Seasons greetings!

Listed are things you should think about and plan for during this important period.

Seasons greetings!

Paul Hunt is a marketing consultant

As tradition dictates - the month of December is the time you are more likely to be picking up a mince pie, a glass of fizz and no doubt a large box of Berocca, than actually doing much business.

As we count down the days to a well deserved festive break and your Inbox is light, can I suggest (no groans please) that you use this quiet time to start planning for 2018.

Those of you who know me, know that I love a plan and so I list below a far from exhaustive list of things you should think about and plan for during this important period:

• What do you want to achieve in 2018, what goals do you want to set and by when?

• What do you need to do/change to achieve them?

• How will you acquire new customers, sell more to existing customers or simply retain existing customers and how important are each of these?

• What role does sales and marketing play in the above?

• Have you set up a customer referral scheme, if not, why not?

• Review existing processes - are you making the most out of the technology now available? Could you see more customers by streamlining your back-office?

• Review marketing collateral including website/social media - what could you do better, what do you want be famous for? Is your messaging clear and consistent?

• GDPR - are you ready? If not, who do you need to talk to?

• Is supporting the local community important to your business, if it is, how can you be more involved?

• What industry events are announced for 2018, what should I attend and why?

• Which lenders do I need to know more about, who should I ask to come in to talk to me?

• Review your suppliers and contracts, who should you look to retain and who should you look to replace?

The above is not exhaustive, but hopefully gives you a starting point and will make the festive period more productive than usual.

Finally, I am undertaking a gruelling 5 day Rockies Challenge trek in September 2018 in support of Isabel Hospice (they gave my Mum incredible care in her last few weeks before dying of ovarian cancer).

Please sponsor me at and all donations large or small gratefully received.

Merry Christmas and I hope you all have a prosperous 2018.