, to celebrations and of course shopping. There is very little interest in starting new projects or funding a new venture. The holidays are a time of celebration and thanks for the relationships and business that we currently have as opposed to starting new ones.People that you are soliciting respond with, “ I am very busy with the holidays, why don’t we meet in January”.
This is fine for existing businesses where the solidification of your existing business relationship get the opportunity to thank each other for the work of the past year with an eye toward the continued relationship in the future. When you have been in business for years and have a network to keep up then everything is what you’d hope for, but what about an entrepreneur who is just getting started? What should you do?
Use this time to develop your strategy and plan your next move. Take the holiday break as a working vacation and move your business forward while the rest of the world is celebrating. Everyone is distracted buying presents and going to parties and you should as well. But, look at the time that has been given to you without the pressure of the having to focus on many aspects of your business that simply is on hold for a few weeks.
Take the holiday season as your own personal business retreat. Set aside time for yourself to work on the things you did not get done in the past year. Use my 1-2-3 of short term goals to refocus on your core business. Develop your marketing strategy on the Monday after Christmas rather than returning gifts in a packed shopping center.
While everyone else is distracted by celebratory efforts, you, the entrepreneur should be focused and on task. Do not waste this valuable gift of time. Develop and fine tune your marketing strategy while fine tuning your operation. Spend the down times online working not shopping. Always bring marketing materials to every event. Take the time to see what you can do better.
Entrepreneurs need the holiday season both for increased sales but for increased performance in the coming year. Don’t let social convention like the holiday season distract you from your mission. Always use the holiday time as your personal planning retreat, while making it your starting point for a successful new year. Start From Where You Are and don’t look back.
written by Ken Esrig