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Getting back on track after a holiday shutdown

Businessmen lined up on a race track to represent getting back on track

After a busy holiday break, getting your business (and yourself) back on track can be something of a challenge. Your customers will be needing you and your staff will be looking to you for leadership. Here are five tips to help you to set things in motion and create the right tone for the year ahead.

1. Take inventory

First up, be sure to review where things stood before you went on break – accounting, the status of any current projects and areas of the business you’ll need to focus on. With good preparation you can hit the ground running and be ready for new challenges. This is also a good first step to improving your productivity

2. Clean up your email

Are a thousand messages waiting for you? Start with those that require only a quick response before moving on to messages that need something longer and more considered. This is also a good time to delete spam and unsubscribe from mailing lists that are no longer providing value.

3. Reconnect with your network

Make your customers aware that you’re ready to accept new orders or tackle new projects. A simple “Happy New Year” message can be enough. Social media is a good way to resume the conversation with your target audience. If you have lost customers to a competitor who doesn’t believe in holidays, you may be able to entice them back with special offers.

4. Restore a healthy routine

A business will only run as well as the person at the helm. We can all pick up bad habits during the holidays (hence New Year’s resolutions), so try to ease yourself back into a pattern of healthy eating and regular exercise as soon as possible, and encourage employees to do the same.

5. Create a clear vision for the year ahead

Make sure your staff are aware of the company’s key goals and overall direction in the coming months. Use surveys and brainstorming to let them know that you are listening to their ideas about where they see the company going. To encourage brainstorming in your team, try putting these eight tips for better brainstorming to work. This is a good time to address any problems they may be struggling with in their own roles and in working with each other.

A good start doesn’t have to mean a hectic one. Your staff will also need a few days to return to their regular routines of work and play, so by pacing yourselves and setting realistic short-term goals, you’ll be creating the right mood and momentum for a successful year.