Another Labor Day has come and gone, and now is the perfect time to take a step back and look at the big picture. Did you know that the first Labor Day was held on September 5, 1882 as a demonstration of workers pushing for better working conditions and wages than the ones they had been shackled in for years? Now, exactly 129 years later, your version of going on strike might look more like backyard barbeques and camping trips. However you chose to soak up your last few summer sun-rays, Labor Day provides a relaxing, well-deserved 3-day weekend and a smooth transition into the last few months of the year. As you get back into the swing of things at the office today, we hope you take the time to plan ahead.
As much as you don't want to think about the winter months settling in and the end-of-the-year hustle waiting for you at the office, it is important to make sure your business is prepared to close 2011 successfully. Here are a few tips to help you handle the post-Labor Day crunch with ease.
Refresh the to-do list
If you have a lot left on your plate, 4 months can seem like a very short time to accomplish everything. Take a look at your priorities and decide which ones need to come before others. You won't have time to make everything your top priority. Also, rethink the assignments you have passed on to staff members. If they seem overwhelmed, consider giving the assignment to someone else or bringing in external resources to help make it through.
Use the leftovers, carefully
If your business has been frugal enough to have money left over in the 2011 budget, think before you spend it. Using leftover budget money can be a great way to get a head start on 2012 business plans, but if you jump too soon, you may waste it on dubious strategies. Do your research and get verification from experts before you spend the money; besides, you have 4 whole months!
Pay attention to the customers
Your customers' wants and needs change, probably every day. You still have time to adjust your brand or make a different product placement, so you need to be listening to your customers' feedback. Find out what people are saying word-of-mouth and make adjustments.
Make sure everyone is buckled in
You may have your team in position or you might be recruiting a few new members to join the 2012 crew. Either way, your employees will not get the next year off to a great start if they are not equipped with the right materials and knowledge. Make sure each project assignment is a good fit by reassessing their skills and talking to them in person. It is never a bad idea to offer professional training, courses, or seminars to expand their knowledge and supply them with new technical skills. Make sure your team knows what they are diving into!
By planning ahead, you can alleviate the stress of the final 4 months of 2011. Lighten the post-Labor Day load and get your 2012 started on the right foot!