Here it is, “the most wonderful time of the year” – if you are in the retail business. However, for many of the rest of us, this month can be terminally uneventful. So often you hear, “Call me after the First” in reply to your sales efforts. While many service entrepreneurs essentially hibernate during the Christmas holiday season, savvy marketers know that it can actually be a very good time to get positioned strategically for the coming year.
Here are some suggestions for keeping yourself productive and on track for a record year in 2012:
- This is the time to begin your content calendar planning for the next 12 months. Assess your 2011 achievements with respect to your goals. If you met or exceeded them, consider revising them upward for the coming year. If not, evaluate where your efforts fell short and determine how you might adjust.
- Review and update the status of each of your key customers. Consider how well your business would weather the loss of any of them and take steps to ensure that does not happen. There is still time to pull off some last minute corporate gifting to help maintain those relationships.
- If your marketing plan has fallen by the wayside, or worse, if you haven’t yet established one, now is a very good time to get that in motion. Successful companies don’t just wait for business to come to them. They aggressively plan their immediate and long range marketing behaviors and monitor the results.
- Sift through your past rejections, especially those who selected a competing company. You would be surprised how often you will find they are not happy with their current provider and would welcome an updated proposal.
- Search for online webinars, podcasts and other continuing education publications to keep you abreast of recent changes. This is the time to take advantage of all of the free or very inexpensive learning tools available within every industry.
- Reevaluate your time allocations. Is all that time you spend on social media productive, or are you really just playing? Try this: fill in every free moment in tomorrow’s calendar now. It might be research, blogging, reading articles, or any of a number of other options. Then, of course, stick to it.
But, these efforts don’t have to be all business-related. This is also an excellent time to attend to other elements of your life that you have been neglecting.
Maybe it’s time you began a serious physical exercise routine several days a week. You know that yoga class you’ve been determined to attend? Do it. If you don’t happen to live in a warm winter climate, buy an inexpensive conversion kit for your bike and ride it indoors. Spend some time volunteering at a senior center or homeless shelter. Get your taxes in order so you don’t have to scramble at the last minute again this year.
Truly successful and healthy people have very little free time on their hands irrespective of the season. Their abilities are constantly in demand. That should be you!