For many businesses, December can feel like a lost cause.
Annual targets have been made or missed, the team’s in party mode and everyone’s got unused holiday and Christmas on their minds.
So here are five reasons for looking at the last month of the year through a different lens – as a great opportunity to get ahead of the rest.
And that means not holding off on forming key relationships with future suppliers and partners – particularly a growth-focused marketing agency that will put you in a better position to make a flying start to the New Year.
1. It’s a month, like any other
We get it.
It's the end of the year.
It’s been a long, hard slog and you want to wind down.
More to the point, you’ve just decided to put off all your 2020 business decisions until January.
But let’s think about that for a moment. The chances are you wouldn’t do it in April or September so why should December be any different?
The year maybe changing digits but there’s every possibility that deferring critical planning decisions now will put you at a disadvantage when January comes. If anything, now is the time to open those conversations, at exactly the moment when everyone else isn’t.
Getting the meetings in the diary in December, at a naturally sociable time of year, means you’ll be the first to reap the rewards while the rest are still shaking off their hangovers.
2. When the world zigs, zag
There’s a simple rule of thumb for cricket captains pondering their tactics: do what the other team doesn’t expect you to do.
Business is no different.
Imagine your competitors right now, sloping round the office on autopilot, scraping desperately at the bottom of the Quality Street tin for a Green Triangle only to pull out an Orange Creme.
What’s the last thing they would want you to be doing?
Working hard while their eye is off the ball is going to be pretty high on that list.
So let them put off their planning conversations until January and February. Let them make late decisions under time pressure. Let them try to play catch up while you’re already in cruise control.
Planning now for the marketing partner you want to have in place for next year, is a great way to get ahead and stay there.
3. A great time to build relationships
Your competitors might look comfy, dozing by the fire watching repeats of the Royle Family, but there’ll be plenty of time for that later.
December is the perfect time for building that all-important rapport with potential suppliers, agencies and partners.
Even if you don’t make a decision before you finish, you’ll be laying the foundations for 2020, ready to hit the ground running.
Either way, you’ll have a month’s head-start when things heat up in the New Year.
Knowing you’ve got the ball rolling and met the agency partner that could transform the year to come will leave you with a warm glow when you finally switch off the office lights. It’ll put a whole new complexion on your break and make the mince pies taste sweeter too.
4. Make the most of a silent night
You don’t see daylight in the week. Your customers have gone to ground. The phones have gone cold. Thoughts inevitably turn to Michale Bublé.
There’s no getting away from it. December can be a quiet time for your business. But that’s no excuse for nodding off at the wheel.
So grab a coffee, wind down your windows and put in a few hard miles.
There’s no better time to focus on the opportunities that will fuel your growth in 2020.
Consider your goals.
Who’s going to help you reach them? How will you judge their performance? What will the chemistry be like?
There’s only one way to answer those questions and the sooner you do it, the better.
With time on your side, you’ll make a better decision and ensure whoever you choose as your agency partner will be able to make the greatest impact in January and beyond.
5. It’s amazing what you learn
Surprising though it might sound, December is actually the perfect time to get a genuine impression of who you might do great business with in 2020.
Finding out who’s still switched on at the end of the year, versus who’s already zoned out to Mariah and all she wants for Christmas could tell you a lot about the type of partner you’re getting and the commitment they’ll bring to your business.
Look for signs that their energy hasn’t dropped, that their minds are still sharp. Factor in the festive spirit and turn it to your advantage. It’s a perfect time for breaking the ice, having more relaxed and candid meetings and making a positive start to a profitable new business relationship.
At Catalyst, we see December as the perfect time to get things started. To meet up, talk things through and get prepped for the New Year. It also means you’ll be a month closer to realising the serious growth your hard work deserves.
We help businesses of all shapes and sizes to prosper, increasing their lead generation, giving them the tools to nurture those leads and convert them into valuable customers.
So let’s make a start.
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T: 0121 296 5275
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