Many businesses repeatedly hit the brakes between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day as decision-makers leave town, budgets wheeze out their last few cents and clients procrastinate on deals (or dealing with problems). But here are six ways to continue making forward progress.
1. Set weekly goals to ensure some closure. It’s better to lower the bar on output and finish a few priorities on the to-do list than take on too much and complete nothing.
2. Focus on one big task and commit to completing it by the end of the year. For example: Redesign your website, look for deeper meaning in your web analytics, purge your contact list and move it into a better software tool, locate The Cloud, etc.
3. Contact clients before the worst of the holiday paralysis to tie up deals and determine the effects of their vacation schedules on your deadlines.
4. Reach out to your customers during this prime schmoozing time; ask about their past year and their objectives moving forward, and then schedule face time in January to show how you can help them meet their goals. Connect with vendors, suppliers and others integral to your business to make those relationships more effective. Also: a) pick up the tab on a lunch to snag quality time, and b) send holiday cards and/or gifts so you stay in their minds.
5. Hire a freelancer to take on a project before the holidays. It will mean welcome holiday cash for them and extra hands for you.
6. Analyze this year’s successes and failures and learn from both. Set new goals, so you hit the ground running on Jan. 2 with a sense of purpose and a clear direction.