4 end-of-year hacks to help you prepare your business for 2015

Calendar dates from monday to sunday

Calendar dates from monday to sunday

Calendar dates from monday to sunday

Calendar dates from monday to sunday


The end of the year for many is a time for rest and relaxation. However, entrepreneurs are better off using this period for reflection and planning says, independent project manager, Yogita Lall.
Lall, who specialises in new product development, renovation and business change projects, helps businesses achieve their specific business goals. She shares practical tasks that entrepreneurs can do to get the most out of the festive period, and how to maintain a productivity if they are still open for business.
How should business owners approach the end of the year in terms of attitude, tasks, and goals?
Remember to celebrate and acknowledge those goals that have been met or exceeded. It is important to take note of what has worked as this is what needs to be maintained and repeated in the new year.
For goals or tasks not achieved, approach it as a fact-based analysis, with the aim of understanding what needs to be done differently next year, rather than naming, shaming or blaming (even if you are a solopreneur)
What are some of the mistakes that business owners make when closing off the year?
Either taking it too seriously, and not allowing themselves to take time out and refresh and rejuvenate, or taking it too easy and lightheartedly and not paying attention to important lessons, as well as not taking care of basics like business admin, like closing your accounts off properly.

“We are in the age of collaborators, so take stock of fellow entrepreneurs and businesses and see who is open to collaborating in the new year”

What are some of the things that business owners can complete/do at this time of year to ensure a good start to the new year?
1. Research and follow up
Take stock of what has happened in the industry or market you are operating in.
Check how your clients have performed, as well as how their competitors and collaborators performed. Look into what might impact them in the upcoming year, and what you can offer them to make a positive difference.
Don’t forget your collaborators. We are in the age of collaborators, so take stock of fellow entrepreneurs and businesses and see who is open to collaborating in the new year. These are potential partners. However, also research potential companies to avoid working with.
2. Look out for savings
Take advantage of any special deals that might be relevant for your business. For example, if you need to purchase a printer, be on the lookout for post-Christmas sales.
Look for rental deals or discounts on yearly subscriptions versus pay-as-you-go options.
3. De-clutter and organise
De-clutter your physical work space. No matter how mobile or tech-savvy you are, there is always some kind of record keeping, digital or paper based, and clearing up your space will certainly help you start the year off well. There is nothing worse than starting the year, with an unorganised, paper stacked desk/boot/drawer/drive.
Get rid of old stationery items as well – if they don’t serve a functional purpose and haven’t been used in 6 months, donate it, sell it or bin it. Leaving your work environment unorganised or cluttered is like leaving weeds in your garden, yet still expecting flowers to blossom. You have to make space for new opportunities and growth.
4. Digital Presence
Whether your business is heavily reliant on digital or online presence, do an audit of your online profiles, websites and other digital assets. Check if they still meet your business or brand needs.
Create a content plan – even a light one – to start the year off with fresh relevant content, without scrambling for content to post and share. Remember it’s all about adding value and engaging with your customers or clients.
What are some of the ways that you can motivate staff that are working through the festive season?
Create a light fun environment for people to work in. It’s already tough enough coping with the fact you have to work while family and friends might be on holiday, so a fun lighthearted environment to come to work to can still be highly productive.
Basically don’t be a scrooge with regards to the work environment, allow some holiday spirit in, and allow people to simply be people. Trust them to get the work done.

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Lebohang Thulo
Lebohang Thulo
Lebohang Thulo is the editor of SME South Africa. She enjoys keeping up with the country’s exciting and fast developing entrepreneurship ecosystem. You can find her at @lelele3