This guide will help small business owners and their employees survive the busy and sometimes stressful holiday season.
Christmas can be a very busy time for small business owners. Sometimes work and social priorities can pile up and take you on a roller-coaster ride that never seems to slow down, eventually draining you of every jot of energy. But it need not be irremediably hectic if you navigate this busy time with a clear strategy that will allow you to accomplish what you need to and have fun too!
The most important key to avoiding a stress-free Christmas holiday season is to plan in advance.
For some small businesses there are ways to predict when you will be the most busy. For eCommerce businesses, there are online tools like Google Trends which map when things will start to get eventful. However if you are not in that sector you might want to look over your records from previous years to see when the most hectic days were. This will allow you to plan for your busy period.
Once you have a rough idea of when things are going to get hectic it is time to plan. Look at your schedule and organize it around Christmas parties. In order to avoid burnout you should ensure you do not work overly long hours. Instead, to manage the extra work as well as social events, hire help.
By employing a couple of temporary staff members to get through the busiest weeks, not only will you avoid over-taxing yourself but you will also make it easier on your permanent staff. Nowadays it is easy to hire extra staff. A virtual assistant can help with many of your daily activities such as answering the phone, scheduling appointments, replying to and sending out correspondence and many other administrative tasks. By delegating administrative and other work to hired help this will give you more time to focus on the tasks that matter and free up time to attend seasonal social events.
Send out gifts and cards early on
Most tasks at your small business are probably unpredictable, however there is one chore that is not! Most small businesses send cards and gifts to their customers and employees. Before the end of December you should have a clear plan of who you need to send cards and gifts to. You should delegate the task in advance to ensure that whoever is responsible does not struggle to do it at the last minute. If nobody on your small business team has time, again, hire extra help!
Relax and celebrate
Finally, you should reward yourself and your team after a year of hard work! It does not take much time nor a huge budget to plan a little celebration. You can take your staff out to your local restaurant or buy a few bottles of wine and snacks and finish the working day early together to enjoy them. It is important that you plan some time just for you and your employees to celebrate and relax.