We all know the drill: November rolls around and then before you can blink, it’s December, and the new year is just around the corner. What every entrepreneur should be doing in November is reflecting on the year behind you and preparing for the year ahead. November is your last chance to step back from the daily whirlwind of activity and take advantage of these few calm weeks before the festive season takes control.
The end of the year is synonymous with the twinkle of Christmas lights, festive season cheer, and the holiday season crunch. Trying to make sure your goals have been ticked off for the year isn’t always as easy as it seems. Before turning on your ‘out of office’, here are some to-do’s that will stand you (and your business) in good stead.
The 5 Ps
“Proper planning prevents poor performance.”
Entrepreneurs should plan ahead in November in order to end 2021 with a business bang! November is the final push to end the year on a high note and take advantage of the last few weeks of booming business. Planning and preparation are key! Ask yourself what you want to achieve for the rest of the year and attach a realistic timeline to these activities.
If you’re planning to squeeze in some extra sales ahead of the holiday season, then it’s time to elevate your marketing tactics and start advertising your business online. Get in touch with your marketing team to come up with some engaging festive season promotions to capture your audience’s attention and get ahead of the competition. Consumers are ready to spend in the holiday season, so don’t let this opportunity slip away.
If you’re planning for a holiday rush, make sure your performance can live up to the challenge – you’ll need staff on hand to handle the additional business, so don’t forget to check who’s jetting off on vacation. If your business plans to stay open during the holiday season, will you have enough employees to keep things ticking over?
Speaking of employees, November is a good time to touch base and make sure everyone’s firing on all cylinders.
Keep your employees motivated
The truth of the matter is happy employees work harder, and a business is only as strong as its employees – especially when they’re on the frontline, facing customers. At the end of the year, teams tend to feel the effects of burnout and exhaustion. The race to the end of the year, with all the accompanying stress of holiday preparations and a busy social calendar, can put a strain on anyone’s festive cheer, so it’s important to help end the year on a high note.
A fulfilled, motivated employee means increased productivity, and keeping employees engaged in their work is likely to impact the company’s success. Here are some ways to keep your team motivated in November:
- Keep up regular communication – don’t let attention drift off as the holiday’s approach
- Let employees know that they play a critical role in the company’s success
- Show your appreciation for all of their hard work – recognition is a huge motivator for people
- If you can, touch base with each of your employees individually and thank them for their efforts
- Invite your team to brainstorm ideas for the coming year and provide suggestions for improvements or new initiatives
- Run some fun team building activities
- Host an end of year wrap-up and share your vision for the business so that employees end the year feeling like an important piece of the big picture.
Focusing on big picture goals is what every entrepreneur should be doing in November. This is not the time to get bogged down in back-to-back meetings. You want to make sure you’re setting yourself up for a great start in the new year, and one of the best ways to do that is to set new goals.
Set goals for the coming year
Think about the goals you set at the beginning of the year – did you achieve them? Reflect on where you spent your time and attention throughout the year – were you spending time on tasks and projects that aligned with your goals and mission? Revisit your mission and write down some new goalposts for the coming year. Aim high – a good goal should motivate you and stretch your abilities.
Your goals should also be SMART:
A SMART goal is clearly defined, its progress is easy to track, it’s achievable, it serves a clear purpose, and it has a timeline attached to it to motivate action. While you’re thinking about your goals, it’s also worth examining what state the business is in and how this will impact what you’re able to achieve.
Crunch some numbers
Before you get caught up in the December madness, set aside some time to reflect on your finances and get your books in order. You need to know where things stand before you can plan for the future. Carefully examine your financial reports, paying special attention to your profits, losses, revenue and cash flow. How are your financial projections looking? If the projections don’t look too good, you still have some time before the end of the year to turn things around.
Let’s be honest. As soon as the 1st of December hits, it’s an unwritten rule that most minds are focused solely on what exciting adventures they will get up to in the holidays instead of focusing on what lies ahead for the following year. That’s why you want to take full advantage of the month before the festivities kick-off.
What every entrepreneur should be doing in November is preparing the business to finish strong and set the stage for success in the coming year. This is work that can’t be done by anyone else in the company, so if you find yourself drowning in day-to-day pressures, consider the services of a virtual assistant to support you with general business admin that frees up your time to focus on the big picture. Once your preparation and planning are in place, you can activate that ‘out of office’ with complete peace of mind.