Most businesses experience a slump in sales after the rush of the holidays.  Instead of fearing this time and stressing about decreased revenue, take a few minutes to step back and evaluate what you can improve upon in the New Year.   There’s no better time to adjust your sails than when things are moving slow.  You can look objectively at what you’re doing well and how you can improve, and you’ve got time to make adjustments. Your customers (and your bank account) will thank you! sunset

  • Reframe your goals.  First things first, what are you looking to accomplish this year?  Last year may have been all about positive online reviews, maybe this year you want to focus on gaining more valuable customers or building relationships with new business partners.  Determine what it is you will be gauging your success on at the end of the year so that you can plan accordingly.
  • Make a plan.  How will you achieve these goals?  Whether you need to get more face time with your colleagues and customers, or you need to lock yourself in your office and beef up your website, determining how you’re going to achieve success in the upcoming year is the first step in realizing that success.
  • Set aside some dollars.  Yes, sales may be slow right now, but sometimes you have to spend money to make money.  Hiring new team members, redesigning your website, or investing in new technology may cost a bit up front, but determine what will make you more money in the long run and spend accordingly in order to see some long-term gains.
  • Share your intent.  Let people know what your goals are for the upcoming year.  Just like those New Year’s diets, letting people know what your plans for growing your business are will help hold you accountable.  Determine whom you’ll share with based on what those plans are.  Customers don’t care if you’re looking to make record profits, but employees and shareholders do.
  • Take action.  You’ve determined what you need, set some goals, spent the cash, and shared your plans.  Now it’s time to put your plan into action.  Start promoting those new products, or working to attract that new demographic.  Whatever your above goals are, get to work in realizing them.
  • Bask and share.  Hopefully, at this point, you’re starting to see some of the rewards from your efforts.  Take a few moments to enjoy the benefit of your hard work.  Don’t forget to share the results with the group from step four!  Let your team know that their effort has paid off, and reward them accordingly.

Hopefully at this point, you’ll be back to being busy, and enjoying the benefits from your efforts as you sail off into the sunset.  Utilizing down time instead of stressing over it can be the difference between smooth sailing and the post-holiday doldrums.  Where will you take your success this year?

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