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Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas budget tips - you know you need them

I have to be honest, I was pretty happy with myself for having most of my Christmas shopping done by the end of October this year.  Let's face it, if we're not super organised, Christmas can be pretty stressful instead of the fun and happy time that it should be.

I'll never forget my brother ringing me in total panic about 10 years ago because he hadn't bought a present for his then girlfriend (now wife) Jenny.  The reason he was panicking was that it was 7pm on Christmas Eve and he'd mistakenly thought the shops were open until midnight.  D'OH!!!!!!

Funny now, but at the time...

If you didn't catch my recent newsletter article then just click here for my easy and practical tips for Christmas spending.  It may be a little too late this year for some of the tips, so feel free to make use of them in 2014!

Talk soon,

PS. Please don't keep me a secret.  If you know someone who'd enjoy this or find it useful, pass it on!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

How to improve your business over the Christmas break

It's almost Christmas, which is pretty exciting.  I'm unashamedly obsessed with Christmas - I had most of my Christmas shopping done by the end of October and my tree and decorations were up by 9 November!

I love the feel of this time of year, I love the Carols and I love the Christmas parties.  I love the way everyone talks about Christmas.  Mick proposed to me on Christmas Eve - 4 years ago mind you!!! - and we go back to the same restaurant every Christmas Eve.  So there's a lot about Christmas I love but most of all I love the holiday!!!!!!

The thing about being a business owner though is that even if we're on holiday we don't stop being business owners.  Even if we're not actually working - we're often still thinking about the business.  If you're in business with your spouse then often you're talking about business on your holiday as well.

So don't fight it - make it effective.

The Christmas break can be a great time to review your business and set goals for the next 12 months.

In our own business we're constantly setting short-term and long-term goals.  The reason we do this is because if you don't have goals it's pretty hard to achieve anything concrete.  You may have heard the saying most people aim at nothing...and they hit it with amazing accuracy.

To ensure that our strategy remains appropriate through different economic climates, industry fluctuations, tax and legislative, changing lifestyles and financial needs, you need to review your business and your short and long-term goals on a regular basis.

Once you've chosen the goals you want to focus on for the next twelve months you need to prepare a plan for each goal and set sub-goals.  What are the things that need to be done to make sure you achieve each goal?

It's really important that you're able to visualise each goal and its purpose and most importantly each goal needs to be achievable.  There's no point setting yourself up for failure - that's never fun.

So there you go, I've just given you some Christmas homework!  If you're like me and your business brain doesn't necessarily shut down for Christmas when the business does, then reviewing and resetting your goals can be an effective use of your holiday time.

But of course it's only worthwhile if you then go back to work and move your ideas into the real world and start making them happen.

Click here for a paper that Mick and I wrote earlier this year about making sure your business and personal goals are in alignment.  Not only does it give you a step by step example of how to go about setting your goals but also highlights why you need to also consider your personal goals when setting your business goals.

Talk soon,

PS. Please don't keep me a secret. If you know someone who’d enjoy this or find it useful, pass it on!