Hi all –
In the early 2000s I ran a company that closed nearly 80% of its business in the last two weeks of the year. As you can imagine, this didn’t create a festive – or healthy – atmosphere for our employees heading into the holidays.
After I sold that company in 2006, I promised I’d never get into that situation again. That was easy enough for a few years. My next business sold to consumers and smaller companies, making year-end less of a crunch and more of a steady slide into the new year.
But when I founded Drift, the same problems experienced by my company in the early aughts started creeping back in. And as Drift continues to move up market and sell to more enterprises, more and more of our deals are closed in the last few weeks of the year.
Combine this with COVID and my team was headed towards a morale disaster.
But instead of just accepting things as they were, I decided to make a change.
We moved our fiscal year-end from December 31, New Year’s Eve, to January 31.
The change is a small one, but it creates a lot of breathing room around the holidays, which means my team can actually enjoy them. And, you could argue, in 2020 the break is more important than ever.
This move not only helps our team, but it helps our customers too. They can now focus on their families and their own time off instead of Zoom calls with our sales team.
So, in the lead up to what is undoubtedly going to be a different and difficult holiday season, where can you take pressure off of your team? Where can you make small changes that will drive a large impact? I encourage you to take a look.
P.S. You can read more about how we moved our fiscal year-end from December to January in this interview with Inc. Magazine.