January is often a difficult month for a lot of businesses. Christmas spending results in a plummet in sales, customers are on holidays, and it is often difficult to engage clients. So what is a business to do? Follow my tips and tricks to beat the business blues.

1.Strategic direction. How are your faring with your strategy? Is there room for improvement? Engage a business consultant to help you build your strategy. It doesn’t have to be a significant piece of work, a good business consultant can help you build a one page strategy in a short period of time.

2. Business Planning. What are your goals for the rest of the financial year? How are your tracking to your budget? Do you have a plan/forecast? If you don’t have a plan it is a great time to build one.

3. Prioritise. Identify 3 things you want to change about your business and research how to implement it.  Make a list and select the most important items.

4.  Cut the costs. January is a great time to revisit your overheads. Compare the market on your utilities, review your supplier base, get new quotes on insurance, accounting and IT systems. The little things all add up and it is the best time to take advantage of some downtime.

5. Educate. Take some time to learn a new skill, go to a conference or start a course.  Now is the perfect time to take advantage of all the areas you wanted to develop.

6. Network. Find out what networks are in place. Hook up with a mentor or join a new group. Meet a potential client for a coffee or join a mastermind group.

7. Get social. Social media has increasingly become an important facet of business. It is not all about Facebook. Build a digital strategy and aim to master a new platform to beat the business blues. Social media strategies are a great way to increase your base and diversify into new markets. There is often a time lead in required so January is the best month to get started.

Most small businesses forget about planning where they want to head. Often we get bogged down in meeting the day today requirements of building and growing our business. Planning and monitoring is key to business success so utilise the time to invest in your planning process to create an up to date business blue print.

Juro Business Services helps businesses to create a simple strategy to build the foundations of the Operating Plan.  We help our clients identify what is important and facilitate putting it into practice.  Our clients use these plans for the future business direction and measurement tools.

Julia Hebb is a Business consultant in Public Practice Accounting.  Julia regularly facilitates Small Business Victoria seminars on Starting and improving Small Businesses and assists developing Strategic direction with Business owners to improve both performance and profitabilty.