Last week we polled several different groups on Linkedin to see what other small businesses did to prepare for the holidays. This week's article will address the issues we and other small businesses online have encountered and overcome during the holiday season.
With the holidays coming soon everyone wants to be able to spend some time with their family. People want to be able to actually sit down and say "It truly is the most wonderful time of the year." These concepts are not rocket science but sometimes it takes a fresh set of eyes (and words) to show us how we need to set our focus during the holiday season.
This seems straightforward — however it is easy to lose sight of. Since most small businesses (especially those centered around the internet) don't work normal hours, planning ahead is key. There are several steps to take in planning ahead, beginning with understanding your work load.
1. Know your workload
Many times as business owners we simply take our work as it comes. With the holiday season we need to know our upcoming schedule. Whether it's family events or holiday networking parties, extra time needs to be alotted. If you have clients with changes that happen at the new year, make sure you are prepared for those before the holidays start. It will ruin your holiday enjoyment if you have tacked on extra projects on top of the work you already have at your business.
2. Know your man-hours available
This is the case if you have more than just yourself working. If you are contracting your workers, know what their schedules are. As we mentioned earlier, everyone has different holiday schedules. Knowing not only what extra activities you have but also those of your employees will help determine how you need to establish your operations during the holidays.
3. Hire help if needed
No one likes an under-staffed agency, especially during the holidays. If it would benefit your company then hire some extra help for the holiday season. This obviously takes planning ahead— however there are always college students on break looking for a holiday job. This is a great way for a company to show their clients they care about getting work done. It is also good for vetting potential future employees.
TELECOMMUTING IS A MUST
If your small business is online and telecommuting isn't already happening, the holidays are a great time to try it out. Allowing employees or yourself to telecommute will ease stress which may come from working during the holidays. This way you are able to spend time with family and friends and still accomplish work. The important thing is that anyone telecommuting is on pace with the work that must be done and knows how to accomplish the tasks. Taking advantage of telecommuting could even allow for employees to earn money that they were otherwise not going to due to their holiday schedule.
TAKE A BREAK
It's the holidays! Take a break for goodness sake! Whether it's telecommuting, working ahead or hiring extra help, do something so you can take a break. Once again, we all want to spend time with our family and friends during the holidays. Finding the time to take a break will not only relieve stress in your life, it will also make the ones around you feel loved and appreciated as well.
What are you doing to prepare for the holidays? We would love to hear about how other companies are gearing up for this jolly season. Let us start a conversation in the comments!