Article by Jane Tweedy, Business Advisor, Western Sydney Business Centre
How to use your business holiday effectively
Woohoo we made it! The year is coming to a close, and the festive season is in full swing. The holidays are fast approaching, so how can we make the most of it for ourselves and our businesses?
Backing up and decluttering
Complete your filing, give your office/warehouse/shop space and even car a good clean. Back everything up (both hard drive and cloud for electronic files is recommended) and switch off everything at the wall. It’s always nice to return to a fresh clean space.
If you haven’t already sent your Christmas cards and gifts, it’s a little late. However it can be a good idea to offer thanks at some other time anyway, as it will stand out more, and be appreciated as a special thanks, rather than a more token gesture (those cards that completely lack personalisation can be worse than no card at all).
Many businesses shut down, at least between the Christmas and New Year holidays so it can be a good time to take a break (unless of course you’re retail and taking part in the massive Boxing Day sales). Before scooting out the office door, make sure your bills are paid, and let your customers and prospects know you’re on leave.
To let people know, you can update hours on your Google My Business listing (if you don’t have one now is a good time to register and wait for your code to arrive), make a note on your contact pages on your website, let clients know via email and email signature, and update your out of office on your phone, email and messenger.
Take a break!
Everyone needs to take time out and rest. Ensure you spend quality time with your family and friends, but also take some time out just for you. Do something you love. Consider having some tech free days, to really allow you to turn off for a few days. Time out of your business allows you to approach it with a fresh perspective.
The following activities and how far you get, depend on the length of your break. Please remember, you don’t need to do it all!
Review and planning
Complete a business review – what you should continue doing that worked well, what you should improve, what you should stop because it‘s time wasting or ineffective, and what you should start doing. As part of this process complete a brain dump. All those ideas that are swimming around in your head help create a feeling of overwhelm and frustration. Writing them down helps to declutter the mind.
Set SMART goals and plan out roughly your year with key promotional activities, and set firm actions plans for the first quarter to get those goals achieved.
If you have time on your side, create as much content as you can. Using your brand guidelines or style guide (considering creating this if you don’t have one), prepare social media posts of different types, pre-record some video, write blogs… Store these in folders so when you get busy, are unwell etc that you have content to call upon without feeling pressured.
Learn, study or read
Take some time to learn a new skill, watch some videos or tutorials on some software you under-utilise. Read that business book sitting on your shelf. Consider and plan what learning you’d like to undertake in the new year, and be sure to allow time to implement learnings.
Systemising and implementing changes
Consider what you can streamline and improve in your business. Especially those things where you may need to spend a few hours to create something, saving many hours over the year.
Involve your family
For those of you with children on school holidays, it can be hard juggling keeping them entertained and still moving forward. The ages and nature of your children may allow you some opportunities to have them help in your work. This can help connect them with you and your business. Remember they should still be treated as employees and receive the correct pay!
We’ll be taking a break ourselves from 21st December 2018 to 3rd January 2019 inclusive. Outside this time we’d love to assist you and make the most of what for many is a quiet time. Business Connect can assist you with setting up your small business for success, and our advisors are mobile in your local areas.
Western Sydney Business Centre, offers 4 hours business advice at NO COST with a NSW Government funded Business Connect Advisor. We can talk about any concerns with your business, and help you connect with others. Please book here now!
Australian Small Business Advisory Service (ASBAS) Digital Solutions
Western Sydney Business Centre also offers the ASBAS Digital Solutions program across NSW on behalf of the Federal Government. This program is partially subsidised and covers four key pillars: websites and online selling, digital marketing and social media, using small business software, and online security and data privacy. Find out more here: https://wsbusiness.com.au/asbas/