Using blogging as a way to connect with clients

COUNTING DOWN TO A CREATIVE CHRISTMAS

In two months’ time almost all the celebrations will be over, and we’ll be feeling anything but creative. We’ll be in that lovely period between Christmas and New Year when time stands still and we can put things off for another day because we can. Not a lot gets done in that time so if you do end up working in your own business you always feel rather smug. Like you’ve banked some time for a bleak day in January when you can treat yourself to an afternoon off.

But that is then, and this is now and you need to make a plan if you’re going to fit it all in.

Fill up your calendar

I like a good networking meet up but at Christmas I love them. I find myself booking in extra breakfast events, days out with clients and of course you can never eat enough Christmas dinners. I’ve already studied Weavers and the Park Hotel’s menus and they sound delicious and I’m looking forward to seeing The Farmer’s Kitchen choices for the Harleston & District Business Forum too - www.hdbf.org.uk. There are so many great events planned locally so check what else is on before you book your own team get together or client lunch.

Each year Diss Business Forum holds a Christmas lunch at The Park Hotel for members and guests. It’s a great opportunity for some small businesses to take their teams out and mix with others in the town and for those running a business alone to still join in with the feel of a works Christmas do. The date for your diary is Friday 7th December and tickets are just £25 for fizz or soft drinks on arrival and a three-course meal followed by an inspirational guest speaker. You may wish to book the afternoon off! - www.dbf.org.uk

Networking in the run up to Christmas is a far more relaxed affair so perfect for those who don’t feel comfortable in social situations.

Get it booked

If you are planning to host an event or do some corporate entertaining, get a date in the diary right now otherwise you’ll find your favourite clients just can’t make it and it becomes a pain to organise.

If you’re on a budget, simply opening up the doors to your shop or office and inviting your customers to come in for a drink or two can work a treat.

Think outside your own customer base and invite people you would like to work with one day along with other local businesses. Before you know it, they will all be chatting and hopefully raving about you for bringing them all together and you may even pick up some extra business in the months to follow.

If on the other hand you have a little budget to play with consider some form of corporate hospitality to let people know you appreciate them.

I also like to try and book in client meetings in December, so I can visit people in their environment and talk about plans for the year ahead if they haven’t already made them.

Treat your teams

Once you’ve worked out what events you want to attend, and have booked in dates to visit clients or host your own events, turn your attention to your own team.

They too have busy lives and will have dates filling up their diaries. I find it’s always safer to plan something midweek as people are more likely to be able to attend.

The best get-togethers usually tend to be when the boss picks up the bill. Your teams have worked hard for you for the last 12 months and a thank you at this time of year goes a long way.