As we approach the end of the year, it is tempting to think ahead to 2015. A new year promises a fresh start, and, let’s face it, that may be exactly what your business needs. As ready as you may be to close out 2014, it is important to remember that the few remaining weeks of this calendar year can potentially lay the foundation for a more productive and profitable new year.
There are some important ideas to keep in mind, in order to get the most out of the waning year. Instead of mentally “checking out” during the holiday season, use it to propel yourself and employees onto better things ahead. Consider some of these important points as you think about the time remaining before the new year:
- It is tempting to “lay off the gas” during the holidays. The end of the year is not typically a time of growth for most businesses. Instead of coasting until New Years, use this slower time for training. Preparing yourself and your staff for what lies ahead can give you a running start into 2015.
- If you are not handling any new clients, why not prepare for the ones you plan to have in the next weeks and months? A well-prepared and detailed road map for 2015 will clearly communicate your goals for the coming year with your employees. Think carefully: what do you want for your business in the new year? Write it down, and plan every step.
- Take an inventory of 2014. Do you consider this year to be one of growth? What can you change to make progress in the coming year? Be honest about your shortcomings and needed improvements for yourself. It is equally beneficial to evaluate employees, process, business plan and products. Of course, it is also important to take a physical inventory of your office or business–are there any tangible things that you need in order to be more successful next year?
- A “slow time” is the perfect opportunity to re-vamp your budget. It is fiscally responsible for business owners of all types to make a practice of regularly checking, evaluating, balancing and improving the budget. Even if your business’s fiscal year does not end on December 31st, it is always a beneficial practice to keep a close watch on the financial aspects of your operations.
As it is important to work hard from the start through the end of the year, it is equally important to use the holiday season to rest and rebuild energy for the work ahead. With careful time-management practices, it is possible to both rejuvenate and prepare for a better year.
A successful business owner, individual, parent or student is one who uses his or her time wisely, whether it is working or resting. Make the most out of every second left in this year–those well-used minutes can make a big difference for you in 2015, both personally and professionally.