December 11, 2009
By Matt Michel
We’re about to enter the least active stretch of time on the calendar. Retailers will be busy exchanging gifts and running fire sales, but things will be quiet for the rest of us.
Of course, demand service for emergency repairs will always be present. The day after Christmas is second only to the day after Thanksgiving for plumbing calls thanks to those turkey carcasses. But for the most part, if it’s not urgent, it’s not going to generate a call.
This quiet period may not be active, but it can be productive. Here are seven things to tackle during the down time.
1. Marketing Plan
If you do not already have a marketing plan, create one for the next six months. It may be hard to estimate what business will be like in May, so make it loose further out. Remember, the marketing doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, though it will cost. Marketing requires time or money. Usually people lacking the latter have plenty of the former. Make a list of new internet based marketing ventures you want to tackle. Are you using paid search? If not, start.
2. Comb the Files
Review every invoice and service file from the past year. Look for recommendations that were never acted upon. Send each of these people a letter, reminding them of the recommendation and offer a small discount if they act by the end of January. Follow up with phone calls. If you get through all of last year’s files, start on the prior year’s.
3. Happy Calls
On Monday, make happy calls to customers. Call them up and wish them a happy new year. Don’t have any other purpose. Just call them to wish them a great new year. If you get a machine, leave a message. Try it. You’ll be amazed at the results.
4. Read a Book
My friend Mark Matteson likes to say, “In the future, you’ll be the same person you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” I’ve been re-reading “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand. I want to finish it this weekend.
5. Make an Annual Bucket List
The term, “bucket list” was popularized by the movie of the same name. It’s a list of the things you want to do before you kick the bucket. Make one for yourself. Make one for your company for the next year. What do you want to get done?
6. Pre-Pay if You’re Profitable
If your business generated a profit this year and you’ve got the cash on hand, pre-pay expenses to reduce your tax liability. For some, you can even get a discount when you pre-pay, so you benefit in more ways than one. The Service Roundtable is an example.
7. Enjoy Faith, Family, and Football
Remember the reason for the season. Also remember to enjoy your family gatherings. Relax. Count your blessings. Watch a few bowl games and just enjoy yourself.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!
Source: Comanche Marketing. Reprinted by permission.
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Copyright © 2008 Matt Michel
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