It is well known that the month of January can be a difficult one for many people in their personal lives, but did you know that the “January Blues” can affect a business as well? National Business Capital has researched the many ways a business might be affected by the January slow down. We offer the following advice given by business owners and experts.
The months leading up to the holidays are, for many businesses, extremely hectic. Pressure for high sales may felt by employees across the board. In addition to sales pressure, many additional year end tasks need to be completed. Many business owners and employees work long hours and extra days to successfully get through the holiday season. Once the season is over, a certain let down my be felt.
The sales are over. The decorations are taken down and placed in storage. The holiday parties have come and gone. For some businesses, January means long hours of inventory. The days are shorter and colder and many people feel they have little time for leisure activities. All of this can have a negative impact on employee (and business owner) morale.
Use January to Refocus
One suggestion we were given is to look at January as a time to better your business self. Since this is typically a slow business time, take the opportunity to attend professional seminars or classes. Go to some of those networking events that you always mean to attend, but somehow never find the time to. Bring speakers into the office to further your employees’ education.
While November and December focused greatly on your customers, why not take some time in January to place focus on your employees? Again, with this typically being a slow time for business, plan some team building activities and/or employee appreciation events. Depending upon the size of your company, you may spend one on one time with each employee or department.
January is also a good time to review your expenses. A great way to boost your own morale is to find some areas where you can save some money. Look at your phone and internet service as well as health insurance and price competitors. Review all independent services such as accountant, copy service, mailing/shipping. Be mindful of contracts and termination fees and plan when will be the best time to make changes.
Connect with your customers. Depending upon the size and type of business, this may mean reaching out in different ways. Send an email blast and ask for suggestions of what your customers would like to see in the coming year. If possible, make personal contact with your clients to help them feel connected to you. Offer special loyalty discounts/programs.
National Business Capital wants to help you feel motivated to make 2012 your best year yet! Hopefully these suggestions will help!