5 Ideas for Using Holiday Downtime to Grow Your BusinessRieva Lesonsky
Is the holiday season a slow one for your business? Maybe your customers’ companies shut down for a week at this time of year, or your clients are postponing projects until the New Year. You’ll want to take advantage of the extra hours to relax and recharge your batteries—but don’t spend all your free time on R&R. Before you’re tempted to go on a Netflix binge, devote some of your downtime to the business-boosting activities below.
Get organized. The end of the year is an ideal time to put your business in shape for the New Year. Start by literally cleaning out your office, discarding anything you don’t need, clearing your desk and dusting everything down. Then dig into your paper and digital files. Organize them, delete duplicates and create a new filing system, if necessary. Save space by digitizing papers so you can shred the originals and throw them away. Get a grip on your email: Quickly work through your inbox and then purge old messages.
Learn something new. Get to the bottom of that one subject you’ve always wanted to understand better. That might be how to improve your website’s SEO, become a better manager, or get the best results from the new software you just purchased. You can find an online course to teach you just about anything at sites like Udemy or Lynda.com. Sign up, grab some coffee and settle down in front of your computer to absorb all that knowledge.
Reconnect with your customers. Are there former clients you’ve lost touch with? Now is the natural time of year to reach out and say you’re thinking of them. Send a holiday card with a handwritten note, message them on social media, or just pick up the phone. If you think there’s potential to work together again, invite customers to meet you for coffee or lunch and discuss how your business could help them in 2018.
Read a book (or two). Do you have a teetering stack of business books you’ve been meaning to read all year? Crack the ones you’re most interested in and spend some time with them. Are there too many to read? Check out getAbstract or SoundView for summaries of business and other nonfiction books that let you get the key information quickly.
Think big. Take some of your downtime to ponder the future of your business. What do you want to accomplish in 2018 (and beyond)? Think about your ultimate goals, both business and personal, and what it will take to get there. For example, if your goal is increasing sales by 25 percent, you might need to ramp up your online marketing efforts. If you want to expand to a new target market, you may need to revamp your business website to reach those customers.
These five steps will help you recharge, re-energize and start fresh. When the New Year rolls around, you’ll be ready to take on the world and win.