Making the most of the festive season for business

In case anyone was in any doubt, Christmas is here – December is in full swing, the Christmas tunes are on, the shops (and homes) are decked out in festive style and there’s no getting away from it even if you wanted to!

For businesses, it can be a difficult time to focus – whether it’s the distraction of the office Christmas party or a focus on gift buying and the imminent break. However, Christmas can be a great time to re-evaluate and assess various aspects of the business and even focus on employee and client relationships.

The work Christmas party is a great opportunity for staff to let their hair down and get to know one another a little more and as long as they’re not getting to know each other too well (!) it’s great for morale and bonding – and we all know happier staff are more productive staff.

Quite often, Christmas also provides the ideal opportunity to get together with clients and strengthen relationships there. Taking time out to take a client to lunch, or even a quick coffee or after-work glass of wine, is something it tends to be difficult to fit in at other times of the year. The festive period gives the perfect excuse to spread some seasonal cheer. At the very least, a Christmas card or e-card, or an email letting clients and customers know about your Christmas shut-down times, is a must.

If you run a business at which Christmas can be a quiet time, take the opportunity to get on top of admin (sort that inbox!) and evaluate services and resources such as software to ensure your business is in top shape ready for the new year ahead. There may even be a requirement to do some software updates or upgrades – this is the ideal time to think about executing those tasks.

Business planning is also a good task to think about in December – making a plan for the first quarter of the year gives you and everyone else in the business something to aim for on return to work – avoiding the January blues by starting with a plan of attack!

Finally, plan for emergencies as, whilst we don’t want to think about what could go wrong, putting in place a simple process for instances such as a power cut causing alarms to go off, or a client emergency, can avoid a mid-break panic. Exchanging mobile numbers and ensuring responsibilities are shared is the key to a very Merry Christmas for everyone involved!