So 1 December 2007 arrived and South African business switched off? It reminds me of the Yellow Pages ad where the guy is staring at his phone willing it to ring, with the haunting melody of "Don't you feel like crying" playing in the background...
Make the December-January quiet time work for you, says Marc Ashton, head of Rival Insdustrial.
I've spoken to a couple of colleagues and they've thrown their hands up in the air and said "Agh, December is a write-off. We'll come back in January and hit the ground running..."
That's all good and well but if you don't use this quiet period to do some planning - how exactly are you going to know where you are running to?
This is the first time in ages that I can actually see my desk - the last few days have been a chance for me to stand back and actually start getting my stuff in order and start actually planning for 2008.
The December/January period actually provides quite a unique opportunity to conduct research of your market/brand/company etc because:
1. In general people seem to have more time and are more open to chat with you and provide feedback - probably because they do not have the same work pressures on them.
2. You actually have an opportunity to digest the feedback and information and plan accordingly! There can be nothing worse than commissioning research, getting the information and then being told that the business has already committed to budgets and spending and can't actively pursue the feedback from the research.Conclusion
Utilise this quiet period effectively - engage suppliers, clients and consumers and understand how they see your business, brand and product.
Research your target markets and evaluate your decisions in terms of which direction you plan to take your business in.
It's much easier to hit the ground running if you know where you are headed than it is to stagger into the office in early January and spend the month trying to strategise with no information.