Posted by Colin Ransom on 02 Jan 2013

I, for one, LOVE January.

December and January seem to spark a lot of reflection and discussion in terms of future plans and aspirations, both personal and professional. I’ve been looking on Facebook and Twitter this morning and I always find it interesting to see how different people feel about and interpret the same or similar events. It’s certainly true, in my opinion, that a positive outlook is, in fact, everything.

I make both personal and professional New Year’s Resolutions, and pretty much always have done. What I love about January is the newness that the beginning of another year brings, IF I choose to let it.

Our more organised clients usually have big plans for January. It’s generally a quieter time of year for us and so allows us the opportunity to get on top of that never ending to-do list, and that beast called deep-cleaning. It’s important to have a plan in place for this. If you’re going to pay someone to come on for an eight hour cleaning shift, you should be clear on exactly what it is you expect them to achieve in those eight hours. This can be a very good way of getting this done, and paying your own staff rather than outsourcing this task is much more cost-effective. This is pretty much always good news.

January is also a good time for planning major events for the coming year: Valentine’s, Mother’s Day, school holidays and even next Christmas. While Christmas 2012 is still so fresh in everyone’s memory, it’s definitely worth having this on the meeting agenda to reflect on what went well, and what could be done better.

In preparation for the drop in sales in January, it’s obviously worth thinking about what offers you’d like to run, and how you’re going to inform your customers about these. Now, there’s obviously more than one school of thought around this and some people believe that customers are unwilling to pay for something they’ve previously had for free; so avoid giving food away in offers such as 2 for 1. There have been other instances, however, where this has worked extremely well, WITH the right planning (v. important) and resources in terms of stock and man hours. Some people prefer to attract customers in other ways such as theme nights or live music. Whatever kind of business you’re operating, there’s something that’s just right for you.

The beginning of a new year can be good time to look at myself, too. After all, everything starts with the self and if I’m not in the right frame of mind at this important time, my plans can mean very little. I can ask myself the question: What am I going to do for my own personal development this year? How am I going to keep things fresh and new? This could be personal, professional, or both. A big one is the intention to restore a healthier work-life balance, but HOW am I going to do this? Simply declaring I’m no longer going to do 70 hours per week often isn’t enough. I need to fill that space with something else. Some of us prefer strenuous physical exercise and choose to go to a gym. Others prefer some quiet time: Switch your phone off, and the TV And your laptop. Just for one hour. When was the last time you did this? Hmm?

Why not get in contact with us and let us know how you’re preparing for 2013?

Colin – RH

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