As they say in the song, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.
And that’s because even though right now you’re probably feeling like you’re on some kind of runaway stagecoach, careering out of control and headed straight for a pile of tinsel, fake snow, turkey-with-cranberry, and the overstuffed and slightly slurring bodies of your least favourite relatives, what comes next?
The serene bliss of the January lull.
You know the January lull – that time when so many people are away on holidays and the people who aren’t on holiday aren’t really working either.
(Unless by “working” you mean “listening to the cricket and using various forms of social media to figure out who pashed who on New Year’s Eve”. Come on – we’ve all been there.)
The great news for business owners is that even though the January lull might be quiet on the client front, there are heaps of things you can do to set yourself up for success in the New Year.
And the best bit? You can do all these things while listening to the cricket and/or Facestalking.
1. Sort out your paperwork
I know we’ve all experienced night terrors that have involved us screaming ourselves awake with this very phrase, but sorting out your receipts, invoices and remittances before the new year gets underway can make such a huge difference – even just to your stress levels.
Imagine tax time without having that frenzied, last-minute dash to get everything organised! There’s just something about an empty document tray marked “filing” that elicits total calm, so get organised now while there’s not much else demanding your attention and avoid an overflowing shoebox of horror later.
2. Get your systems ship-shape
If your payroll, invoicing or staff management systems have thus far been better described using another word beginning with SH, the time is nigh to rectify.
If you’re in hospitality or retail, is there any new or additional staff training your business might benefit from in the New Year? Tee it up now – it’s much easier to allocate the required time and funds when you’re looking at a blank calendar and a bank balance that’s hopefully flush from a healthy festive trade.
For everyone else, take a good look at the systems you’re currently using and evaluate what’s working well and what needs improvement. It’s so much harder to do this effectively when you’re flat out.
3. Formulate your sales plans and targets
These are like New Year’s Resolutions, but for your business.
It’s important to start the year with a firm idea of where you want your business to go and how you intend to get there, and don’t forget to relay this plan to staff. Make your business goals realistic and you’ll have more chance of achieving them, unlike the year I resolved to make more of an effort to get off the couch.
4. Crack open the tuna
Seriously. With hardly anyone else around, now’s the time to have tuna for lunch as many times as you like while upsetting the least number of people with the stench.
Getting all your tuna-eating out of the way now will pave the way for a year of not sending your co-workers packing from the pong.
Who said success wasn’t also important at lunchtime?