Christmas isn’t necessarily a joy for every business. In fact, for many service businesses, it can be something of a pain – a seemingly never-ending fallow period in which it’s nigh-on impossible to gain the attention of clients. Even though both you – and they – know that come the New Year, you will be expected to pile full steam ahead into their projects. So here’s what you can do to make December an effective month:
MAINTAIN YOUR PROFILE
If you don’t want to disappear from people’s radar, think about joining your clients in their festivities. You can do this easily enough by hosting or staging an event that will be attractive to them. Think about how you can become compelling company to your most valued clients by surprising them with invitations to can’t-miss occasions. It’s also a good idea to stay active on social media – keep interacting and updating your followers through the duration of the holiday period.
Use the down time to prepare and review. Plan the year’s activities, revisit your business plan, and write feedback for staff. Take some retrospective time to look back at the year past. Slower periods can be invaluable. Make sure your employees know well ahead of time that you expect to make use of this time for considered, analytical activity. It may not be immediately income-generating, but if used well, it may provide the foundations for a fruitful year ahead. There’s nothing worse than planning for next year in January – it’s already started!
A SKELETON WORKFORCE
You might be faced with a lot of staff away in December, so you need to be clear about the output you can realistically achieve. Try to make sure all your core functions are represented at all times. Don’t have an entire team away at once.
MIND YOUR CASH FLOW
If your income drops at this time of year, you will probably want to keep an eye on your spending. Think about quick fixes – the shorter, perhaps lower-paid jobs that will help both you and your clients. Look at tools – like MarketInvoice – that can help smooth out lumpy cashflow.
And if that’s not possible, you may want to show a little festive spirit and let everyone go home early. A workforce that has a chance to wind down for a break after a productive year is much more likely to come back reinvigorated and motivated.
We’ve got more great tips for managing the challenges of seasonal cashflow and seasonal staff management, as well as great advice from one of our customers and the MarketInvoice Christmas gift guide 2015 in our latest guide.