The run-up to Christmas and January can be a quiet time for small businesses and freelancers – Christmas parties and holidays give way to a month when many customers are in no hurry to spend. But rather than wasting energy fretting about what the New Year will bring, this quiet time is the perfect opportunity to focus on tending your business, getting your house in order and making sure you’re ready to hit the ground running in January.
1. Polish up your online profile
Use this quiet time to spring clean and ramp up your online profile. Update your website, Facebook page and LinkedIn profile to show recent achievements and edit old details. Take time make some new connections and cultivate your existing ones. Look at other platforms to maximize your exposure. If you are a designer, consider uploading a mini portfolio to printed.com’s Design Central Gallery to showcase your work to customers who are looking to order print.
2. Analyse your web data
Take some time to analyze how people are getting to your site and what’s performing well, to inform your business decisions in the coming year. The free tool Google Analytics makes it easy to answer questions such as ‘what keywords are resonating with visitors?’ and ‘what design elements might be turning people away?’ In minutes you can see reports on visitor information, how people got to your site, which pages are most popular, desired actions from users and details on Ecommerce. For more info on how to get started with Google Analytics, visit http://mashable.com/2011/05/23/how-to-use-google-analytics/
3. Revise your business plan
Remember that business plan you wrote a while back? A seasonal lull in work is the perfect opportunity to sit down and rethink it. Get a second person involved for advice and to use as a sounding board. In the light of the year’s events and your latest analysis, refocus your goals and your vision for the company. Write it down into a business plan that you re-read regularly.
4. Prepare your marketing materials
Think of what jobs people are going to need done in January and come up with strong incentives to push them. Then get your ads designed and marketing collateral ready to spring into action in January. If you are a printed.com customer, you can save money by spending your reward points on stock imagery for your marketing. Or commission a designer from the Design Central Gallery.
5. Remember to take a break!
The whole point of the holidays is to take time off work, and you’ll in much better shape for the New Year if you take time to wind down and recharge. Treat yourself to a massage and enjoy brisk walks outdoors. If you’re not one for sitting around and watching TV, then download some motivational podcasts from inspirational thinkers to help you cultivate a positive mental attitude for 2013.
If you spend some time on all of the above, there will be no stopping your business when your clients, old and new, are ready to spend again.' should be softened to read 'If you spend some time on all of the above, your business will be in a much better place when your clients, old and new, are ready to spend again.