Are you wrapping up yet? Breathing a sigh of relief?

Many industries are slowing for year-end. Perhaps you’re among the frazzled few who actually speed up in the approach to Christmas (events planners spring to mind). Either way, there’s free time on the horizon and that’s an excellent opportunity to ensure that you’re just that much higher up the industry notch-board as 2016 dawns. 


6 Strategic Suggestions:

Here are 6 suggestions for increasing your value, while you have time to zoom back and think strategically. These suggestions are arranged in ascending order of complexity. Pick the level of commitment that suits you best: 


1. A Simple SWOT Analysis:

Take a sheet of paper and do a basic SWOT analysis on your career. What are your current Strengths, Weaknesses, Threats? Do the same for your company. Get some perspective so that you know what to work on next year. The exercise is quick to do, but can orient your mindset correctly for the New Year. 


2. Read Two Books on Your Greatest Problem:

Seek out and read two books that address your greatest challenges. Is your profile too low? Find two books on increasing your visibility. Are your staff operating in silos? Two books on improving innovative culture. 


3. Organise Personal Coaching:

Hire a coach to work on that one thing you could do to improve upon. A month’s worth of personal coaching could significantly improve your ability to: speak in public; write more persuasively; design like a pro; negotiate better deals. 


4. Begin the Big One:

Start that career-shifting project that you haven’t had time to work on - the piece of design that isn’t urgent, but will help to set you apart, the book you’ve been meaning to write - that one thing that keeps escaping the daily to-do lists, but will change your career trajectory. 


5. Shop your Entire Industry:

Go undercover as a customer and experience your brand as a first-time shopper. Then try out the competing brands. Learn who’s best and surmise how you might own that spot. Take notes as you go. 


6. Work on the Shop-Floor:

Go undercover and work in the customer-facing parts of your company. Carry out your own episode of ‘undercover boss’ and experience what’s really going on. Find the opportunities for everything from minor tweaks to total overhauls.


There’s time available. By all means enjoy the reduction in stress and obligations. But with a little clever thought, and a small amount of final effort, you can set yourself up now to own your industry in the new year. 


A gift for you

Douglas’s articles are always free for use in your magazines, newspapers or e-zines. Many have been previously published in magazines like Entrepreneur or online forums like They focus on entrepreneurship, public speaking, expert positioning and innovation. Please attribute any articles used, and drop Douglas an email so that he can also publicise your title.