By December 19, 2011 Read More →

Home business & dealing with the Christmas slowdown

Home working business slowdown at ChristmasIt can seem to the home business owner that the corporate world starts to slow down for Christmas from the beginning of December.

That’s when you first get replies like ‘We can’t make a decision on that until the New Year’. It can be a difficult month to get payment as accounts departments may be short-staffed.

Getting over the seasonal hump requires a little planning, so here are a few hints on how to manage this time of year most effectively:

Take yourself off on an extended holiday
One of the chief gripes of those working for themselves is that there’s never enough time for a decent holiday.

Take a look at previous years’ figures to find out how big your seasonal dip actually is. If many of the people you deal with are unavailable, it could be a the ideal opportunity to take a break with minimum disruption to your cash flow. An escape to a warmer climate could give you a much-needed boost of sunshine to get the New Year off to a good start.

Work on your business, instead of in it
Another frequent complaint is of never having the time to step back, get things into perspective and plan future development.

Use the slowdown to draw breath, look at what you’ve accomplished and where you want to go next. Even better to get some fellow freelancers round for seasonal refreshments while you all give feedback to each other and share ideas.

Clear the decks
Fewer phone calls and a slower work flow give you the chance to clear paperwork, do computer housekeeping and generally weed out stuff you no longer need that’s getting in the way of finding the stuff you do.

It’s also a great way to prepare mentally for the year ahead with an office detox.

Chase payment
Find out from clients exactly what their arrangements for payment will be over the holiday period, so you can allow for it when invoicing. Get your invoices in promptly and then chase payment – politely, of course! – as soon as it’s due. The New Year can be a tricky time for cash flow so you’ll feel the benefits for a while to come.

Posted in: Routine

18 Comments on "Home business & dealing with the Christmas slowdown"

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  1. what a great piece Judy. How right you are! instead of just ranting, like I do, you’ve worked out how to make the best of it. I like the ‘go away on holiday’ bit best.

    • judy says:

      Oh, there’s been plenty of ranting in the past, I can assure you – just showing my best face here on the blog 🙂
      But seriously, it can start to feel very lonely keeping a home business going when everyone else seems to be unable/unwilling to make a decision. After all, any delay impacts on cash flow, which sometimes those on salaries seem blithely unaware of.

  2. especially in publishing, a lot of the people I work with are nice ‘Gels’ who don’t even need to work, they do not know how the other half lives. 🙁