It’s hard to believe that December 1st is upon us. It feels as though this year has rushed by but I’m grateful for each day that has passed. However, as an entrepreneur once the Thanksgiving week passes, it is tempting to shift into cruise control and coast through the end of the year.
Here are five tips to avoid common mistakes that entrepreneurs make during the holidays.
- Don’t take too much time off. When you work for yourself and have the power to control your own schedule, it can be tempting to take more time off than necessary. Having the freedom to travel and make time with family may be one of primary reasons you became an entrepreneur but it is important to make sure you balance that freedom with keeping your business viable. Think very carefully about how much time away from your business activities your business can tolerate without losing momentum.
- Set goals. At the beginning of each year, you should set revenue goals for your business. If you know that you want to take time off during the holidays, make sure that you have factored that into your annual goals. This is also the time for you to begin setting goals for 2011. Goal setting one of those passive activities that you can do while traveling, while enjoying a drink in front of the fireplace, etc. As you’re enjoying your down time, give yourself the time to dream about what you to accomplish in the new year and commit those ideas to paper and begin to create your master plan for 2011.
- Get out and network. You will probably receive lots of invitations for holiday parties and events. Obviously, this a great opportunity to get out and have some fun but you should also be making connections with people who can help to achieve your goals in 2011.
- Don’t empty your pipeline. It may be tempting to complete all of your projects so that you can start the new year fresh, however you should also have some projects that will begin in January so that you are not starting from zero on January 1. The worse feeling is not knowing where your next client will come from when the new year begins and having to start rebuilding your business from scratch. You goal should be to be able to hit the ground running once you return from your holiday vacation.
- Use this opportunity to connect with old clients. Sending holiday cards or e-cards may not seem like a profitable activity but think again. These cards are a great opportunity to connect with old clients and let them know that you are still around. This subtle reminder of your existence and letting them know you are thinking of them will go a long way in maintaining a connection with the client and possibly remind them to use your service again.