Thursday, 25 November 2010

Advantages Of Seasonal Clients

I don't suppose I'm the only person who's business follows, what shall we say, a rather on and off pattern. It's one of the things that you just have to get used to when you work for yourself. Sometimes there's barely a free hour in the day and then suddenly nobody wants anything at all and you're sitting pretty waiting for the phone to ring.

OK, I know that I should be actively pursuing more business, not sitting here writing this or (as I was earlier today) sorting out the coat cupboard - not pleasant, I can tell you - why do the particularly big spiders always take up residence around or worse, in, my wellies?

Anyway, I digress, the thing is, at this time of the year, if I'm really honest, I quite like not being too busy. I think that in a way I tend to encourage my clients not to give me anything major to do until the New Year. I don't exactly come out with "Hey December is a rubbish time to do x", but I might subtly leave them with that impression.

The thing is that since leaving the big corporate jungle, I've come to thoroughly enjoy the pre-Christmas build up. Now that I don't have to do all my Christmas shopping at weekends, with countless thousand other poor harassed shoppers, I'd be a bit resentful if I had to do it again. I like being able to potter around the shops during school hours, having a cup of tea or a spot of lunch, without having to fight for a free table in the teashop. I don't even have to do it all in one day - I can take my time, go to different towns - generally enjoy myself.

And then of course there's the question of hibernation. Once upon a time I wore skirts, 10 denier tights,and silky blouses to work. Now that's OK in the middle of summer, but quite frankly, once the clocks go back, I'm into jeans, wooly socks - sometimes several pairs - and enough layers of jumpers to look like the Michelin man.

I'm sure I must have dormouse genes, because as the temperature outside drops, my urge to roll up somewhere warm and sleep, gets stronger and stronger. That's something you can just about get away with when you work at home, but it's nigh on impossible surrounded by your colleagues in a large open-plan office.

So when I get new clients, I do tend to look for the ones with more seasonal patterns of demand. That way, it's much easier to know when I'm likely to be rushed off my feet and when I can expect to be left alone. And do you know? All things considered, I think that works well for me.

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