You've hit December and your shop is starting to wind down for the year. Most shop owners might find a little downtime as customers might not be ordering as many decorated products around this time of the year. Don't panic. A break from the hectic nature of this industry is okay and perfectly normal around the holidays.
As a shop owner, this is a great opportunity for you to work on your business.
Here are 10 things you should do before the year ends.
1. Customer appreciation plan.
Be sure you send out a holiday card, email campaign, or visit your customers in person. You can spend a few hours each week reaching out to your best customers or future prospects to prepare for the future.
2. Have a year-end employee meeting.
Order a few pizzas and shut down the presses for a few hours. Or, take your employees to a different location to have a lunch meeting to plan for the next year. Thank them for their hard work and ask them for feedback. Do this in a low-stress and relaxed environment. Their feedback and support are imperative to your growth.
3. Clean & maintain your equipment.
Your equipment has taken a beating the last 11 months. Spend a few days with your entire team tuning everything up and giving it a deep clean. Get all that lint off your presses and make the place look fresh for the new year. This is the time to bring in technicians to tune up your equipment to make sure it is running in tip-top shape.
4. Nail down those accounts receivable.
Other organizations and companies are cleaning their financials for the new year as well, so it is important you try to bring down your A/R and collect as many outstanding bills as possible. your fiscal year might be coming to a close, and your accountant will want you to get as much in the bank. Plus, it feels good to know you've been paid for the work you've done.
5. Get your bills paid.
Having a fresh start for a new year is a great feeling. Try paying down all your bills so you can show all true expenses that were incurred in the past year. Start January with a clean slate.
6. Invest in equipment.
Are you having a profitable year? Qualifying for the Section 179 tax code will allow you to completely depreciate equipment faster than the typical depreciation schedule. You might find a great tax saving if it looks like you are going to have a good year. Talk to your accountant and check to see if you can get some new equipment!
7. Create a business plan
Sit down with leaders of your business and put together a business plan for the new year. Pull together some financials and create goals. Put together a detailed strategy for how you will attain those goals.
8. Modernize your shop
Remember how scared the industry is of CustomInk? Your downtime is where you can invest in tech. Re-build that website and launch it for the new year using free-lancers from Upwork. Invest in software that will help run your shop better. By putting tablets and touch screen monitors around the shop, you could greatly increase efficiency.
9. Explore new types of decorating
Maybe you have been thinking about getting into embroidery or sublimated products. Here is your chance to go, learn and explore. Head to the trade shows or visit your local supply companies. Spend time in a class and, maybe, you will come back with a new profit center for your business.
10. Relax & spend time with important people in your life
Your family and friends respect and admire you for being an entrepreneur. That being said, the 24/7 grind of owning your own business might have taken you away from them. Take time away from your shop and spend quality time with them. Turn off the computer for a few days and rejuvenate your mind and body.
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