5 Smart Ways to Use Post-Xmas Downtime to Improve Your Business

Unless you run a retail store, a pizza delivery service, or a bowling alley, the week between Christmas and New Year’s (also known as WAC – the “week after Christmas”) is probably the slowest, quietest time of the year for your startup or small business.

About 26% of businesses, small and large (such as Oracle), shut down entirely for all or part of the week.

But in between lounging around, watching football, and eating leftovers, you might want to take a few hours – or a few days – to do some “low priority” (but high-value) tasks that can get your business off to a good start in the new year.

According to “Leisurologist” Paul Marchildon,

The laid-back “lazy hammock” atmosphere is ideal for brainstorming, creative thinking, camaraderie, and preparing to kick off the New Year. People tend to be less stressed; the tension of holiday traditions, gift-giving, and family is out of the way. Typically, fewer clients are working. This means fewer deadlines, fewer obligations, fewer things you have to do – and more things you can choose to do.

Here Are Some Ideas to Help You Get The Most Out of This Time:

Read Your Website

When was the last time you actually looked at your own business’s website? Here are some things to check for:

  • Does the marketing message reflect your current products and/or services?
  • Do you tell a compelling story? Or is it boring?
  • Is it easy to navigate? Are any links dead?
  • Is the design current or dated or even amateurish? What do your competitors’ websites look like?
  • Is the content professional or full of sloppy writing mistakes?
  • Does the content actually SAY something, or is it empty marketing fluff?
  • Do you include testimonials from clients? If not, this might be a good time to ask for some.

Upgrade Your Office Space

If you need a new computer, scanner, or other office equipment, you can find some good bargains at the after-Christmas sales. It’s also your last chance for a tax deduction for the 2015 calendar year. You can find some ideas for productivity-boosting business tools in our recent blog.

This is also a good time to go through files and messy desktops and pitch the clutter.

Review Your Insurance Coverage

If your insurance agent is working this week, this might be a good time to sit down and review your coverage.

For example, if you have a high-tech business, does your insurance cover a wide range of intellectual property infringement claims?  “Comprehensive” general liability policies almost never do, so you may want to look into supplemental IP insurance.

If you run a home-based business, your regular homeowner’s insurance probably doesn’t cover any business losses or claims, as we discuss in this recent blog, so you might want to get a new policy that does.

Are you covered for loss or damage to any expensive equipment you’ve purchased in the past year? Conversely, are you still paying extra to cover something you don’t even have or use any more?

Reconsider Rigid Workplace Policies

Many employers expect employees to work 9-5 in the office – where the boss can “keep an eye on them.” But anyone who’s read Dilbert (or knows a real-life “Wally”) knows that it’s perfectly feasible to slack off in plain sight.

Some people are more productive out of the office – especially if the office has open-plan cubicles with lots of noise and distractions, or if they arrive already stressed and tired from a long commute.

Could your rigid workplace policies be losing you great employees – and costing you money to replace them?

According to Forbes, “45% of Millennials will choose workplace flexibility over pay.” These employees cost $15,000 to $25,000 each to replace.

Think about what work really needs to be done from the office, and what could be done at home or from a table at Starbucks. What must be done during “work hours,” and what could be done anytime?

On the other hand, even if 100% of someone’s work could be done outside the office, there are still benefits to facetime with the rest of the team – even if it’s only once a week, or every other week.

Understand Your Contracts

Whether you want to understand a contract before you sign it, or you’ve already signed and you want to know what you’ve gotten yourself into, LawGeex can make the process less painful.

The LawGeex tool can tell you what’s common, uncommon, and missing in your legal document and explain confusing legal language – empowering you to make smarter legal decisions.

Simply upload your legal document at www.lawgeex.com for fast feedback.

With this, the team at LawGeex wishes you a great break (if you’re having one) and a successful year to come!

 

The information and materials in this blog are provided for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice.