The holidays, enjoyable as they are, take a lot out of entrepreneurs and startup founders each year. Many of us find ourselves so exhausted from making December a hit that we barely have the energy or motivation to give January its due.
And it deserves a little fanfare, don’t you think? January marks the beginning of a new year, and used properly, it can be your gateway to growth.
The name January comes from the Latin word for door, ianua, and Janus, the name for the Roman god of beginnings and transitions. January literally means “the door to the year.” The question is, what are you doing with the door to your year? Are you flinging it open, checking the peephole, or hanging a Do Not Disturb sign?
Founders who are intent on flinging the door open can make January a record-breaking month for their company if they buckle down and address existing issues. Take it from Daniel Flynn, CEO of Thankyou Group:
“While January is usually spent kicking back and getting some serious R&R, this time around it’s a month where things will really ramp up for us here at Thankyou HQ. This past year was a big one with epic growth across the business and we are forecasting an even bigger 2015 with loads of new and exciting projects on the horizon. For this happen we need to get more people on board, so most of January will be spent recruiting to ensure we have the best team possible to take Thankyou to the next level.”
Thankyou Group is not alone in their focus on recruiting this January–29% of small businesses with 250 or fewer employees expect to add full-time, permanent employees in 2015, up from 22 percent last year. With so many startups and small businesses actively recruiting new talent in 2015, there is no better time than January to start your search to ensure you don’t miss out on top talent. For a guide to uncovering the best startup talent, check out this post: To Find the ‘Right’ New Hire, Tell Your Bad News First.
Julie Stevanja, co-founder of Stylerunner, says she sees January as a time to strategize, plan, and support: “It’s a month dedicated to strategy, planning, and supporting our team with the resources they need to do their best in 2015.”
Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation, thinks January can be the perfect time to launch a special promotion or campaign. MyCorporation helps startups and small firms form limited liability companies (LLC) or corporations. January is a great time of year for MyCorp, as many people decide to start new or change existing ventures to coincide with the calendar year. Deborah implements this knowledge by launching relevant promotions leading up to and during January. You can take a page from Deborah’s book by launching smart, timely promotions and campaigns this month.
But perhaps Rachel Neumann, managing director of EventBrite, had the best advice on January for startups: “The team and I spent December prioritizing our efforts for 2015, and will spend January putting that plan into action.” Taking time to prioritize your efforts in December can yield great benefits once January rolls along. You’ll be ready to hit the ground running, and that’s invaluable to a startup.
If you believe January is doomed to be a slow month for your business, you’re not planning your strategy for success or even giving your business a chance to move ahead–you’re simply rationalizing why you won’t get anything accomplished this month.
Philosopher William James once said, “When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is, in itself, a choice.”
It’s easy to take January as a rest month after the bustle of the holidays, but be diligent and stay focused on your goals as you open your door to the year. Come February, when other startups are just beginning to wake from their January hibernation, you’ll be refreshed, on track toward your objectives, and one step closer to making your dream a reality.