Ahh, Christmas. The time of year in which we wind down, pour ourselves a massive glass of Baileys and contemplate. Thinking of the joys of family and the year that has passed. Eyes closed and rocked gently in the summer breeze under the verandah. The hazy summer period is stretching out before us. Work is compartmentalised. Closed down for the season.
Only it shouldn’t be.
Summer time is one of the most fundamentally underutilized times of the entire calendar year. By all means, enjoy your rightful rest period but be smart about it.
I am always bemused by the Christmas rush and the ensuing slowdown - both human and technical. Every year, Christmas comes on the 25th of December. Every year, businesses start putting important investment decisions on hold, much earlier than they should, citing Christmas and summer holidays as a reasonable excuse.
It’s not reasonable, and it is an excuse. And here's why:
China does not care about Christmas
The international markets do not stop trading to celebrate Christmas. It doesn’t matter what your business entails, the Internet has smashed international borders. It’s time to make the most of your December and January. Sound controversial? It is, but it’s also a business revolution waiting to happen.
It's a global economy. You need to be operating at full tilt through the summer holiday period. Every day is incredibly competitive, both internationally and at home.
Putting your investment decisions on hold because it is Christmas time just exposes you to competitors globally.
Competitors that are highly likely to be working harder, faster, and with more intensity. Can you afford to slip behind on this?
Remove the excuses from your investment world and get things done.
Expenses don't go on holidays.
The expenses don't go on holidays - ever. Just because you are sipping cocktails on the beach doesn’t mean your bills are. The bills don't stop. This is particularly relevant to SMB's.
Your customers need you...
Your customers are so important. They have so many choices to choose from in a global world. They set the agenda and time. To them, Santa Claus is irrelevant. Because of this, it is better to be ahead than behind. Stay relevant.
Two months off-time online is like dog years. It equals more like a 4-6-month backlog.
Your customers will go elsewhere if you are not performing. Use the summer months to get on top of your workload.
In the meantime, those bills are accumulating, and you have just lost your customers to the competition. Is it just me or does that cocktail suddenly taste a little sour?
It’s time to rethink your vacation time.
What I am about to say is hugely controversial.
Change up your vacation times.
Vacation periods in Australia have always assumed some sacred national identity. Frankly, this is both damaging and dated. It is worth reconsidering your holiday time frames for your business and staff. It may sound crazy, but think about the positives associated with this.
Traditionally, this is the time of year that the airlines start slugging you for the most expensive fees.
Holiday prices go up, including hotels, restaurants, and activities. Resorts are busier and less relaxing. It seems like everyone in the tourism business is out to get your hard-earned dollars.
Recently, I was checking the cost of a flight to Los Angeles. It was $1000 more expensive on January 3 then it is on March 3 ($2250 to $1185). I'm sure the airlines have a nickname for this school holidays pillage.
Why not focus on working in December and January? This means you can then release your employees during March-April. The weather is still good, flights, hotels, and activities have dropped their prices. The Christmas stresses are a distant memory. You may be surprised by the reaction to this.
Jump into January.
The economy in Australia is returning to work earlier each year. So, January is no longer a complete write-off. Sure, it's the school holidays (does it always seems to be school holidays?), but it is also the best time to make sure you're prepared for the big return. Australia Day 2016 lands on a Tuesday. Which means that back to work will be very much 27 January. Why not hit the ground at full speed with and blow your opposition away?
Working hard in January is like cleaning your desk. A decent clean up is cathartic and motivating. January gives you the time to get a clear space. Less interruption comes in the form of phone calls, and emails that make it the perfect time to recharge the team.
Use the first week of January to become a brainstorming revolutionary.
Why not have a change the world retreat at the local city pub that has gone really quiet? The New Year is the perfect time for a revamp. Reassess those practices that aren’t working and future proof your business.
Outsource your woes.
If all this seems like the antithesis to your Christmas and Summer expectations, then why not consider outsourcing? Let us do the work while you are on holidays.
By outsourcing to a content marketing and content marketer like The Kingdom, you can save yourself the grief and rest easy knowing your business is in safe hands.
While you’re not at work, we’re working for you. Our outsourced services keep your content pumping and social media propagating, keeping your customers engaged. Just because you are on holidays, does not mean your lead generation processes should go to the beach with you.
What’s the takeaway?
I’m not suggesting that you have to slave away over your Christmas break. It’s not about that. Everyone needs a holiday, and it even benefits your business to have a short period away. The key word here though is short. If you want your business to perform to the best of its ability, to get ahead of the competition and to provide your customer with the best product or service - it is time to rethink your end of year strategies.
Maybe it is time to rip up the rulebook on the Christmas season?
To learn more about outsourcing to The Kingdom and how we can help you, click here.