Wandering around the shops on Saturday morning it didn’t feel like a last Saturday before Christmas. Then of course I realised that next Saturday was Christmas Eve, and that this weekend was merely the busiest day at our airports for people looking to escape the UK, something that implies that for many the Christmas break has already started.
This year we do have quite a long run up to Christmas which may be just as well (especially for our hard pressed retailers). However that also increases the time available for contemplation, either as to what strategy is right for our businesses in the year ahead, or achieving the targets that we may have already set ourselves for 2012.
At Orchard Growth Partners we have always tried to have a little fun during December by offering business tips with a seasonal theme. We originally called it our advent calendar, inviting people to open up a new tip every day on our website. Last year we decided to use that great Christmas tradition pantomime as the basis for our tips (who do you think we cast as the big bad wolf in Little Red Riding Hood?).
This year we have based our tips around our own top ten of classic Christmas pop hits. These songs have enabled us to pass on information on topics such as the loneliness of leadership, the importance of cultural awareness, the opportunities available through being a green business, and the idea behind one of the world’s best known pension funds.
I hope you have all had time to have a little fun this Christmas. We certainly need it after the barrage of economic gloom that hit us in the second half 2011. However many entrepreneurs and business owners are a breed apart displaying a degree of optimism that is often infectious.
Those of us who work with such people, particularly as their Finance Directors, view this approach with a strange mixture of hope and experience. Experience tells us that not everybody will succeed, but deep down we hope that everybody does.
In spite of everything there is much to look forward to in 2012 and well run businesses with great people who know their market and customers and keep tight control of their finances will find opportunities to develop and prosper.
For those you who celebrate Christmas, I wish you a Merry Christmas, for those of you who don’t I hope you enjoy the festive season in your own particular way. Above all, here is to working together to make 2012 a year that confounds the gloom merchants and typifies the indomitable spirit that is Enterprise Britain.