10 tips for maximising your time between now and Christmas
It may seem that Christmas is a long way away, but it will be here before we know it! This is a crucial window for business, so you need to take control of your time to maximise your success over this very productive period. To help you do that, we’ve come up with ten tips for making the most of this short window to boost your business.
Set SMART objectives
The first thing you need to think is what you want to achieve. Make these objectives SMART (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed) and specific to this short campaign. You should have these whether you have a product to sell at Christmas, or you have a B2B service and just want to make the most of this time before the Christmas lull.
Make a plan
Work out actions for each week in the run up to Christmas which will allow you to achieve those goals, if there are more than one of you in the business mark down who is responsible for each action and use the plan to keep you on track. Checkout our Marketing Focus post about The Importance of Marketing Planning
No one can buy from you if they don’t know you are there, so think about the best ways to market your products or services so you can make as much money as possible over this time. This could be online with your website and social media, it could be direct marketing to target businesses, advertising, or networking. Just work out a clear budget which will give you a return on your investment and make sure that every marketing effort is related to your objectives.
Don’t forget your other holidays and promotional opportunities
It’s not too late to capitalise on Halloween, but that window is closing fast, so get thinking about what you can do. Black Friday on November 24 is now the biggest shopping day of the year and allows retailers to discount their products for one to five days and boost those pre-Christmas sales. It is an excellent opportunity if you sell products, and even service providers can use it as a marketing tool with a bit of creativity, so think about how you can tap into the customer spending at this time.
Manage your time well
Plan your actions for each day and decide what is the most urgent
Identifying when you are most productive and using those hours wisely
Don’t be a slave to emails – check them two or three times a day, leaving clear time to get things done
Cut back on meetings – do you always need to meet someone over coffee to have a discussion, could it be done over the phone? Can you combine a few meetings into one afternoon and get people to come to you?
Watch out for social media
Social media is a great marketing tool, but it can suck up a huge amount of time without you realising. Make a rule of no personal social media until lunch break and schedule up as much work social media as you can so you’re not tempted to go in and take a look – before you know it you can get sucked in to weddings, babies and what people have had for dinner! If you need to do daily social media for work, allocate a maximum of 30 minutes per day to the task.
Don’t panic if you’re having an off day
We all have days when we’re not working to our peak, don’t worry. Use these days to clear the small, easy tasks off your to do list. Just getting some tasks ticked off can start the brain going and you’re ready for more! If this doesn’t work, get away from your desk for a moment, make a coffee, talk to your colleagues and clear your mind and then focus on the task when you’re back. If that doesn’t work, take some time to go to the gym, be with your family, or chat with a friend. Not every day can be productive, so don’t beat yourself up.
Devote your entire focus to the task at hand – don’t get distracted
Close out all other browser windows.
Put your phone away, out of sight and on silent.
Find a quiet place to work, or listen to some music if that helps
Concentrate on this one task. Nothing else should exist. Immerse yourself in it.
A lot of time is wasted worrying about starting a project or task or avoiding it by doing easier or less stressful tasks
When you have a difficult task set a time for it, go into a room with no distractions and focus on it for at least an hour, when the bulk of it will be done
Ask for help if you don’t know where to start!
Ask for help if you need it
If you are overwhelmed ask for help, think if anyone in this room could help to take actions off your plate which are slowing you down and stopping you from achieving your goals
Think of ways to work smarter
Delegate if you can – if this is the key time for you to make money, then you may need to pay to get the help you need to maximise sales
Best of luck, in my experience this is one of the best times of year to get new clients and sell your products, so work hard and you will achieve!