Winding Down For Christmas? – Part 2
2015 is only a few weeks away. Finish 2014 on a roll and set yourself up now for a strong start to the new year.
Part 2: Tips 7-12 (See part 1 here)
7. Make the most of seasonal networking opportunities. Many businesses and networking forums hold end of year events. This provides a relaxed setting to show the human side of your business and to form new relationships. (But definitely not a time for the hard sell!).
8. Check the seasonal opening periods of your key contacts so you can mirror them. Make a point of letting them know you’ll be there for them if needed (especially if your competitors won’t be!)
9. Put in place out-of-hours contact contingency should your key customers need you. This shows commitment and that you operate around your clients’ needs not just yours, and is another good opportunity to make contact with your customers and prospects.
10. Don’t forget your team. Just a few simple gestures can make a real difference to employee engagement, and create positive sentiment as the team reflect during the holidays:
- Give each member of the team a personalised card and a small gift. Sounds extravagant? – It doesn’t have to be anything expensive but it represents a powerful and personal ‘thank you’, and recognition of their efforts during the year. The return on your outlay, in the form of improved loyalty and motivation, will far outweigh the expense of a box of chocolates or a bottle of wine.
- Be as flexible as possible to people’s family commitments (whilst maintaining business coverage). You will win appreciation and loyalty by showing you understand they have lives outside of the job.
- It’s great if you can treat staff to some form of Christmas celebration, whether it’s a glass of wine in the office after work, or a group lunch at the local pub. Use it to thank them for their hard work during the year, and to relax a little and build cohesion as a team. But, do keep it controlled and professional (or the damage will far outweigh any good you may have achieved!)
11. Plan out now, your kick-off strategy for the new year. What will you do on your first day back? In your first week back? Plan out the business-boosting activities that will give you a running start to the new year (and then make sure you do stick to them when you return!)
12. Finally, use your own down-time wisely. It can be tiring, and sometimes lonely, running a business. Make sure you take the time to unwind and catch up with family and friends. Allow yourself this, safe in the knowledge that you have a killer plan to start the new year with direction and energy.
Thank you for your custom, and interest, and contributions during the year. I look forward to exchanging ideas, building communities, creating excellence and otherwise working with you in 2015!