December is usually the time of year in business when activity tends to settle down a bit (unless you’re in seasonal retail – if so disregard this week’s tip). People go on vacation, organizations have their annual office parties, and everyone enjoys the holiday festivities. This quieter period also marks a perfect time to recalibrate your business and prepare to enter next year with a bang.
If you’re a Type-A driver who likes to get things done, the downtime in December can feel maddening. People don’t return calls. No one is available for meetings. If this lack of action drives you crazy, then use this quiet period to assess the direction of you business and maximize your creativity. For example, ask yourself the following questions:
- Did I achieve what I wanted to accomplish this year? If yes, why and what needs to be duplicated next year? If no, what do I need to change?
- What new products or services could I create during this downtime and launch next year? Work on a new book? Create a new donor campaign? Develop a new product line?
If you’re not a driver and more socially-oriented, use December to reconnect with old friends or strengthen your support system (family and God), build your business relationships and alliances. For instance, you could do the following:
- Send meaningful gifts to people who helped you the past 11 months.
- Carve out more quality time with your family.
- Set aside time for reflection and spiritual growth.
- Reach out by phone or schedule time to meet friends whom you haven’t spoken with in a while.
I used to view December as a wasted month for business. Everything felt like it was on hold until the New Year. Now, I view December as a key to successful marketing by taking deliberate steps to plan upcoming efforts and deepen important relationships. What better time to improve your business than when the world slows down and dreams of a white Christmas?