It’s fast approaching that time of year when the entire business world almost comes to a complete halt, and everything shuts down, at least for a week or two. The festive season can be incredibly disruptive for business owners. Here we’ll look at some things you can do to keep your business strategy on track into the New Year.
1. Your obligations
First, let’s examine the responsibilities we may have, legal and otherwise, to our employers at the end of a year that’s hopefully been highly profitable. Are you giving bonuses or gifts to your workers or giving or receiving them from suppliers or clients? If so, ensure you’re fully aware of the legal obligations, including what to report to the taxman (https://www.gov.uk/expenses-and-benefits-christmas-bonuses/what-to-report-and-pay).
2. All that downtime!
When we own a business, we often use holidays to catch up on that never-ending to-do list. Utilising the holiday period can be a great time to appraise your business. Consider what has worked well (and didn’t) this year compared to previous ones. This way, you can adjust your business strategy for even better success.
3. HR policy review
Also, look at how your HR policies have you covered or not at this time of the year so you’re not left exposed. There are all those parties and nights out and the eventual no-shows at work the next day to consider. Plus, how are you set up to cope with the many seasonal illnesses that will inevitably occur? Go over your HR policies and adjust them if necessary.
4. Take stock and plan ahead
As well as reviewing the previous year, use the time to set your goals and objectives for the year ahead. Consider the data from earlier years and how it can help you plan for the next financial year. Were there any new or consistent trends? Is the market changing? Would the business benefit from new products and services? When business is quiet, it is a fantastic time to create a new strategy, or if you are part way through your financial year, review your existing one.
5. Give your expenses the once-over
Quiet times can provide an excellent opportunity to review all our outgoings. Do you have subscriptions that you never use? If so, cancel them, or if they are still beneficial, create a plan to ensure you make the most of them as you enter the New Year.
If you have ongoing contracts, check the last time you reviewed them. You might find that you can save substantially by renegotiating the contract or moving suppliers.
6. Delegate activities
As a successful business owner, you’re probably used to doing everything possible. You may have learned that while your business is your baby, it’s too easy to burn out quickly while managing every aspect of your company. Use this holiday time to see what tasks you can delegate to competent staff members and set higher management goals for the year ahead.
7. Take a break!
We’re not suggesting you spend the upcoming Christmas and New Year holiday period furiously working on your business strategy and preparing for Day One of new trading. Do yourself and your company a favour and take some time off. You’ll return refreshed and ready for anything the tumultuous business world might throw at you.
If you’d like to discuss how Executive Coaching can help you make the most of the festive period, contact us to arrange a free initial consultation.
Published 7th December 2016.