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Festive Season: Slowest period for business - a time to reflect, plan and recharge

The Festive Season is officially the slowest period for business because a lot of activity comes to a halt at this time of the year. That is why entrepreneurs need to use this time to reflect, plan and recharge for the following year. This time of the year is also synonymous with delayed or non-payment by clients.

This happens because the year-end functions start in the first week of December, which puts everyone on holiday mode. This causes a great deal of work to be shoved aside for the following year; unfortunately for some SMMEs this means their payments as well. The delays or non-payments adversely affect SMMEs because the only time anyone can expect a payment again if not done now is the end of January the following year – which might feel like a whole year to some struggling hustlers.

I mentioned earlier that this is the time to reflect – it is a time to look back at the plans made for the business at the beginning of the year to check if these were met. I urge SMMEs not to be too hard on themselves, though, as the past two years have been hard on every business: large, medium, or small. The process of reflection includes business pipelines – new business acquisitions, retention strategies, forecasts, and financial targets. It is a time to check how the business has performed against its envisaged financial targets and which prospects can be moved to the following year and which ones should be let go as lost opportunities.

This is also a time to plan for the following year – a time to look at what has worked or not and come up with recommendations for the new year. The Covid-19 period came with many dynamics and the need to change the way we do business to try and fit into the new normal. In PR, we’ve seen and learnt that some of the tactics we used in the past are not working right now, case in point, our media relations strategies. As mentioned in one of my previous columns on how to deal with media, everyone has been working from home has forced us to change the way we interact with the media. Even the way that we chased for business has changed because we cannot interact or network with existing or potential clients in face-to-face settings anymore.

The best place to start for anyone who wants to plan is to look at what has not worked before making new plans. It is also essential to look at any highlights that the business might have had in the year – it might be small wins. However, they still need to be celebrated because these could potentially be the company’s strengths or opportunities in a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis. It is imperative to look at the challenges as possible weaknesses or threats to the business, and then all of these combined will determine the recommendations as we advance. If you can get through this process with a clear direction on what to focus on at the beginning of the following year, then this indicates that it’s time to switch off, close shop and use the time to recharge.

The time to recharge is significant because a year is very long, and it takes a toll on anyone’s body. For those that can, I recommend taking some time off during this period so that you could be ready to tackle the following year with vigour and a positive outlook. I find that if I don’t take time to switch off during festive – then come January – my brain still feels tired, and I struggle to have a fresh approach to life, more so in business.

About Miranda Lusiba

Miranda Lusiba is the Founding Director of Strangé Consulting - a boutique PR Agency specialising in Communications, Freelance Writing, Media Relations, Reputation Management and Media Training.

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