The business cycle with holidays, end of year and bookkeeping is an opportunity for you if you can relax and take advantage of the natural down time. Trying to force fit activities that are likely a better fit in the up times will only lead to frustration, and perhaps disfavor, with clients. Why not be more strategic about the business cycle?
The down time is extremely valuable to your business if you use the time well.
But the first thing you have to do is let go of expectations. Let go of trying to force conversations, deals, projects or opportunities that are not on people’s minds or attention.
There will be a better time when everyone is chomping at the bit to make things happen. Ride the down time with better strategic activities for yourself:
- Express gratitude. As we get into a reflective time, give thanks to the people that have made a difference. Be specific and share why you appreciate them as a person and their business. It’s a great time to be reflective and build stronger ties. Many times, people are merely wanting to know they made an impact. When you express this, it closes the loop in their minds and helps them see the work of their hands.
- Celebrate. Just write on a pad for 30 minutes everything that has happened the last several months. Think about where you were and where you are today. Write as much as you can. Then look at what you jotted down. We are often working so hard we don’t tie our results back to the effort. It’s good to appreciate progress.
- Relationships. Clean up your address book. Group your Contacts and work through removing duplicates and making it a ready tool you can access. In the process, you will see many names along the way that you might simply ping to see how they are doing. Then identify 5-10 new relationships you want to develop and build in the coming months. Be intentional and find ways to get into conversations, offer value and meet up.
- Review Systems. Look at your various tools and systems and see what is not relevant any longer. Get rid of subscriptions that you don’t need. Consolidate and take a look at your workflows. See where you can improve and minimize where you store data, how you access it and where you can improve on getting things done.
Much of this down time work is housekeeping. It’s a luxury you don’t necessarily get to work through when you are in the grind. But this part of the business cycle can be enjoyable and make your up times much more fruitful.
Sometimes, we are so busy we can’t see the opportunities whether it’s how we work or connecting with the people that matter.
Enjoy the down time.