Many clients ask me when the best time of year to start a small business is, and I often tell them that the holiday season is one of the best times to start planning to launch your own venture – whether it be your own company, or becoming a freelancer. There are many reasons for this:
1.) The end of the year is a great time for reflection. We succeed when our passions, values, and behaviors are in alignment. Many of us struggle with identifying our passions. Take this time to make a list of the times this year that you felt most energized, and that you used your skills to make an impact. Don’t limit yourself to professional experiences, think of personal ones as well, because many successful entrepreneurs harness personal interests to create thriving businesses.
2.) December marks the close of the fiscal year for many corporations, and is the time that many organizations set the budget for the following fiscal year. Many organizations may have left over budget they are looking to spend. Talk to people, and they may have some extra funds to invest in a pilot project that you might be able to provide their organization to advertise your skill-set.
3.) Entrepreneurs excel at observing, and the holiday season is a great time to observe. Spend some time at the mall looking at what products are selling, and which ones aren’t. See which products customers are willing to pay a premium for, and which items seem to only sell with a discount. This is also a great time to learn marketing / sales techniques from stores. Many instances the same items that will be marked 50% off one week, will be marked buy one get one free the next week. Research and think about the business rationale for these strategies. Why do different strategies resonate with different sets of customers?
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