Avoid The Post-Holiday Slump

Rev up your business to start 2015 off right.

by Dennis L. Prince
- Jan 07, 2015

The last present has been unwrapped, the last cup of eggnog has been sipped and the last slice of pie has been gobbled down, and it's time to bid the holidays adieu and get on with business.

But, wait—does that cause you to hesitate, maybe expecting a post-holiday hangover where the motivation to move ahead is what you're in greatest need of now?

There are plenty of customers out there who are still looking for something they craved, a desire that went unmet

Not to worry. The reality is that the entire holiday hubbub is a tough act to follow, but it needn't be daunting. Here are some simple ways to get your business engine revving as you clear away the last bits of the celebration (with a smile) and set a path into the exciting new year ahead.

The source of the slump

For most businesses, the holiday season is a time of heavy promotion and (hopefully) a higher-than-normal volume of sales activity. That's good, and it makes for a frantic period of weeks as you and your team work tirelessly to fulfill every order in record time.

Then it all stops. The order levels drop off. The flood of customer inquiries subsides. Even the cheery music is no longer playing. Your engine is still revving high and then, suddenly, you need to throttle back. And that makes for a drop off.

You and your team are left to look at a chilly landscape and daylight-shortened days minus all of the excitement and anticipation that was the entire buzz just a few days ago.

The holidays are over and it can be a bummer, but it doesn't have to be.

Now it's time to breathe, to pat yourself on the back for another holiday well navigated, the result of your recent efforts and the opportunities in front of you. Welcome the new year, enjoy in that last bit of revelry, and recognize this is the usual calendar cycle, for you and for your business.

Boost your business outlook

This is the perfect time, following the holiday 'stress test,' to enact improvements that can make your business run smoother

Each January, business owners look across the landscape of the new year that has arrived and sometimes it's difficult to see the potential of what's ahead.

It's normal to feel a bit lost at this moment, but here's what you can do to quickly get yourself back on track and full of the same motivation that propelled you in December.

Keep the promotions alive. It's sort of about that "but I didn't get what I really wanted this year" sentiment. There are plenty of customers out there who are still looking for something they craved, a desire that went unmet. Serve them! They're probably suffering from a bit of slump, too. One way to make them (and you) happier is to sell to them. Keep a post-holiday special going to help ease everyone out of the holiday season.

Actively engage your new customers. Hopefully you gained new customers during the holiday season. Be sure to engage them immediately following the holiday so they'll know yours isn't just a seasonal pop-up shop. Invite them to follow your activity (on your site, through email distributions, or in social media) so they can be among the first to learn what you'll be offering in the new year.

Announce a new product or service. There are few things more exciting in business than the anticipation of a new release. Match the anticipation of the season just past by quickly building excitement for something new in the works. This will get you moving into a new direction and will capture the attention of your customers as well.

Introduce a new look. After taking down the garland, tinsel, and other seasonal dressings, it's time to consider a new look for your business (in physical or virtual spaces). Change your colors, spiff up your logo and sharpen your message. While you do need to take care not to make such a big change that you no longer resemble the business or brand that customers have come to know, this is a good time to make some enhancements that will keep customers' attention going forward.

Make process improvements. One thing that most businesses discover during the bustling holiday season is the room for improvement in the way they're doing business. You might have found issues with the way you stock your goods, the way you fulfill orders and even the way you communicate with your customers. This is the perfect time, following the holiday "stress test," to enact improvements that can make your business run smoother and also demonstrate to customers that you're working to give them a better experience. They'll love you for that.

When you greet the new year as a blank canvas ready for you to make your mark upon, you won't have much time to languish in any sort of slump

One last thing

Recognize that, on a human level, a major cause of post-holiday slump is the overindulgence that comes with the season. Too much to eat? Too much to drink? Too little rest? All of that plays havoc on the human body, especially on the mind!

Get outside and get some fresh air and sunlight. The body suffers from a lack of that during the cold, dark months. Get some exercise, even light to moderate activity, to get the blood and oxygen flowing. Get some rest to chase away that laggard feeling and to get your thinking cap to working in prime fashion again.

Do this for yourself and do this for your team, making sure everyone recovers from whatever they indulged in from the weeks past. The wellness and recovery of your business from the demanding holiday season begins with you.

Now get ready to embrace the opportunities that lay ahead of you. Congratulate yourself for the success of the year just ended and commit to do even better in the year to come. When you greet the new year as a blank canvas ready for you to make your mark upon, you won't have much time to languish in any sort of slump. There's lots to do; best get at it, right?

About the Author

Dennis L. Prince has been analyzing and advocating the e-commerce sector since 1996. He has published more than 12 books on the subject, including How to Sell Anything on eBay…and Make a Fortune, second edition (McGraw-Hill, 2006) and How to Make Money with MySpace (McGraw-Hill, 2008). His insight is actively sought within online, magazine, television and radio venues.

Opinions expressed here may not be shared by Auctiva Corp. and/or its principals.

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