David Sullivan's picture

Keeping Your Head This Holiday Season

Last Friday morning as I sat in the breakfast lounge of a hotel with my family, CNN reported this year’s “Black Friday” riotous activities.   They had a clinical psychologist offering some valuable tips to help us rational people avoid the pitfalls that befall the irrational crazies who sleep out Thursday evening.  I don’t remember all the details on the list, I wasn’t keeping notes, but a few I remember were: “Don’t act like a robot,” “Breath deeply,” etc. --valuable advice to anyone, right?  

Most of us probably think that is some pretty silly advice and we’d assume anyone in his or her right mind would understand.  Although CNN hasn’t approached me to offer up any valuable insight, I’d like to make a short list of things that may be     at least as helpful as you approach the end of the year in planning for your business.

  1. Never make business decisions from your December performance.  All businesses are cyclical, and most are either way up or way down in December, so don’t make long-term decisions from what happens this next month.
  2. Only make equipment purchases in December if you were ALREADY going to make them, or have a need to make them.  It doesn’t make sense to lose all your cash to save $0.35 for every dollar in taxes (if this doesn’t make sense ask your CPA about 179 elections).
  3. Continually keep an eye on your first quarter next year.  It’s often easy to treat December 31 as a finish line of sorts and take three to four weeks to get the new year going.   Anything you can do to avoid a stop/restart situation will give you a great advantage over you competitors.
  4. Oh yeah, breathe deeply.

May you keep a cool head as we approach this crazy holiday season!

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