Why Most Professional Service Business have Christmas Holidays Wrong.
Quick question. Are you looking to actually grow your business over the Christmas break? Or are you going to put up with it slowing and then , "blame it on the holidays because you are not generating the revenue that you really do want "?
In this article I'm going to go through some very simple tips, in particularly mindset, that's actually going to help you grow and expand your business over the Christmas period instead of shrinking it like everybody else does.
To tell you the truth, I think most Australian professional businesses have it wrong. They put up with the, "We're going to be shrinking. We're going to be slowing down attitude that most businesses have over that time.
Year after year you keep saying “We just have to put up with it". But no you don't. Switch it around and say, "What are the actions that I can do to actually grow my business over this period, and have it ready to hit the ground running at full speed as soon as February comes?".
The first tip is around mindset itself. “Because we're coming to the end of the year,” and most people think we're sliding down to the end of the year and then we're going to slide back out of it very slowly.
Well it's not the end of the financial year. The financial year runs 30 June, well first of July to the 30th of June. What you need to think is, that this is not the end of the year and a six or an eight week break.
Reframe it as a midterm break, and treat it as if it's a two or a three week break at most. Because if you're starting to slow down now, beginning of November, then you've got all of December. January, you're coming back to your team in January. Then you're going to slide back up again. That's about an eight or a nine week nonproductive time.
The next tip is, when businesses are slow, let’s say 50% capacity, what the people do is work at 50% capacity for 100% of the time. Instead of breaking it up into blocks and working at 100 percent for 50 percent of the time. That gives you 50 percent to do something more productive work including 50 percent to work on yourself. Whether it's courses. Whether it's coaching or infrastructure.
Let me go through a couple of things that I've actually planned myself. I have just as of yesterday bought two new courses for personal and professional development that I intend to block out time and complete and implement over that period. I'm blocking that time off. I've made the physical and financial investment to do that.
Talking about infrastructure. I've just started working with my web developer. We're going to completely revamp my website, over the next two months.
Coaching, now is the best time to go and get somebody to work on you personally to help you improve your skills.
I always ramp up the coaching with my clients over this period, because they have clients who are away and therefore have spare time. It's time that we worked on them. What we're going to get done is things that we couldn't get done normally because they are so busy working in the business and servicing their clients. We're going to be working on their book, their videos, and putting out things that they couldn't normally do.
Plus I'm launching another new program on the 18th December that is actually going to be running for the six weeks over the break for people that want to work on themselves and really intensify who they are, what they do, to build themselves out there. There are people out there that are investing that extra 50 percent of the time not wasting it.
Now what you need to do is think of that time as a series of sprints. I keep saying that business is a series of sprints. Instead of working and just muddling through and getting nothing done, sprint hard. Do that bit. But most importantly take the time off that you can spend 100 percent focused on the family. But when it's off, spend that 100 percent, flick the switch.
Have you ever held a light switch half way on and half way off? It's dangerous. There's lots of things vibrating and you could blow the whole house up. You can blow yourself up if you're half on and half off. You're not spending quality time with your family. They're getting distracted, and you're not spending quality time on your business. Let them know that, "I'm going to be doing a couple of hours each day that's focused on my business. But you know what? When I'm with you I'm spending it focused totally on you".
There's the first three. Make sure that you're focusing on your two to three week break over that time. Plan development courses, coaching, and infrastructure. Make sure that you're working in blocks so that you have that enjoyable time totally switched off. But use the time that you've got spare to be able to build yourself.
Next tip is to source others that have downtime as well. There's going to be people in digital industries. There's going to be people in all sorts of industries who have spare capacity. Now is the time to go and negotiate with them and say, "Listen. I know it's a bit slow over Christmas. How about we do this deal?". Or source people that do have that time to go and sell to them. They're the people that I'm going to be working with that are the professionals who have that time off, who couldn't normally have that time to come and do programs. They are the ones who will come and do an intensive program with me.
The last major tip is something that people don't do, and that is plan re-momentum actions. What normally happens is, you and/or people if you're working with people, you'll come back to work and then you'll spend the next couple of days wondering where everything is. Talking about the holidays. Whereas if the day before or a couple of days before you plan some activities with your team and say, "You know what, team? Let's have a real big focus on what we're going to do this year". Have the planning day. Have the action day, so they hit the ground running day one, absolutely pumped and ready to go.
If it is just yourself. The day before you really want to activate everything, make sure that you have re-momentum activities. Map out the year. Map out the actions so that the day that you actually officially switch back on to your business is the day that you hit it full steam ahead.
Whatever you invest in that day will be magnified by the productivity boost in the first few weeks.
I do hope that you're not going to be one of the many Australian businesses out there that get it wrong and spend six to nine weeks of half speed and putting up with and believing that the holidays are the downturn for your income. They're not. It's your attitude that is the downturn for your income. There's plenty of people out there needing services. It's a matter of what it is that you have and or do that can go out and get them.
Have a fantastic Christmas
About the Author
Steve Brossman works with professionals and service providers to Create their Authority Positioning and boost sales with a Blueprint.