There is always a self-inflicted timeline when we all work towards an official shut-down date at Christmas and August. Of course every year it arrives and we are all in shock at the speed in which we find we have progressed or not as the case may be, to achieve our long list of ‘must do’ tasks. Clients all want new furniture, new carpets and new kitchens and bathroom installed for Christmas. That always makes me laugh because they will then invite friends and relatives in vast numbers to come over for drinks and inevitably things get damaged. I always wonder why people can’t wait until January like every business refurbishment does.
I used to allow for traffic as part of the Christmas slow-down and add the events, parties, retirements, more parties and general hospitality to my agenda ensuring I kept a slick diary. Those days soon drifted with traffic calming (what a total false claim that is for a title!) and then taking away the social side of Christmas itself I generally dismiss December as a financially non-producing and non-productive month. Humbug. I park it alongside August. Both months eat into our fixed costs and both months cost us money and stress because of shut-downs and non-responses.
The brighter side of that decision is that I also take time twice a year to catch up and realign my business. Early last year I was invited by Chris Lewis of the media PR company; Lewis PR for politicians, education in creativity and general government to name just a small sector, to be interviewed for his first book on creative business.
I was among many. It got me thinking. I took it at face value and achieved amazing results by doing less. This December I concentrated on my supply chain for the year ahead. My business delivery no longer looks anything like it did a year ago. I have almost a total change from the service suppliers to the procurement and fit-out team I now work with from Monaco to U.K. This ‘180’ has been an amazing review which took a year to complete but whilst doing it I can see what went wrong previously when I delegated to much responsibility without the safety mechanisms in place for review.
This December I concentrated on my supply chain for the year ahead. My business delivery no longer looks anything like it did a year ago. I have almost a total change from the service suppliers to the procurement and fit-out team I now work with from Monaco to U.K. This ‘180’ has been an amazing review which took a year to complete but whilst doing it I can see what went wrong previously when I delegated to much responsibility without the safety mechanisms in place for review. The new result has made every business platform I run more efficient and profitable and I …yes I am able to do less than I did previously because I have an efficient and consulting team while earning more. It just shows me that if things aren’t working there is always a reason and sometimes it’s right under your nose.
January will sort out the billowing stock room. I have sent an entire truckload of samples to the university, four trucks to the skip and now I need to be ruthless once more. If I know I won’t use it, I need to lose it! Someone will make use of all those mistakes and incorrect orders and I won’t be paying to store and look at it any more.
I have a new website at Vanessa-Brady.com and at the SBIDAwards.com and SBID.org too so after reviewing the logo on each, the font, the entire design, I made new films, videos and business cards and the presentation is as it used to be. So like Tinkerbell in Peter Pan …although she was mischievous and I definitely am not! I moved house and changed car in a self indulgent mission to begin enjoying my achievements once more. I love cars. With all these changes now in place I can prepare my summer holiday which I’ll now have time to take as long as I book the time out. In 2017 I hope to do less achieve much more while doing so much more efficiently across every platform where I operate.
As 2016 has been declared the official Year of doom by the nation, Im so glad I used it to tidy up my entire presentation. So 2017, this is it, bring it on! My work year is now booked with an exciting pipeline ahead. I haven’t had all my ducks in a row on every level since I launched SBID as I worked night and day to get it where it is, it was always reliant on other people to deliver something. That’s no longer the case, it now works and has been recognised by government for its ability. It’s about time I got there.
January sees me concentrating on financial and legal matters. It will be the serious month.