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Take Stock, Relax and Plan – why it is important for business

“Are we nearly there yet?” isn’t just the cry of kids in the back of the family wagon on the way to grandma’s for Christmas, it’s the cry of many business owners as the year heads to a rapid conclusion.

The good news is that we’ve almost got there. Some of us are still sprinting, others are falling over the finish line of the great race that was 2018, but the finish line is well and truly in sight!

And it was a great race, I don’t know about you, but I have a feeling that this year was hard work. No year is ever easy, but this year my clients and customers, friends and collaborators are reporting that although successful, 2018 was a gruelling race and they all now need a little downtime to take stock, relax and plan for 2019.

Whatever your sector it has been a busy time. For Retail business the lead up to December is huge, ensuring stock holding is at the best calculated levels, staffing is adequate to service clients promptly, all your promotion has gone out ahead of time, just to mention a few. Manufacturers are madly keeping up with the demand of production. And for service businesses you are either running a little light or your clients have seen the looming Christmas deadline and redoubled their efforts and your workload.

It is no wonder that we are feeling like we have all just finished a marathon, but at a sprint speed that Usain Bolt would be proud of.

So, we do need to think about our businesses and ourselves over the next few weeks, in fact I would say that using time like Christmas and the New Year to do this is essential. It is also a time when the phone should ring a little less, emails should stop flying into your inbox and those endless meetings shouldn’t be in your calendar. But being an entrepreneur, you can never really stop…so use a little bit of your downtime to make 2019 a better less stressful and more productive year.

Get planning.

We’ve all heard the Quote by Benjamin Franklin: “If you fail to planyou are planning to fail!”

If you don’t have a roadmap of where it is, you want to go to how are you going to get there?

December is a great time for reflecting on the past year. Looking at the targets you (hopefully) set and seeing how many you met, exceeded, or fell short of.

What did you do right? What could you improve on?  What changes, if any, do you need to make for the next year?

Whilst this is not necessarily the end of your financial year, the holiday season certainly has its effects in different ways on different businesses, so it’s a good time of year to ensure you have a place for January so you can hit the ground running and be ahead of the eight ball.

Make time to have the team meetings celebrate your successes. This is the time to reward your staff. (The Christmas Party is a social event).

It’s also a time to get their input and discuss what your plans are for the next 3 months with the kick off in January. What’s their role, KPI’s meeting agenda’s. This needs to be a strictly positive upbeat meeting. The team needs to be excited for the year to come and what you have planned. They are part of the plan so make them aware of it.

As a business owner it’s also a time for you to “check in” and ensure your plans fits your overall plan and mission statement. Are you still driving the business in the right direction? Do you need to re-evaluate?

There’s a whole new topic on this area but for now suffice to say, it’s important to keep the end in mind with all of your 90-day plans and ensure everything is in alignment.

It’s Holiday Season time ……. Have a break relax refresh rejuvenate and come back in January and hit the ground running! Happy holidays,

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