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December is a break month for me. I decided years ago to take the last two weeks of the year off and it’s something I truly look forward to year after year, now. Taking a break at the end of the year is a nice reset. It gives me time to spend with my family during a time of year that’s a favorite in our household. It’s about sleeping in, cooking good food, indulging in treats, connecting with family and friends, travel, and taking a break from work.
Here’s what I do to start winding down my business in December…
My 5-Step Business Wind Down Plan
The point of the wind down is to start putting your business on semi-autopilot while you get some time off. I do this for 2-4 weeks, depending on how much time I want for the last month of the year.
Then, in January, we’re fully back up and running, fresh as a daisy and ready to conquer the new year.
Here’s the 5-step plan I execute to put this all into place:
- Turn on systems
- Outsource work to VAs
- Put my autoresponders on
- Schedule content out
- Say bye
Turning on my systems
First, I turn on my systems. These are systems, tools, and resources that help me run the business while I’m away. Here are the ones I use:
Systeme is my email marketing tool. In addition to sending emails, it also has features for running webinars, selling products, blogging, and a lot more. I turn on automated emails so my email campaigns can run while I’m on sabbatical. It’s super easy to set up and you can actually do this all year long so you can continue to serve your audience with awesome content without manually writing each and every email on the spot to send.
Pinterest, the visual search engine is one of the ways I market my business. There are many ways you can use Pinterest to help you in your business. It’s an awesome traffic source that can funnel web traffic right to your blog or website.
For Pinterest, I use their auto-scheduler built into their pinning tool. It lets you schedule your pins out so, all you have to do is sit down, create and schedule your pins out for the month in one sitting.
Lastly, Substack is another email newsletter I run. They offer a scheduling feature in Substack so I can write all my emails ahead of time and have the drip to my audience throughout December!
Outsourcing work to VAs
Using VAs can be truly valuable for your business. I don’t do this all the time but, when I do, I’ll use a VA to help me outline, create and write content. Also VAs for social media management can be really killer and smart. Or, to use them for SEO research is a smart trick, as well.
Turn on autoresponders
Autoresponders are so genius. I create an automated email that goes out to everyone who emails me in December.
It basically tells them:
- I’m on vacation including when I went on vacay and when I will return
- How I can help them while I’m away (links to valuable posts and pages on my website)
- And, my VAs contact info for immediate reach out
Scheduling my blog content is effortless in WordPress. Write your blog posts and content as normal, then instead of hitting Publish, hit Schedule, pick a time and date for your content to publish and you’re done!
Lastly, I say bye! I make an announcement on my blog and emails telling me audience I’m taking time off. I try to do this in advance so they can have at least a week to reach out before I’m gone, if they need anything. Then, I exceute my autoresponder email and enjoy my December time off!
Am I truly off in December 100% of the time?
Absolutely not. I love what I do and like they say, do what you love and never work a day in your life. So, I do a little work but, it’s passion project work or the things I enjoy doing.
I might jot down some ideas or start outlining a new course or ebook. Or, I might review and update my ideas and business plan for the following year. Or, look at new redesign ideas for my website.
It’s all super fun stuff for me and does not feel like work.
Do you do something similar in your business?
Do you take off time at the end of the year in your business? How do you do December?