Most businesses suffer from a little downtime over the holidays. If you run an office, you can have an enormously busy time on the approach, before taking a week or so off over the holiday celebrations. You might consider staying open, but with most of your clients and suppliers off, it’s often not worth your while. If you work in the retail sector, you might be very busy already, and if you are running a sale shortly after the holidays, your busy period could extend into 2019, but towards the middle of January, things are sure to slow. Even the most active retail stores, restaurants, and bars see their profits decline drastically in February and March.
Unfortunately, for a smaller business, a little bit of downtime can have an adverse effect on your success. Even a few weeks without high takings can mean that you start to struggle financially, and holding on to clients when you have a rough patch can seem impossible. But, there are ways that your business can benefit from some holiday downtime and some things that you can do to make the best of it.
Make Some Extra Cash
If you work as a solopreneur, your downtime might not affect anyone else’s paycheck, but, coming so soon after large holiday spends, it can have a significant impact on your personal finances. Find ways to make extra money online, or accept some freelance work to keep the cash flowing while things are quiet on the business front. You never know, these side hustles might lead to new contacts or avenues for your primary business as it moves forward.
Look Back at Your Year
Looking back is usually essential to moving forward. Take the time to look back over the last 12 months. Take a look at your figures, and your online growth, but also look at your expenditure and the results of any marketing campaigns. Think about what has gone well and why. Ask yourself if you’ll be carrying these things forward into the new year. Then, look at what didn’t work out so well. Is it worth making changes and trying again, or would you be better letting go?
It’s also a good idea to look at the market as a whole. Did your direct competition have a good 2018? What did they do that you loved? Is there anyone new on the scene that you need to spend some time studying?
Get Stuck into Those Jobs You Hate
There are always things that get put off when we’re busy. Stock counts, cleaning, updating software, even replying to emails that aren’t essential gets put to the bottom of our to-do lists. Use your downtime to catch up on any of these tasks that you don’t usually have time for.
A quieter period is the perfect time to look at your marketing plan for the coming months. You’ve already looked at what’s gone well over the last few months, so you should know who your audience is and where you’ve had the most success reaching them. Use this time to try new things, to advertise in new places and to make a plan for the year ahead. Look at holiday dates and local events and try to base your calendar around them.