It’s often called the lost week: The week between Christmas and New Years Day. In fact, many businesses, including mine, close up shop during that week.
But it has been a tough year, and if you are like most small businesses you are concerned about your prospects in 2010. So why not turn that lost week into a productive, “get a head start” week?
For example, plan ahead for that in-between week. Start before the holiday to see who is going to be working and schedule some one-on-one time. Invite clients to lunch or out for coffee. Because it is a slow week, they’ll have more time to spend with you so it is an excellent opportunity to build a stronger relationship. You may want to consider hosting a holiday open house for your customers/clients.
Be strategic with your time. Make a “to-do” list of items you haven’t had time to tackle during the year and get to work. Refresh your business plan. Develop a social media strategy. Spend time updating and re-energizing your web-site. Wrap-up year-end bookkeeping and prepare for tax season in advance.
Schedule time to meet with your employees and/or vendors. Review 2009 results and ask for feedback. Solicit ideas for making improvements in the coming year. Remember to keep an open mind and listen to what is being said. You may discover new business opportunities as a result.
Develop a strategy to hit the ground running the first week of the New Year. Many business people are just getting back in the business mode the first week of the year so if you are prepared it could provide a competitive advantage.
Finally, I recommend setting aside a portion of your time during this “lost week” to catch up on reading some of the best business books of 2009. It’s an excellent way to broaden your horizons and learn new business strategies. For a list of top picks, check out the 2009 Reader’s Choice Awards which includes one of my favorites, “The Constant Contact Guide to Email Marketing.”