Does it feel like an eternity since you were in your pyjamas with your hand scraping the bottom of the Celebrations box, as you re-watched It's A Wonderful Life for the 1,047th time?
Although Christmas and PJ days might be a fond but very distant memory now, we want to ease you into the new year with a festive link to those films and how their plot lines can link to how your business should be behaving to improve.
Read on for a few festive classics and the ways in which you can take their morals, plots and lessons to boost business over the next twelve months...
1. Scrooge / A Christmas Carol
The lesson: You have to spend money, to make money.
The film: Ebeneezer Scrooge refuses to part with money and is despised by his employee and the wider community - until three Christmas ghosts take him on a life-changing journey...
Your business: As much as we are focused on the bottom line, we can't see growth if we don't put serious planning and finances into investment. You should always be wary of just ploughing money into "fads" because they exist, but if you plan how you want to grow and what is needed to achieve that, then money has to be spent, before you see it come back to you.
The lesson: Don't let competitors steer your business.
The film: Buddy the Elf is a human raised by elves in Santa's North Pole, but he goes on a hilarious and heartwarming journey to find his real dad - and fit in with everyday life and people in NYC... He is particularly offended by an "imposter" mall Santa.
Your business: As Buddy strives to protect the real Santa and the essence of Christmas and his family and friends drum up belief in Santa to ensure that we don't lose Christmas forever, you also have to work on brand awareness. Don't be steered by competitors, just because they've mimicked you, or went in a different direction, it doesn't mean you should be pressured to invest in that software, technology or new department. Drum up positive belief about your brand being unique and the one clear rule - your business does what it does because it believes it is right for its customers.
3. The Santa Clause
The lesson: Career changes - or the direction of your business - don't have to be feared.
The film: As a typical father finds himself replacing Santa Clause and being forced to carry out Santa's tasks he does everything to rid himself of the job.
Your business: As a business owner or employee we all have to regularly take stock and decide if things are going the way we hoped, if our goals are in reach and if not, what can be done to change things. If 2016 means further employment, a change in supplier or overhaul of your marketing activities - don't fear it, but embrace it and ensure you have been a part of every step in achieving these goals and analysing them. It is only when you ignore that these "must dos" should you be in fear!
4. The Holiday
The lesson: Take a leap of faith!
The film: As two singletons decide to house swap over the Atlantic for the festive season, we see both making radical choices, which change their lives forever...
Your business: As the previous year ebbed away we had lots of hopes and exciting for how business would develop - don't let that fade during the January blues. Get back on track with your business plan and consult your senior management team to ensure that all teams are raring to go with the action plan - don't put it off, but take a leap of faith and spend time on business development - particularly if you haven't focused on it much before.
5. It's A Wonderful Life
The lesson: Be transparent and don't be afraid to admit you need help.
The film: George Bailey's business is going under through no fault of his own and he chooses to take his own life, until an angel, Clarence, shows him what life would be like if he hadn't been around to change the lives of others...
Your business: This heartwarming classic has been a longtime Christmas favourite, with so many life lessons for its viewers, particularly for business owners. When George tells his customers that he has fell on hard times, initially they react negatively but they trust in him, his reputation and his honesty. As the community gathers to support George and his family, it teaches companies that we can support each other and additionally, if your company needs help, whether its financial, HR or otherwise, speak out before you dig a bigger hole.
We hope you and your family had a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!