Productive Ways to Say ‘Goodbye’ to 2014

next exit 2015Unless you’re working the returns counter at Macy’s, the week between Christmas and New Years can be very slow. This is especially true if your company is B2B. Lots of businesses close down during this week and others operate with minimal personnel.

What does that context tell us? For one thing, if you’re planning to meet some sales target, trying to accomplish it in the final days of 2014 is probably going to be a frustrating experience. So don’t go in that direction if you’re looking to be productive during these days.

If we admit to ourselves that those days are going to be low key, we can find projects and activities that fit well into that environment.

The human side

Are there some customers, clients or associates that you should talk to? In the weeks preceding the holidays, there are a lot of handshakes, toasts, cards and gifts exchanged, but despite our best intentions there is a dearth of sincere conversation.

Perhaps you need to patch up a business relationship, or put in the groundwork that will allow a relationship to grow significantly in 2015. The quiet, waning days of 2014 might be the ideal time…with the exception of New Year’s Eve, of course.

The machine side

If you’ve been pushing some of your equipment to the edge, upgrading or performing important maintenance and repairs can be scheduled during this period without losing much productivity. If it’s time to bring in newer, faster computers, get it done; your computer person will have time to make sure everything is running smoothly.

In the same way, building maintenance is a great job to get out of the way during this week. If it’s time for a fresh coat of paint, waxing the floor, or shampooing the carpet, get it done now so that in 2015 you can really start with a “clean” slate.

The personal side

Sometimes there’s a skill I’d like to learn and I just can’t set aside enough time to learn it when I’m on my “normal” schedule. Maybe you want to do an online tutorial to teach you Photoshop or HTML basics. Or perhaps you can free up time for others on your team to pick up skills.

There certainly are enough sites on the Internet that offer courses and tutorials today. You should be able to find something that will enhance your operation and help you get off to a strong start in 2015.

The financial side

Of course, there’s no way around the fact that you have to start thinking about finances at the end of the year. Approach this from two angles:

  • Talk to your tax preparer before the tax season crunch, and
  • Outline a game plan for 2015 growth.

Get everyone together for a lunch/brainstorming session where you can capture any and all growth strategies – no matter how off-the-wall they may be. Go off campus, let your hair down and let the ideas fly.

Finally, as these days roll by, spend a little time reflecting on the year and promise to leave any regrets behind and allow your 2014 triumphs to propel you into a 2015 of truly outrageous success!

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