All I want for Christmas is less days off

by: December 15, 2014

For many business owners, certainly those in B2B markets, at least half of December is a chronic loss of time. No-one is available to sell to, no-one places an order, no-one pays your invoices. Suppliers stop supplying, employees stay at home, and business grinds to an earth-shattering halt.

At least, I suppose, we know that’s going to happen. But highly driven, motivated business owners still struggle with it. You face the prospect of sitting at home for nigh on ten days, twiddling your thumbs, voicing platitudes to relatives, getting bored – very bored.  You want to be driving your business forward, making things happen. So what can you do?
  • Some Clear Thinking.  Let’s face it – few serious entrepreneurs switch off when they leave the office. In the back of your mind you’re still thinking about your business – this is called ‘demi-downtime’.  Rather than grumble that you don’t have time to think, celebrate this opportunity to be creative.  If you need a challenge, try to come up with 12 great ideas for your business – one for each day of Christmas.
  • Planning.  Use the time to work on business strategy and planning while there’s no distraction.
  • Organising. Clear that in-tray, sort the filing cabinet, deal with the email inbox, get ready to hit the New Year full on.
  • Problem-solving.   Make your own Christmas game – write the big business issues that arose over the last 12 months on the back of cards, and then see how you would solve them now with the benefit of hindsight.  Better still, see what Aunty Ethel and Uncle Albert would do – you never know, they might give you renewed inspiration!
  • Research.  It’s a good time to look up your competitors – checkout their websites, ring them up and see what information the Christmas cover staff will disclose, write a list of what they offer that you don’t – and vice versa – and consider how you might become more competitive.
  • Open New Markets.  Many other parts of the world are not as tied up with Christmas as we are in the UK.  Even other parts of Europe celebrate Christmas differently, and in the US it’s a far shorter break, so why not plan a business trip between Christmas and New Year?
  • New Year Resolutions.  Write a list of business resolutions that you’re not going to break, whether it relates to your leadership style, tackling a staff issue you’ve been putting off, getting out to meet with more clients face to face, or hiring someone to take over a chunk of your responsibilities.
  • Relax.  You always said business should be fun – so take some time off with the family & kids – and have a great Christmas!

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About Author

Paul is Zonata's founder and MD. He has a true passion for business and is massively excited by the opportunities that Zonata provides for its clients and partners. He loves helping owner-managed businesses be exceptionally successful, and enjoys the phenomenal quality of the people who work with him.

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