For businesses, the holiday season comes with mixed emotions. On one hand, it is the time of year when you get to really see the fruits of your labor, both in the year-end numbers and the time you get to spend with your family and friends.

However, the holiday season also is a weird time for many small businesses, as it often presents a natural slow time as many of their customers are in holiday mode as well, holding off on large projects and purchases until after the new year. For businesses that are primarily based on professional services & consulting, the final 8 weeks of the year is usually the slowest time of the year outside of any year-end implementations.

These slow periods are excellent opportunities to take a breath and focus on growth; however many people have a hard time going from an operational mindset to a growth mindset easily. For those members of your team who are naturally more inclined to focus on operations (work) rather than long term growth, this indecision can be paralyzing and lead to missed opportunities.

Here are 7 questions you can ask yourself and your leadership team if they get stuck on ideas on what they can do during this time of year to better position themselves for next year.

  1. Is there anything you can do to help someone else on your team today or tomorrow with their current project or proposal?
  2. Have you talked with your current customers to try to help them plan for next year, either by conducting workshops, requirement sessions, business analysts, research, etc..?
  3. Is there anything you have done this year for one customer that you feel like has the potential to help other clients? If so, how can you make these more generic to be resold or repackaged? (be very careful not to violate any NDA or IP agreements)
  4. What can you do to help with your company brand awareness? Who else can you tell about your company and the services they provide? The holiday season is a great time to network.
  5. What content do you think would help the product or sales team (or you) next year when meeting new potential customers? Even if you are not comfortable creating the content, creating outlines for content creators can be invaluable in getting momentum here.
  6. What can YOU learn over the holidays that will be helpful to you and your business next year?
  7. What processes in place now that can be optimized with some small amount of tweaking? There are usually some opportunities to improve some very low hanging fruit in areas such as work order management, billing, accounts receivables, etc..