Planning to make the most of the lull between Christmas and New Year by conquering all those niggly jobs you don’t usually get round to? The biggest mistake that people in this position make is assuming that they can achieve way more than is humanly possible!
So, we have come up with some ideas for the best ways to make use of these traditionally quieter few days, or indeed any lull you may experience during the year.
Get on top of your admin
It’s all too easy to let admin pile up, especially if you are a sole trader who is trying to deliver your service or goods, as well as looking after everything behind the scenes. However, if you can find it in you to earmark a little time when everything else is calmer to clear the decks, we know you will head into the new year feeling ready for the next big adventure. Arm yourself with a mince pie or two and blitz that filing while the phones are quiet!
If you need further help check out our recent blog on tackling your admin woes. If you have come to the realisation admin isn’t for you, give Small Business Geek a call. We can tailor our service to meet your needs, whether you need help putting systems to make your processes easier or if you just want to offload the task completely.
Complete your Tax Return
Not the most festive of activities but you will thank us for the suggestion as you head in to January with this action struck off your list.
Anyone who is self-employed has until the end of January to submit their online self-assessment tax return for the previous year.
Most probably if you run a limited company, you will use an accountant to help you, but even so you will need to have all of the paperwork ready so they can meet the end of January deadline.
If you are yet to complete your self-assessment, then the period between Christmas and New Year can be a good time to do it as if you have any questions the phone lines will be quieter around this time of year than during the last-minute rush in January.
Which? Has come up with this great quick guide to filling in your self-assessment tax return, if you need a helping hand.
During the average week it can be hard to find the time to think beyond the day-to-day. But if you do have a bit of a post-Christmas lull – or in fact a patch of quiet time at other points in the year – this can be the perfect opportunity to think to the future.
If you are at a crossroads, considering where to take your small business in the future, get the best from your time by looking at your bigger aims and goals, rather than the minutiae.
Where would you like your business to be in a year’s time or even five years’ time? Are there any issues that need addressing to help you get there?
If you have already identified your next big move but haven’t found the time to make it happen now would be a great opportunity to break down the actions you need to complete so you aren’t in the same place in 12 months’ time.
Or, if you are drawing a blank and need help to plan for the future, you could just spend a few minutes emailing Small Business Geek to book in for one of our Planning for Success or Small Business Surgeries in the new year!
Time to reflect
As much as it’s hard to find the opportunity to look to the future, it can also be tough to take time out to reflect on the past. But understanding what has worked really well for you as a small business and the areas where you need to improve are fundamental to your future success.
Even if you just earmark ten minutes in between the festivities to think about your real successes and areas which could be improved, it will help you to make more informed decisions about the future of your business as we move into the new year. A really simple trigger to help you think back over the past year is to scroll back through your social.
Reflecting on the past year can offer a real pick-me-up too, helping you to remember how far you have come and the strides you have made. Even recalling a difficult period and thinking about how you overcame it can be helpful for future growth.
Learn a new skill
Most of us have an area in our lives that we know could be improved with a little bit more knowledge. Maybe you have never truly got to grips with using Excel Spreadsheets, or your time management skills are somewhat lacking. Or maybe you feel a little left behind when it comes to using social media to market your small business.
Small Business Geek’s Liz Smith said: “If you do have a little quiet time, spending a few hours learning a new skill or brushing up on an area where you lack confidence can be really rewarding. There are loads of courses available online either for free or quite cheap that you can fit in around other commitments. We really like Udemy as the courses offered are really diverse. The best thing is as they are all online you can settle down in front of your laptop with that tin of Quality Street from your favourite customer and learn something new from the comfort of your own home!”
Read around the topic
If you only have half an hour here and there, taking the time to understand the latest news and developments from your industry can help give you the impetus to move your small business forward in a new direction. Search out relevant trade press or related websites to keep yourself up to date.
This is something that small business owners are often really bad at. But taking time out from your small business, even if it’s just a couple of days, can help you to feel invigorated, refreshed and ready to take the new year by storm!