With the final weeks of the holiday and New Year upon us, it may be hard for many to focus on business. Holiday shopping, family gatherings or even some much needed time off may have you distracted from day-to-day business. But even if you don’t work in the retail sector – where the holidays can make upwards of 40% of yearly sales, business does still occur during the holiday timeframe. And if you do not capitalize on the last few weeks of the year you may be missing out.For business mangers and others, the tail-end of the holiday – and the year – can be an opportune time to wrap up programs for the calendar year. And with a slower pace this means you can actually be more productive while others are slacking off. Here are some reasons you should celebrate working hard during the holiday season. The end of the calendar year is the perfect time to put the finishing touches on your CY’12 business plans. Even if you have already finalized programs, taking another look and measuring performance for the entire year means you can better develop programs and successfully execute against them in the coming year.

If you are in the process closing a sale or bringing on a new account, what better time to do so than now – you’ll have less competition during the holidays. While colleagues and competitors may be taking time off, you can position yourself at what may appear to be a non-competitive time and drive year-end calendar sales as businesses are finalizing details on programs for the year head. If you are a hiring manager, looking at the year past as a whole – and the year ahead, can better help you assess workforce needs and strategic plans required to augment staffing in 2012.

What better time to review successes for the past year then at the cusp of the new? The holiday season is also a great time for philanthropy, donating products and services to worthy causes that contribute to your corporate culture. This could include coordinating a last minute, company-wide toy drive or preparing care packages for Veterans and their families. You can also take the time to plan for which charity programs you want to support in the year ahead. The holidays are certainly a time for family and friends, reflection and relaxation, but is also a perfect time to ensure you have all the details in place to be most productive in the New Year. Happy Holidays!

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