Business Matters: Christmas Thoughts

By Glen J. Dalakian, Sr.

Christmas became a national holiday in the USA in 1870 and has been celebrated across the nation ever since. Over the last several decades, how business has viewed and or handled this holiday has changed. But for the context of this column, let’s focus on how your company can move forward through this time of year and make the best of this “Christmas time” for all concerned.

For some entities (especially retailers) the holidays can be a boom of business that can catapult them into the “black” (hence the term “Black Friday”). For others, it could be a time of decreased productivity and client delays. Ever heard the words “after the holidays” when trying to close a deal? But like any season of the year, we need to have a plan for success in the days ahead. Do we just sit back and take what comes or do we make this the best year-end our organization has ever experienced?

Below are some insights to help you this month, but the most important thing I can share with you is this: take advantage of this time to find and share joy. Be content with what you have achieved.  Don’t let these be days of stress and discomfort for you or your family. If necessary, pace yourself and your staff so that you can take advantage of the opportunities, but at the same time, find fulfillment in your work. Above all, don’t be “Scrooged,” as the pressures of the last month of the year can often steal the best parts of life from any entrepreneur.

Forethought is an important part of any professional strategy.  Here are a few hints you may want to consider for December and into the New Year:

1)      Adjust your marketing and perhaps your offerings for the holidays.

2)     Give your website and social media platforms a festive update.

3)     Be sure your employees and your clients are aware of any changes you’re making due to the holidays – days closed, shorter (or longer) hours, etc.

4)     If you need max volume to end the year, provide incentives to your clients and perhaps special bonuses to employees for new business.

5)     If you have all you can handle and would like to see a bump in sales in January, say so. Focus your team and direct your clients with New Year incentives.

6)     Share your expectations of productivity with your staff in advance to address the distractions that are typical during this season.

Although my comments today are primarily for commercial purposes, let’s not forget the reason for the season. Most Americans identify with Christmas and what it represents. There are others who celebrate their own holidays in November and December, and I hope for all of you that this is a time of peace and joy as we reflect on all of our blessings. I wish you and your family a most happy and healthy holiday season and a very Merry Christmas!