10 Things for MicroBusiness Owners to Do Over the Holidays

An adaptation of an idea from Tech Republic.

Tech Republic Article

Their article lists things that are appropriate for corporations. But most microbusiness owners would look at that list and say, “What documentation?”, or “What network?”. But the idea of using any holiday downtime for catching up on things you might not think of doing when you are busier is a good one, and easily adaptable for a smaller work environment.

1. Evaluate your business for implementing new efficiency strategies. Look at the repetitive things you do, and think about how you can speed them up by preparing templates, reorganizing workspace, or other simple methods to speed up your work.

2. Backup your website and hard drive files. Something that is often overlooked. While you are at it, create a plan for regular backups, and figure out how to stick to it!

3. Look for equipment that is wasting your time. Consider the cost of replacement, and devise a plan to afford upgrading. Prioritize to figure out what will be most cost effective to upgrade.

4. If you plan on growth, begin to document policy, procedure, and training materials. If someone came into your company tomorrow as an associate or employee, what would you need them to know, and to be able to refer back to? What would you want them to agree to if they worked with you? Write these things down. They will not be consistently delivered unless you write them down. Laying groundwork for growth can help make it go more smoothly when it comes.

5. Organize your information – Improve your paper filing system, or download a free copy of Notesbrowser (http://www.notesbrowser.com) to keep those bits of information organized that you keep losing. I use Notesbrowser for task lists, instructions that I find online that I don’t want to have to keep looking up, to organize URLs when my Bookmarks list gets too cluttered, to keep notes about clients, and much more.

6. Make sure your firewall is on, your AV software is up-to-date, and that your Anti-Spyware software is working. Just check to make sure that the basic security measures are in place for your desktop computer. If you use a dynamic website (a shopping cart or a complex website with a login), make sure the software that runs it is up-to-date as well.

7. If you are feeling like you are fragmented, this is a good time to analyze your business and see what is profitable and what is not. Prune out the things that waste your time but don’t bring a return, and then focus your efforts on the things that do work, and the things that you most want to be doing.

8. If you are in that awkward stage of not having enough money to hire, but not having enough YOU to keep up, you can benefit from some analysis and planning here also. Consider the tasks that you might be able to save money on if you hired a sub-contractor to do them – less complicated than hiring an employee, and a sub-contractor can do bits of work here and there. Think about how you intend to grow, and begin laying the groundwork in how you handle higher workloads. Look for opportunities rather than limitations, and see if you can come up with some workable solutions to bridge the gap from overworked, to sustainable growth.

9. Get some training. Take the time to pick up a manual, practice using a new piece of software, testing out some new skills or technologies, or catching up on the latest industry news. Choose something enjoyable that still gives you something valuable, and you’ll emerge refreshed and enlightened.

10. If you know that you are in for a longer lull after the first of the year (many businesses slump during that time), then create a plan for how you will cope with the extended down-time. Determine which activities will enhance your business in the best way, and consider ways to implement alternative revenue generation that either remains stable, or which increases during the time in which your current business lines dip.

Of course, you may not have Holiday Downtime. Your slack may come at another time of year. If you are just hanging on till you can catch your breath, then it is a good time to make a list of the things that are the most annoying when you are rushed, so you can create a plan to work on a solution to those annoyances the next time you do have downtime.

Either way, don’t forget why you are in business, and find the time to enjoy your business, and your family.

One Response to 10 Things for MicroBusiness Owners to Do Over the Holidays

  • collinsadmin says:

    Being that my business specializes in helping in businesses save time and money, I found this article to be extremely important. Now is definitely the time to sit back and re-evaluate your business and your procedures to help businesses continue to prosper. Great article.

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