Tis the season!  It is the season when we celebrate our Lord and Saviour’s birth.  It is the season for family, holidays, ham and all sorts of sweet delights. It is also the season when we tend to take our eye off the ball, sometime out of pure exhaustion of a full year, albeit for just a bit.

I am all for downing tools and giving your mind and body some R&R, so that you can refuel, but how we end off one season will determine how we begin the next.  End of years give us that natural break and I want to encourage you to be thoughtful in how you end 2016.  End with the preparation of 2017 in mind.

The temptation is to just close doors on the 24th and pick it back up again whenever to open back up again, but with a few easy steps you could ensure that you start the new year with certainty.

Take stock – Take some time to see where you are in every aspect of the business.  Do a health check on your finances, staff morale, customers.   Chat to a few of your key players in the business and make some notes and observations of where the business is at.  Listen out for any red flags, don’t try fix them, just make the note of them.
Mark the growth When we were growing up my dad would measure our height every year on the kitchen door post.  It was cool to see how much we had grown during the year.   Take the time to measure and then check the growth each year.  Don’t forget to celebrate it.
Know the problems –  In business there only 3 kinds of problems.  Normal, abnormal or pathological problems.  Depending on where your business is in the lifecycle, some problems are normal, these problems need to be managed.  Some problems are abnormal for where the business is, these problems need to be addressed as soon as possible.  Then there are pathological problems that if you do not act immediate could literally kill your business.  Make a list of the problems and grade them.
Make a plan – One you have taking stock of where you are, marked your growth and identified the problems.  Take the time to scribble down some ideas or thoughts and some plans for the new year.  Our brains are incredible, just doing this exercise before you leave the office will be hugely helpful and as you relax and enjoy your time with your family, you will find that ideas will just pop into your head because when we are relaxed our brains are more creative.

For most of us, this week will be the last before we break to celebrate Christmas with our families and take some well deserved rest before we get going in 2017, lets finish strong, lets take the time to set ourselves up for success in the new year.

We wish you and yours a very blessed Christmas and a very Happy new year, where every dream will be realised!