As a startup or an entrepreneur, the close of Q4 can be a very exciting time, or a stressful one. If you worked hard, gained new clients, and had a record-breaking year, it’s time to celebrate. If this wasn’t your best year, don’t throw in the towel just yet. Regardless of your current position, here are a few things you can do to prepare your startup for the Holidays and the New Year.
Plan Ahead for Holiday Projects & Budgets
As a startup, you know money can be tight at times and every dollar counts. While that’s obvious, it’s easy for startups to get caught up in the Holiday Spirit and be a little hasty when offering sales or planning projects. Keep in mind that, while this could be a very busy time of year depending on your industry, business can be slower due to vacations and travel.
This means you should either be hiring extra help to keep up with orders or taking some time off yourself to avoid missing out on sales and overextending resources respectively. If you are unsure of how to properly allocate your budget and time, perhaps you should consider partnering with a startup specialist that provides guidance. A startup specialist can help navigate this uncertainty and provide insight on best practices based on your industry and needs.
Reflect Back on The Past Year
In order to improve in the future, it’s important to reflect back and evaluate your company’s performance over the last year. Take a moment and really critique yourself and your company. Find things that worked great and were a huge success, and think of ways to do them better next year. Look for areas that maybe weren’t so great and put a plan together to improve.
This process doesn’t have to all be on your shoulders though. Have your team, or at least your leadership team, participate. Work together to really find out what projects, campaigns, products, or services really went well and which ones didn’t. Then, decide what to repeat in the coming year and what to change or eliminate.
While this is easier said than done, this is a very worthwhile practice, especially for new companies. There are many different tools you can use to help with this process. A brainstorming tool that may be helpful for this or other projects is SimpleMind. Also, a retrospective board like goReflect or FunRetro may also come in handy and enable you to organize your thoughts.
Again, sometimes it can be difficult to know where your business stands. If you haven’t already, be sure to establish metrics, KPIs, and more so you can measure results and see exactly how to improve your startup in the future. Knowing what to measure and how to measure is extremely important. If you need help here, look for different analytics tools or even an external startup specialist that can help guide you.
Most Importantly – Have Fun!
Burnout is extremely common for founders. Make sure you take time away from all the craziness of running a business and try to relax. We all know your to-do list will never truly end, so make sure to take it easy for a few hours at least.
Have a fun office party and unwind. Take a moment to celebrate the little victories over the past year with your team. Let your team know you value them and their work – this will go a long way! If possible, maybe take some time off, go on a trip, or spend time with your family. Or maybe even spend time on your own hobbies outside of the business you created. Then, can come back refreshed and ready to hit the ground running in the New Year.