Let’s have a little self-check in… are you looking forward to Christmas and all that it brings – the run up, the gift buying and of course the kids off school again? Or are you feeling dread, worry and a little anxious?
Juggling the kids and a thriving business can be exhausting! Even if you don’t have children, the Christmas period can feel like an uphill struggle with so many potential and existing clients ‘offline’. Chasing those leads is taking forever; your favourite client has gone AWOL; your IT guy is on annual leave JUST as your website has a moment…
But all is not lost – it’s only usually 2 weeks max, and in theory we’re all in the same boat!
If, like me, you are feeling a bit ‘meh’ and you need a pick me up, here are some tips for how to make the most of, and more importantly survive, the festive season including the build-up (although gift ideas and awkward Christmas lunch moments are not covered!)
- Take care of yourself– yes, I’m talking self-care again. We are nearly at the end of the year, you’ve survived 2020, 2021 and the end of the pandemic, restrictions have almost all ended, and the summer seems like a distant memory, so it is likely you are, like many online business owners, feeling a bit burned out and it is important not to overdo it.
Eating nutritious food (regularly – no skipping meals and candy canes do not count!) and making sure that you have time to wind down in the evening to help aid restful sleep can help you to feel better on a day-to-day basis. Also having time to not be IN the business, but to focus on doing some of the things you don’t usually have time to do is like chicken soup for the soul and should give you the re-energising boost you need to face the new challenges ahead – gift buying etc). The hardest part is acknowledging that you need a break and accepting that taking a few hours to regroup, refocus and get your Christmas shopping list sorted is permitted (and doesn’t mean you are slacking off!!!!) – you are not a superhero, so please cut out the ‘Mr/Mrs Invincible’ act and get on with the things you need and want to do away from your business too!
- Spend time planning – even if you are still busy at work, scheduling in time for a business review is an important thing to do. What has worked in 2021? What isn’t working so well? How far are you off meeting your goals? And how can you ensure the next year kicks off jam packed full of success? New Year is traditionally the perfect time to set yourself realistic and attainable – yet still challenging – goals and formulate a route map of how to achieve them. More networking? Check. Regular social media posts? Check. World domination. Double check. So, what’s on your list?
- Get your finances in order – whack on some Christmas music – Bublé and Mariah are back out of hibernation this time of year in my house – and make sure your business expenses, finances and receipts are up to date. A quiet spell is a great time to review your business outgoings. Are you paying for software that you no longer use? Are there smarter apps you could be using? Could you make use of the post-Christmas sales to purchase some software, hardware or office equipment that you will need going forward? Now is the perfect time to browse the online retailers for the best deals whilst you’ve got a spare few hours.
- Touch base with your customers– Feeling bored with nothing to do? Why not drop your existing clients a note to ask how their Christmas went or what the New Year holds in store for them and their business? Or reaching out to your potential connections to check in? Many businesses are ramping up for the last few months of the financial year and getting started on the whole new year ahead, so touching base at this time can be a handy follow up and reminder that prompts them to reach out about a task they could do with some assistance with, whether now or in the near future. Either way, quiet times are a great way to review your pipeline and get back in touch with your network.
- Write like a VA possessed! – If you are trying to reach out to potential customers in your local area through social media or blogging (whether guest blogging or via on-page optimisation of blogs on your own website), to do this effectively, you need content! So why not spend a few days creating some ‘evergreen’ content (posts and blogs that can be published at any time of the year and are not aged by seasonal references or specific events) so that you’ve got a catalogue of posts to use when inspiration or time is lacking later in the year?
Hopefully even taking five to read this blog has made you feel better…if so, then I’ve done my good deed for the day.
- Make plans outside of work – I have absolutely saved the best for last…all that planning you’ve been doing and thinking about doing for your business. Well, lets put some of that energy and focus into the stuff away from the business. If your December and January is a little slower than usual, please know you aren’t alone (many other are experiencing the same), the season is short, and these days will pass plus its extra time for all the other things you spend the rest of the year wishing you could do. Don’t get too bogged down in worrying about ‘now’ – invest your time and thought into building memories, enjoying your freedom (while it lasts) and then prepare to nail your goals in 2022 with vigour, enthusiasm and momentum all while feeling refreshed, happy and fulfilled.
So, make the most of logging off early, sipping mulled wine, getting that tree up and the shopping sorted and having some crucial headspace and self-care time. Your venture will absolutely still be there when you get back and who knows this could be just what you and your venture needs!
If you want to chat more about mindset, making sure your business is in the right place for 2022 or even those Evergreen plans and funnel you keep meaning to make get in touch!