Business Tips for the Season

The Holiday Season is a time to reflect, relax and enjoy.Far too many people, in my observation, fall into the habit of the season being a time to over-indulge, over-expect and stress out. Whether it's a result of media-driven hype, keeping up with the Joneses, or the fact you didn't always get the gifts from your wish list as a child I think far too many of us miss the point of the Season.Regardless of your religion or personal beliefs let's all take some time to partake in what the holiday spirit is really all about; what it really means to you and how, in a roundabout kind of way, can provide benefits to your business..As you've come to expect from these articles by now, here's a short and sweet list of tips from my personal "survival plan" for the holidays. I think these will help any business person or any individual get a little bit more of what really matters during the Holidays.
1. See things through the eyes of a child
With lives becoming ever busy and concerns abounding it is often difficult not to become cynical, vain or downright humbug about the holidays.Most business people I know are acutely aware of how their emotions project to their customers and reflect upon their business. It's even more important to realize this during the holidays.Despite all the concerns and pressures of the world children, especially, see this season with the purest sense of wonderment, joy and hope.There are no more positive outlooks than those. So, whenever you're feeling a little down or overwhelmed by the season, or simply looking for a new and creative way to do a holiday season merchandise display think back to those happy times in your childhood when you enjoyed sliding down a new found muskeg-pine country frozen hill in -40 Celsius weather without a care in the world…except for that oncoming tree!
2. Try something new
I'm quite amazed how people find themselves in a rut. Maybe I just have a very short attention span?Routine and structure are good except to the point where we become bored with them.So, the holidays are a great time to bring in a new line of merchandise to test with your customers as people are always looking for something new and unique to give this time of year.Take the opportunity to do something new with your staff – even if it's something as simple as trying a different restaurant in town for your staff holiday lunch.What about trying a new recipe or going for a drive to a different neighbourhood to look at the Christmas lights?Nothing ventured. Nothing gained. A change is as good as a rest.
3. Visit your neighbours
Previous articles I've written talked about cooperative advertising in "clusters" with neighbouring businesses.The holidays are a great time and excuse for visiting your business neighbours. Introduce yourselves or get reacquainted.The days go by way too fast so take the time now to set the foundation of your New Year's resolution to collaborate with your business colleagues on an effective integrated marketing campaign. Besides, are you going to eat all of those cookies you just baked using that new recipe you found?
4. Stay active
So, we have all the stress and concerns of the season – and the hysteria about the global economy – now compounded by my advice to eat more goodies.So, my advice now about staying active is really important! Never more than this time of year is a balanced, healthy, active lifestyle so important.Get out for a walk to clear your mind. Go for a skate at Winter Wonderland to not only burn off those empty calories but also start to see things again through the eyes of a child.Winter Wonderland truly is a remarkable thing this community does amazingly well among so many other great things it does. Take advantage of it! There are so many things to do and enjoy that this community offers this time of year to stay active or get active. So, get moving. Get enjoying it.Your mind, body and business will benefit.
5. Honor those no longer with us*
Many have lost people very close to us recently. The holidays can be an especially difficult time.I think it's important to acknowledge those people but not wallow in sorrow. I encourage all of us to honor their memories by doing something they enjoyed doing with us, such as, watching a hockey game, cursing Jim Peplinski; and enjoying a thick Montreal smoked meat sandwich while learning that true knowledge is more about the questions than the answers.I'm sure those whom we have lost would want us to think of them fondly and do something positive.
Take advantage of the moments you have and remember that there is much more to life than just business. Have a very merry, safe Christmas and holiday season and a happy New Year.
*In memory of Ivan McCormick and Marvin Stark, QC