Take a Guilt-Free Holiday Break

Conrad_Black_guiltyI have holidays on the brain. I’ve picked December to be the month of re-engaging with all my clients and important networks face to face for the first time this Holidays Season. No, this is not a new client aquisition strategy and it’s not a hard sell approach but it’s a building and nurturing relationships approach that’s more long term. When I saw this article about how to have a guilt-free holiday, my eyes went there. Hopefully yours will too. Here are some ways to do that:

Small business cloud accounting company FreshBooks recently offered some tips on its blog, ranging from the sensible but obvious (tell your clients you’re taking off) to the less expected. The advice from writer and entrepreneur Justine Smith includes:

Pay Your Bills in Advance. Who wants to pay bills while on vacation? I certainly didn’t, which is why I always tried to pay my bills before I took my time off. Besides the traditional bills, I also made sure to pay my contractors earlier so they too could enjoy the funds for their holiday needs.

Make Your List, Check it Twice. Before you officially leave, think about creating a schedule of projects and deadlines you have in the New Year so you can jump right back into work upon your return. You may also consider creating a hearty to-do list for the New Year so you can get all those gnawing tasks out of your head before you take time off.

via Take a Guilt-Free Holiday Break.

Some of my other ways to be guilt free while on holidays is to have a kick ass plan for January. Right now, I’ve got 3 big events planned to generate new clients for that month. Another thing I’m doing through the holidays is to draft the synopsis for my new book that I plan to publish in the first quarter of next year. There are so many things that I’m still thinking and planning all the while that I’m eating that turkey and sitting in the car through hours of travel out of town that by Jan 2nd, I’ll be raring to go!

So what are you going to be doing before you jet off to have a guilt free holiday this year?

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!

5 Ways to Set a New Company Up for Success

Success - P'tit Bazar 2007 (02)

Success – P’tit Bazar 2007 (02) (Photo credit: alter1fo)

It was only last August one year ago that I left my big corporate job to become an entrepreneur. I really could’ve used this advice back then and actually did implement some of these suggestions to success. If you’re a small business owner who wants to grow, see if any of the below can help you:

1. Set low expectations.  By starting with a conservative approach, a modest success will be noticed and you will be perceived as even smarter than you are.

2. Start local. By developing and testing your idea or product in a local environment, your most powerful network — that is, people you know — will be engaged, and you can do any polishing you need to do before spending big bucks on an untried process in a larger market.

3. Grab low-hanging fruit. Pretty much every product or service has at least one super-strong potential buying group. Focus your efforts on that group with everything you’ve got.

4. Start with a single, likely client. Research their customer base and determine which customers would be the most interested and why.

5. Partner with another successful firm. Suppose a complementary and not competing company has the visibility and attention you want for your company. It may be a wash for you in terms of revenue, but you’ve gotten your product in front of real customers.

via 5 Ways to Set a New Company Up for Success.

Collaboration, conservative optimism and using your networks is what it’s really all about when a business is starting up. Telling your loved ones about what you’re doing (here’s my warm letter from last year) and setting up wonderful ways of working with others who serve the same audience as you (see my Coach’s Buffet that I’m doing at the Toronto Women’s Expo free of charge!) are surefire ways to soar to success.

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!